These aren’t the same Detroit Pistons
The Detroit Pistons didn’t go out and sign a splashy free agent this offseason and were probably smart not to do so, as most of them were middle-tier players who were not going to significantly move the needle.
But they did add Monte Morris, Joe Harris, Ausar Thompson, Marcus Sasser, and most importantly, will be getting Cade Cunningham back from injury.
No one else in their group made an addition as significant as Cunningham, who has looked fantastic in scrimmages, so this won’t be the same team the rest of them beat up on last season while the Pistons were injured and tanking.
Indiana arguably made the biggest addition by signing Bruce Brown, and I do expect they will improve next season along with the Pistons.
The other three teams just added rookies and tweaked their benches without making any significant signings. In the cases of Philly and Cleveland, these are title contenders who already had their team in place and didn’t need to make big moves, but Detroit should be much improved and there’s a chance the rest of them won’t be.
These games will also be played early in the season, so expect everyone to still be finding their footing and chemistry. Detroit may have more of this to do than anyone, as they have a new head coach and are getting their best player back, but you could also argue that this is a good time to catch future playoff teams who will ramp up as the season progresses.