ESPN’s Chad Ford ranked every NBA team’s offseason, and he gave the Pistons a B-minus:
The Pistons had another quiet offseason. After winning just 27 games in 2009-10 and 30 games last season, you’d think Pistons president Joe Dumars would be in the middle of a major overhaul in Detroit. Although the Pistons’ lack of moves were easy enough to explain last year when the team was for sale and management’s hands were tied, many thought the Pistons would be more aggressive this offseason with new owner Tom Gores on board. Instead, the team worked to bring back Prince, Jerebko and Stuckey on multiyear deals, keeping intact most of the core of last season’s team.
Still, three things have changed for the better in Detroit. (1) The Pistons waived Richard Hamilton, who had become unhappy in Motown, freeing him to leave for a contender. They made the move as a buyout and saved nearly $8 million in the process. Talk about addition by subtraction. (2) The team drafted Brandon Knight who, while still a little raw, has terrific upside. Put him on the floor with Stuckey, Greg Monroe and Austin Daye, and the Pistons suddenly have a nice, young core. (3) The team made yet another coaching change, bringing in former Nets coach Lawrence Frank to run the show. Frank has a great reputation around the league and is promising a more disciplined, hardworking team in the future.
While those moves won’t particularly wow anyone, the Pistons are moving in the right direction again. This team could win 35 games and start to win back fans who left the team over the past few years.
A B-minus seems rather generous. The Pistons are in a slightly better position than when the offseason started, but because they didn’t achieve any major player-related objectives – significantly lower long-term salary obligations, add a big man of the future to play with Greg Monroe, add a big man of the present to play with Greg Monroe – I’d give them a C-plus, just above average.