Outside of the Houston Rockets, no team made a bigger splash in free agency than the Pistons. They signed Smith to a four-year, $56 million contract and acquired former Milwaukee Bucks point guard Brandon Jennings in a sign-and-trade. Jennings says his new teammates will allow him to be more of a passer than he was with the Bucks, which will hopefully cut down on his inefficiency. The addition of Smith complicates the Pistons’ frontcourt rotation, which already included talented young bigs Monroe and Andre Drummond. Smith can play small forward, but that could negatively affect their floor spacing. If this team can put it together, though, this is a roster that’s talented and athletic, and could make a strong playoff run for the first time since 2009.
It’s quite possible the Pistons could be one of the most entertaining teams in the league. Considering they were quite possibly one of the least entertaining teams to watch in past seasons, that’s a good step.
There are plenty of questions surrounding this team, but when it comes down to entertainment, they should be fun to watch. Fans in Detroit have always been endeared to a team that can be gritty and get the job done on defense — on paper, that’s this team’s strength.
Fans are also drawn to dunks and all that jazz, which is about the only thing you can expect to consistently see from this offense.
That’s all good, but there’s a distinct chance that this team is just a train wreck. Josh Smith‘s missed 17-footers could replace Jason Maxiell‘s misses. Brandon Jennings could be just as careless with the ball as Brandon Knight was. Andre Drummond could just be a big, large manchild who can dunk and do nothing else offensively.
It’s possible, but is it likely? I’d venture to say no. Many of the concerns that follow this Pistons’ roster are overblown. The floor-spacing issues are real, but not as crazy as they’re made out to be. In reality, this team is probably a better shooting team than last season.
But hey, Jennings said he wants to bring “Lob City” to Detroit, so let’s just leave it at that and see where this goes.