Ranking the Detroit Pistons biggest needs this off-season

Detroit Pistons Andre Drummond (Photo by Brian Sevald/NBAE via Getty Images)
Detroit Pistons Andre Drummond (Photo by Brian Sevald/NBAE via Getty Images) /

The Detroit Pistons are going to make changes to their roster this off-season. What are their biggest needs to work on this off-season?

The Detroit Pistons finished the season 41-41 and just barely clinching the 8th and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. The Bucks easily swept the Pistons and sent them fishing early.

The Pistons were obviously without their All-Star forward Blake Griffin for the first two games. And Griffin was undoubtedly unhealthy and playing with one knee in the two home games the Pistons lost.

The Pistons had little to no chance of stealing a game even with a healthy Blake Griffin. The Bucks claimed the best record in the league and showed it against the Pistons. They took care of business and exposed many of the flaws the Pistons owned.

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With all the Pistons flaws, which areas are in need to be fixed the most this off-season?

1. A reliable wing player.

This is undoubtedly the biggest need this off-season. The Pistons wing rotation this season was one of the worst if not the worst in the entire league. The Pistons signed Glenn Robinson III to a two-year team option deal in hopes that he could become that reliable wing player that could save the Pistons.

This wasn’t the case at all. After a rough 8 game start to the season, he was averaging 3.9 points per game and shot an extremely poor 16.7 percent shooting from three. But the wing player starting in front of Robinson III was Stanley Johnson.

Stanley Johnson’s 7 games as a starter to start the season wasn’t any better than Robinson III. Stanley was averaging 7.1 points per game and shot 25 percent from three. And to make things worse, he was shot 35.2 percent from the field.

So Casey decided to insert Glenn in the starting lineup to see how he can play with the main lineup. With no surprise he failed to play any better than before. He averaged 5.5 points per game and shot 32.3 percent from three in 16 straight games as the starter.

So with both Stanley Johnson and Glenn Robinson III playing poorly for the Pistons, who would Casey turn to? Insert Bruce Brown to the starting lineup. Bruce Brown didn’t play well offensively for the Pistons. He averaged 4.5 points per game on 28.2 percent from three since being inserted into the starting lineup. He was a black hole on offense. But his defense gave the Pistons starting lineup a positive net rating. So Casey stuck with him for the rest of the season.

With all of these changes in the wing position, the Pistons need to fix this issue so teams are forced to play defense on their wing players.

2. Three-point shooting

The Pistons were one of the worst three-point shooting teams in the league this season. They shot 34.8 percent from three; which ranks 23rd in the entire NBA. They attempted a lot of threes per game. And they missed a lot of threes per game.

To make things worse, the Pistons shot the 8th most wide open threes per game with 18.3 shots per night. But they only cashed in on 6.7 attempts on wide open threes. That means they shot 36.7 percent on wide open shots; which ranks 23rd in the entire NBA.

The team’s inability to shoot the ball massively hurt the team’s record. If it wasn’t for Reggie Jackson, Wayne Ellington, and Luke Kennard cashing in their threes, the team’s record would have been a lot worse. But with the Pistons likely letting Ellington walk this off-season, they will look to replace him with someone who can shoot like he did.

Ish Smith and Glenn Robinson III are also both free agents. The Pistons will let both players walk in order to get more three-point shooting on the team. The Pistons are interested in signing Seth Curry this free agency. Seth shot 45 percent from three on 3.4 attempts a night. He would arguably be the Pistons best shooter if he signed with the team.

3. Player development

The Pistons do not have much cap space to work with. Other than their 9.2 million dollars in the mid-level exception, the Pistons have to hope their young players grow into reliable rotational players.

The Pistons drafted Bruce Brown and Khyri Thomas with their second round picks in last year’s free agency. Bruce Brown was a starter for most of the season. If he’s able to develop a three-point shot into his game, he will give other teams major headaches.

Khyri Thomas didn’t see the floor much this season. He mostly received garbage time in blowout games. But he has the potential to grow as a good rotational player. His defense and willingness to get better is a bright spot for him.

Luke Kennard showed his potential in the playoffs. He averaged 15 points per game on 60 percent shooting from three against the Bucks. His last step into becoming a really good player for the Pistons is the playmaking ability.

Kennard has shown flashes of being a good playmaker. His decision-making in transition is excellent and could help the Pistons’ backup point guard issue if developed correctly.

And lastly Andre Drummond is still very young. The 25-year-old center still has plenty of room to grow as a threat both offensively and defensively. He showed his value in the second half of the season when he returned from his concussion injury. He was a monster defensively and shot 58 percent since his return.

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Teams were forced to respect Drummond on offense and made the opponents second guess themselves when driving to the basket. A little more polishing up in his game during the off-season could extremely benefit the Pistons.