Chad Ford and John Hollinger of ESPN released their future power rankings, which they describe as:
The Future Power Rankings are ESPN Insider’s projection of the on-court success expected for each team in the 2013-14, 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons.
The Pistons moved up six spots with their strongest summer in recent memory. The team was able to jettison Ben Gordon’s ugly contract, land a potential star in Andre Drummond in the draft and, for the first time in a while, is looking at some potential cap room starting in the summer of 2013.
Getting the Bobcats to take back Gordon’s contract was the big reason the Pistons moved up, as it affords Detroit the type of cap flexibility it hasn’t had since 2009. We expect them to use it more wisely than they did last time.
Essentially every other category remains the same. Greg Monroe remains a bright spot. Rodney Stuckey is solid. Brandon Knight, Austin Daye, Jonas Jerebko and Drummond all show promise. But overall, the Pistons are stuck with the 26th-best roster in a 30-team league.
If Monroe, Knight and Drummond show progress next season and if the Pistons can make a savvy move or two next summer, they have a chance to make a much bigger leap next year. As for now, patience is still the word in Detroit.
(Previous rank: 28)
Only the Hornets and Lakers – teams that acquired big men with elite value – jumped more than the Pistons since the last rankings, which came out in February. The Pistons have made steady steps in the right direction over the last couple years – mostly by drafting well – and it’s exciting to see their progress recognized.
I think Ford and Hollinger didn’t ding the Pistons enough for giving up a draft pick to dump Ben Gordon, though. But that pick is most likely to be transferred in 2014, so it won’t have much effect on the 2013-14, 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons.