ESPN’s Chad Ford and John Hollinger released their latest Future Power Rankings, and the Pistons fell to 28th:
The Pistons continue their freefall in the Future Power Rankings. In December the team slid from the middle of the pack down to No. 22, and this time they take another big drop to No. 28 overall. With uncertainty surrounding the ownership of the franchise, their veteran players in open rebellion and some really bad contracts on the book, things may stay ugly for a while in Detroit.
In just about every category, the Pistons are struggling. Most importantly, they rank just No. 26 in the Players category, even after the addition of several free agents and top-15 draft picks.
Among the veterans, there are almost no happy stories: Richard Hamilton has been benched, Tayshaun Prince becomes an unrestricted free agent this summer and looks poised to move on, Ben Gordon is still due $37.2 million over the next three years, Charlie Villanueva won’t defend anyone and is still owed a whopping $24 million, and Ben Wallace and Tracy McGrady don’t have a lot left to offer.
The two bright spots have been Rodney Stuckey, who is having the best year of his career, and rookie Greg Monroe, who is improving rapidly and showing he should have been a top-five pick. Second-year forward Austin Daye has also shown signs of progress since the All-Star break.
The team has also taken a big hit in the Management category, as the ownership situation has remained in flux and tied team president Joe Dumars’ hands, preventing him from recovering from moves that haven’t worked out. And with the team and the city struggling, the Market category is also a weak spot for the Pistons — Detroit’s economy is in a shambles and the once-rocking Palace is pretty quiet these days.
The only two teams behind Detroit: the Cavaliers and Bobcats.