Will the Detroit Pistons have the courage to do what is necessary?

Jun 13, 2023; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Pistons general manager Troy Weaver and owner Tom Gores
Jun 13, 2023; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Pistons general manager Troy Weaver and owner Tom Gores / Brian Bradshaw Sevald-USA TODAY Sports
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After winning three of four games, the Detroit Pistons have dropped three straight to push their record to 12-56 on the season.

Though they did lose one on a last-second shot, the games were a painful reminder that the gap between the Pistons and the good teams is still wide. There is no shame in losing to Miami (twice) or Boston shorthanded on the road, but they are hardly going to raise a banner when only one of the games was really close. I'm not overreacting to a few losses, just as we shouldn't have overreacted when the Pistons won three of four games against bad, shorthanded teams. The record is what it is and the Pistons are bad.

The bar for this team has been set so low that heartbreaking losses are seen as a sign of improvement even though the team is on its way to the worst record in franchise history if they don't win a few more games. The standards could not be lower.

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The big question is whether there is anything to suggest it won't be the same next season if the Pistons bring back the same cast of players. Will a few months of offseason be enough for this team to make meaningful progress next season? I have my doubts.

The fit of the Detroit Pistons Core Four

We've talked a lot about this, but there are legitimate questions about the viability of the "Core Four" as they've inappropriately been named. Cade Cunningham, Jaden Ivey, Ausar Thompson and Jalen Duren have all shown star flashes as individual players, and in a vacuum, all of them have big potential. But do they work as a group?

Three of the four can't shoot and when you throw Isaiah Stewart into the mix, you have a starting five whose skills don't complement each other. They are young. They can improve and almost certainly will, but how long can the Pistons wait? Will all of these players be on their second contracts?

Jaden Ivey has regressed as a shooter and needs the ball in his hands to be effective. Thompson has improved of late but is shooting 18 percent from 3-point range this season. Duren just dunks.

This is not a knock on any of them as individual players, but unless something changes, their fit with Cade Cunningham as a group are questionable and that's before you even get to the defense, which is currently the worst in franchise history.

And it's especially trying when you have a young group that has done nothing but lose together, which is one of the challenges of building exclusively through the draft. All of your best players are the same age, learning the same bad habits of losing teams at the same time.

This is why their best chance for meaningful change may be to trade one or more of them.