Chad Ford and John Hollinger have released their latest Future Power Rankings, and the Pistons fell from No. 22 to No. 25:
The hard times that have befallen the city of Detroit continue to hammer the Pistons’ front door as they continue to slide in our rankings. The days of hardcore fans filling the Palace are gone. The Bad Boys are taking on a completely different (and unwanted) connotation. Given yet another rough start to the season, it’s pretty hard to be confident in the future of the franchise.
The team is still up for sale, with no clear resolution coming anytime soon. The team lacks a legitimate star. They’re bogged down by bad contracts on their books for the next few seasons. And the roster lacks any proven long-term options in the middle.
The two bright spots for the Pistons have been Rodney Stuckey, who is having the best season of his young career, and rookie Greg Monroe, who has shown a few glimmers of progress after a very slow start.
But there isn’t much help on the way for the young duo, as Joe Dumars‘ hands are tied a bit until the team is sold. If the Pistons are going to do anything in the next few years, they’ll need to get Richard Hamilton off the books, make a trade-deadline deal that gives them value for Tayshaun Prince and develop a couple of their prospects. That’s a lot of ifs for a team that was a lock to play deep into the playoffs for the past decade.