The Detroit Pistons have entered their rebuild and fans are wondering if Dwane Casey is up to the task.
The decision to trade Andre Drummond at the February 6th deadline was what officially made the Detroit Pistons organizational direction clear; the rebuild was on.
If that move didn’t make it clear enough, Pistons Senior Adviser Ed Stefanski has directly referred to the team’s current position as a rebuild on multiple occasions. It was long overdue, and finally, we made it. Now they’ll look to hire a new GM to help navigate this obstacle.
Dwane Casey was originally brought on to lead Detroit in 2018. At the time, the idea was that he’d be able to turn the team into a legitimate playoff threat. While they were still far from contending, developing players and building playoff momentum was the vision.
So, given that the plan was to regularly find themselves in the playoff hunt, one begins to wonder if the reality that everything would go off the rails ever occurred to him. He didn’t sign up for a rebuild, but the possibility was always there.
As it stands, he seems motivated to get the franchise back on track. The question at hand is; can he actually do it?
What goes into this question is a plethora of contingencies. Can the right players stay healthy? Can the front office draft and acquire the right players? Can Casey utilize those players in the way that the front office envisions? The list goes on.
The main priority on the docket this offseason will be the draft, where the Pistons will likely select a point guard. One that they feel can be their guard of the future.
After that, as long as the Pistons are able to re-sign Christian Wood and provide more front court stability, the team will be in decent enough shape to breeze their way through the 2020-2021 season.
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They may not (and in all likelihood won’t) wing many games, but if Casey is able to hold true to his legacy and develop the talent that Detroit does have, then they’ll be in pretty decent shape for the following season.
One thing that will need to happen is getting Sekou Doumbouya more involved on offense. Too often was he relegated into a ball mover and sent off into the corner. Sekou has the tools to get himself going, he just needs legitimate opportunities
One of the issues that has driven fans crazy over his first three seasons with Detroit is his tentativeness to shoot. Kennard is a gifted shooter, and he needs to embrace that moving forward.
He began to do so in this past year, but his season was cut short in December after suffering from bilateral knee tendinitis. He was on the right track, but then everything fell apart.
Although Casey has been slightly opposed to doing so, continuing to play Bruce Brown at point guard could go a long way for both parties. That’s often been where Brown preforms best, and it often feels as if he’s a more natural fit at point.
Naturally, as is the case with nearly any relationship, development is a two party system. Casey may give the aforementioned players the opportunities that they need. But, if they aren’t able to capitalize then it needs to be noted that, if nothing else, he tried.
If that means sending Sekou to Grand Rapids for a game or two to play with the G-League affiliate to get his confidence up, that’s perfectly fine. It’s all part of the bigger picture.
With Blake Griffin and Derrick Rose expected to be fully healthy when next season rolls around, a majority of the touches are going to go to them. Any player on the roster trying to ramp up their production will have to take advantage of any chance that they’re given.
Christian Wood’s usage likely won’t become too much of an issue. He’ll likely become the featured big man, as he was after the trade deadline passed.
Casey’s up to the task, he wants to help the Pistons return to their former glory. It’ll be a long and stressful path, but he could be the right man for the job.