3 Step plan to shake up the Detroit Pistons this summer

Detroit Pistons v New Orleans Pelicans
Detroit Pistons v New Orleans Pelicans / Jonathan Bachman/GettyImages
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Step 2: Sign Nic Claxton in free agency 

The Pistons need a defensive anchor in the middle and it’s possible that Duren will become that. It’s also possible that he is Andre Drummond 2.0, an elite rebounder who isn’t a great rim protector and doesn’t have a skilled offensive game. Duren can pass, but will he ever be able to shoot? To be an elite rim protector? 

He’s still only 20, so this would be the Pistons selling high, but trading a young player is always risky, as Duren could figure it out and be an All-Star in a few seasons. 

But Claxton is already what the Pistons need, which is a center (who is also still young) who can protect the rim. Claxton averages over two blocks per game, nearly three times more than Duren right now. He’s a better, more versatile defender in space and you don’t lose much on the boards. 

Claxton will cost more now, but Duren’s second contract will be pricey too and there are still more questions that won’t be answered by the time he is due for an extension next summer. 

Giving up on Duren would be tough, but the blow would be lessened by Claxton, who is a better fit for what the Pistons need right now even if his ceiling isn't as high.