Detroit Pistons: The bottom tier of the Eastern Conference
Hopefully the Detroit Pistons can finish ahead of these two teams and join the previous group as a contender for the play-in:
- Orlando Magic: The Magic have a great young core of guys but it will really come down to how much Paolo Banchero adds to their talented group of guards. Is he the next superstar of the league or the next Aaron Gordon? Time will tell, but it’s hard to see Orlando making a big leap this season even after adding the number one pick.
- Washington Wizards: Johnny Davis and Bradley Beal make for an interesting backcourt and the Wizards have some amount of talent around them, but if Beal goes down they could be the worst team in the league. If he doesn’t, who knows, they could contend fo the play-in, but the margins are razor thin in Washington.
I think the Detroit Pistons will be one of the teams in that bulky middle tier that is sniffing the play-in next season. They are very young, but their rookie additions, along with veterans Nerlens Noel and Alex Burks, could be enough to push them up in the standings, especially if Cade Cunningham makes a big leap, which I think is going to happen.
Depending on the rest of the offseason, I could see the Pistons leaping over the Wizards, Hornets and potentially even the Cavaliers and Bulls next season.
If they can at least linger around the 10-seed fans will be happy, as it will show a young team that is headed in the right direction, but it’s not going to be easy, as even the bad teams in the East are getting better, so Detroit has their work cut out for them if they want to final bust out of the cellar.