This might sound familiar; the Detroit Pistons use their plentiful cap space to sign a pair of big name free agents but fail to put together on the floor. It happened in 2009 and again last summer. Detroit brought in Josh Smith and Brandon Jennings but still failed to make the playoffs in the extremely weak Eastern Conference.
The Pistons should have a good amount of flexibility in free agency this summer but the new front office led by first year team president and head coach Stan Van Gundy must first figure out what to do with restricted free agent, Greg Monroe.
Detroit Pistons (29-53 last year)
2014-15 Projected Depth Chart:
C: Andre Drummond/#Josh Harrellson
PF: *Greg Monroe/^Jonas Jerebko/Tony Mitchell
SF: Josh Smith/Kyle Singler/Luigi Datome
SG: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope/#Chauncey Billups
PG: Brandon Jennings/Will Bynum/Peyton Siva
NBA Free Agents:
*PF-Greg Monroe (RFA)
^PF-Jonas Jerebko (PO)
#G-Chauncey Billups (TO)
#C-Josh Harrellson (TO)
SG-Rodney Stuckey (UFA)
PF-Charlie Villanueva (UFA)
2014-15 Team Salary: approximately $39.2 million
1. What to do with Monroe?:
Detroit needs to figure out if they want to 1) sign Monroe to a long-term extension which he is due, 2) work on a sign and trade, or 3) just let him walk in free agency. Number three simply isn’t an option since the Pistons can match any offer sheet he signs in the off-season so that leaves one or two.
With Andre Drummond and Smith, Detroit doesn’t NEED to bring back Monroe and might be better off working a sign and trade in hopes of adding a more offensively versatile player to their frontcourt. It also depends on how much they are going to want to pay to keep Monroe. Van Gundy did recently call Drummond and Monroe an “ideal pairing” up-front so this decision will definitely shape the Pistons’ off-season.
Boasting the league’s worst field goal and free throw percentage, and second lowest three-point mark; Detroit needs to add some shooters. With Kentavious Caldwell-Pope not fully ready to take over at shooting guard, the Pistons should look for a better option in free agency. Adding some perimeter threats would also open up things inside for their monstrous front line. It’s too bad Detroit had AWFUL luck at the NBA Draft Lottery and had to give their first round pick to Charlotte because there would have been some talented shooters available for the Pistons.
3. Head Coaching Stability:
The firing of Joe Dumars as general manager was long overdue, not only from a roster standpoint but also in finding the right fit on the sidelines. Van Gundy becomes Detroit’s seventh head coach in eight seasons so if the franchise can find some stability there and with new GM, Jeff Bower; that will tremendously help them get pointed back in the right direction as they try to end their five year playoff drought.
OTHER NBA OFF-SEASON TEAM NEEDS PAGES:
David Kay is a senior feature NBA Draft, NBA, and college basketball writer for the Sports Bank. He also heads up the NBA and college basketball material at Walter Football.com and is a former contributor at The Washington Times Communities. David has appeared on numerous national radio programs spanning from Cleveland to New Orleans to Milwaukee to Honolulu. He also had the most accurate 2011 NBA Mock Draft and the most accurate 2012 NBA Mock Draft on the internet (Yup, repeat champ… #humblebrag), and finished with the second most accurate 2013 NBA Mock Draft (nearly a three-peat.) You can follow him on Twitter at David_Kmiecik.
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