The Pistons did not improve their roster in any meaningful way, they sacrificed a big-time asset to get out of the final season of Gordon’s contract, they made an imbalanced roster even more imbalanced, and they didn’t cut ties with Villanueva, a no-brainer decision for a team looking to build around its younger players.
Why wasn’t this an "F"? Both Drummond (despite his obvious risks) and English filled clear needs and no new big contract mistakes were made. Counting those as victories is an incredibly low standard, but that’s how bad things have gotten in Motown.
The Pistons figure to be awful once again this year. If they aren’t awful, it will be a big disappointment, as somehow sneaking into the No. 8 seed would be the definition of false hope. This season will be a success if the Pistons start slow, gut a veteran or two from the roster at the trade deadline, tank to a top-5 pick, and then put together a solid plan to hit the ground running in free agency next summer. Recent history and the franchise’s insistence on working hard to be awful rather than giving up and being horrendous tells me those chips won’t fall perfectly into place.
Not that we like to dwell on the past or anything, but they traded Chauncey Billups for Allen Iverson to create the cap space to sign Charlie Villanueva, who stinks and is a prime amnesty candidate for next July, and Ben Gordon, who stunk and has since been turned into Corey Maggette, who stinks. Oh, and the Pistons had to throw in a future No. 1 to offload Gordon. Nobody goes to their games anymore after they sold out the Palace for almost a full decade. Given that they have six (!) small forwards, you have to believe at a certain point they are going to send Tayshaun Prince to a contender in exchange for some building blocks to put alongside a pair of very capable big men, Greg Monroe and rookie Andre Drummond. In the interim, they become the cure for insomnia. Condolences to Lawrence Frank.