Be the GM: Finalize the Detroit Pistons 2019-20 roster

Detroit Pistons Ed Stefanski. (Photo by Chris Schwegler/NBAE via Getty Images)
Detroit Pistons Ed Stefanski. (Photo by Chris Schwegler/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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Detroit Pistons
Detroit Pistons Ed Stefanski. (Photo by Chris Schwegler/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Sit in the Detroit Pistons’ executive’s chair and complete the 2019-20 roster through this hypothetical scenario following the preseason.

(Editor’s note: This story is filled with realistic scenarios to simulate the life of a general manager or, in this case, Detroit Pistons Senior Advisor Ed Stefanski. It is meant for a fun look at how the Pistons 2019-20 roster could shape up after five preseason games.

Each slide tells a piece of the story, and at the end of every slide you will have to make a choice. These choices all lead to unique consequences that will affect the Pistons final roster. Note that this exercise is by no means exhaustive, it’s meant to entertain and casually inform about possible options for Stefanski while also just being a fun story to play through. Some scenarios may be overdramatized, but everything listed is definitely a realistic possibility by the Collective Bargaining Agreement and general NBA rules.

The options presented to you at the end of each slide will all end with a linked blue word, you must click on it to continue on to that slide. This process will continue as you weave through the story you create through your choices, until you finally reach the end of your path, and from there, you can go backwards, retrace your steps, and try again.


It is Thursday morning at 1 a.m. local time and you can’t sleep. The Detroit Pistons completed their final preseason game and the five-game sample size is going to have to be enough to determine who gets the 15th roster spot.

All of your summer’s hard work, navigating minimal cap space to sign veterans Derrick Rose and Markieff Morris, two clear upgrades, and adding depth with an underrated signing of Tim Frazier. Before the draft, you acquired 3-and-D wing Tony Snell to provide a legitimate starting small forward, something the roster went without to close the 2018-19 season and in spite of it made the playoffs.

story primer. Pistons training camp roster with contracts explained. light

But that isn’t good enough. Christian Wood was claimed off free agency waivers and sports a non-guaranteed contract, unless he’s on the roster when the Pistons’ regular season begins on Oct. 23.

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Then there’s Joe Johnson, who impressed in an albeit 3-on-3 basketball league of NBA has-beens. His veteran presence in what would be his 18th year is needed. Even with him, the team’s average age is 25.6 years old. His partially-guaranteed contract becomes fully guaranteed on Oct. 21 at $1.37 million and $2.56 million on Jan. 7, ESPN’s Bobby Marks previously reported.

While many believe the preseason battle was between Johnson and Wood for the final spot because of their contract situation, that wasn’t necessarily the case. The goal you set out for yourself and Dwane Casey was to complete a roster with the 15 most valuable players.

You have four full days before Johnson’s guarantee date kicks in and six before Wood’s kicks in. You can’t carry both as the roster stands with 14 guaranteed contracts. If you choose both, then a corresponding move will need to be made.

Fast forward to Sunday, Oct. 20, after having discussion with Casey, owner Tom Gores and other front office members and you have a decision to make.

If you choose to keep Joe Johnson for his 18th NBA season, click here.

If you choose to keep Christian Wood, click here.