Fixing the Pistons’ weaknesses

I wrote about how the Eastern Conference’s lottery teams can address their weaknesses this offseason for Basketball Prospectus. Here’s my take on on the Pistons:

Statistical weakness: Defensive effective field-goal percentage (30th)
Weakest positions: PF, C

The Pistons want another big to complement Greg Monroe. Monroe can play both power and center, and since power forwards are easier to find, odds are Detroit will find a desirable power forward and keep Monroe at center.

His ideal frontcourt-mate is athletic and can protect the rim. Bismack Biyombo, although flawed, would certainly fill a need with the eighth pick.

Tayshaun Prince will be a free agent and after a productive year on the court and a miserable year off it, there’s a good chance Prince will get compelling offers elsewhere and take one. A sign-and-trade for Chris Kaman makes some sense if Prince, a Compton native, wants to play near his home.

If Prince leaves, the Pistons would need to add a small forward, unless they want to depend on just Jonas Jerebko (whom they might need more at power forward) and Austin Daye (who might be better at shooting guard). Detroit could target Jan Vesely or Kawhi Leonard in the draft or Andrei Kirilenko in free agency. Any of those three should help defensively immediately.

Tom Haberstroh had the same same assignment for ESPN. Here’s his take on the Pistons:

Statistical weakness: Opponent shooting (30th)

Weakest positions: SF, PF

First, find a coach who can implement something that resembles a defensive system. Second, make sure GM Joe Dumars doesn’t hand out A-list contracts to C-list players. Third, build around Greg Monroe, not the guys making eight-figure salaries next season and beyond.

Now that Tayshaun Prince has hit free agency, the Pistons can hand the keys to Austin Daye at the 3 and hope Charlie Villanueva dedicates himself to playing better defense and hitting the boards like a normal power forward. Neither scenario is all that promising, but the Pistons are in a tough spot. They basically drove Rip Hamilton’s value into the ground by benching him last season, and they’re paying Ben Gordon $37 million over the next three seasons. The Pistons could part ways with Rodney Stuckey (who is a restricted free agent), which would open up the door to draft a point guard like Kemba Walker at No. 8, or they could nab Bismack Biyombo, which would do wonders for that paltry defense down the line.

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Tags: Austin Daye Ben Gordon Charlie Villanueva Greg Monroe Jonas Jerebko Rodney Stuckey Tayshaun Prince

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