Now that all the hype of LeBron James signing with the Cleveland Cavaliers has slowed down, there have been other free-agent signings in the NBA. Everyone wanted to see him pick his team and now the Pistons will have to battle him in the Central Division again. With that said, the Pistons have signed some players themselves.
I like the additions of D.J. Augustin and Caron Butler. Both bring leadership that this team very much lacked last season. Owner Tom Gores has let new head coach Stan Van Gundy make most of the moves this off-season. I think Van Gundy will bring intensity back to the Pistons but will it be enough to compete in the East next season?
The Pistons lost their top draft pick this season because of the Ben Gordon trade. (The Hornets took Noah Vonleh, the freshman forward from Indiana.) We’ll see how well that works out for them.
As of now, the Pistons still have a core of Brandon Jennings, Andre Drummond and Josh Smith. However, there have been trade rumors swirling around Smith. And the future is uncertain about Greg Monroe. Some experts say that Monroe is going to get a max deal somewhere else. Some say he’s not worth that and will stay with the Pistons.
I’m not really sure where Monroe will end up but I wouldn’t mind him back. He is good offensively but kind of a liability on the defensive side.
The draft pick the Pistons did have was a risk. Spencer Dinwiddie is coming off a knee surgery but is a explosive scorer. So if he can produce, I’m thinking he would be a Rodney Stuckey type player.
And we can’t forget about the aggressive signing of guard Jodie Meeks. Why I think that he is a must needed up-grade from 3-point range, I feel like he is not a long-term answer. But hey, what do I know?
With Cleveland, Chicago, Indiana all improving this off-season, it seems like the Pistons will be looking at a fourth or fifth place finish in the Central. But I would argue it will be the toughest division in the NBA. Heck the Bucks could be surprisingly competitive.
On a lighter note, I realized I’m getting older. Ten years ago around this time I was celebrating a Pistons championship. Maybe one day, the trophy could come back to the Motor City. Who knows if Van Gundy is the man to bring it back.
But for now, let’s remember that championship TEAM. My, was it a good one.
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