What is in store for Detroit Pistons fans?
What is in store for the Detroit Pistons?
The Detroit Pistons were busy in the offseason, and now three games into the regular season we, as fans, have gotten a little glimpse at what to expect.
The Pistons first picked up Power Forward Jon Leuer from free agency. Last season Leuer played for the shotty Phoenix Suns. Now, the Suns were arguably one of the worst teams in the NBA last season after winning only 23 games. Jon Leuer, however, was a productive player on an unproductive team.
Leuer shot 38% from beyond the three-point line, and that is exactly what the Detroit Pistons were lacking; a big man who can shoot. Granted, Leuer only averaged about 8 ppg, but what do you expect from a player coming off the bench? Overall, Leuer is a solid pickup.
In the same transaction as Leuer, Pistons front office also acquired point guard Ish Smith. When it comes to backup point guards, Ish Smith might have been the best option for them.
Smith has proven himself last season with the 76ers. We all know how the 76er’s season went last year. Their season was terrible. Philadelphia won only 10 games, which is one of the worst records in NBA history. This doesn’t mean that Ish Smith wasn’t a quality player, though.
Smith averaged 14.7 points and 7 assists per game last year. Remember, the 76ers were the worst team in the NBA- that means they didn’t score a whole lot of points per game. In order to log an assist there needs to be points made. See where I’m going with this?
Ish Smith’s 7 assists per game on the Philadelphia 76ers is a very impressive stat line granted the 76ers had a very hard time putting the ball in the basket. Imagine what Ish Smith will be able to do with a team that can put points on the board. Also, did I mention he’s the backup point guard? 14 points per game this season from coming off the bench will be deadly. I am a fan of the Ish Smith pickup.
In the same month of the other two pickups, Detroit claimed center Boban Marjanovic. Boban was a rookie last season for the Spurs, and even though he wasn’t able to prove himself there, the Pistons and Stan Van Gundy saw some potential in him. They won’t be needing him much this season because of Andre Drummond and Aaron Baynes, but after Baynes is expected to leave after this season in free agency Boban is expected to take the backup role.
He only averaged 5.5 ppg last season and 3.6 rebounds, but he also only played for about 10 minutes each night. Again, there won’t be much immediate return on Boban, but this pickup is mostly for next season.
Next came the NBA draft. The Pistons had the 18th pick, and they selected power forward Henry Ellenson. I, personally, don’t think Ellenson is an NBA star in the making. He had a relatively unproductive summer league, and I wasn’t impressed in the preseason either.
Even though Ellenson was the best pick the Pistons could have made in the draft at the 18 spot, I don’t see him playing a huge role in the team any time soon.
Second round, the Pistons took point guard Michael Gbinije. Call me crazy, but I can see Gbinije being a quality backup point guard for the Pistons one day.
In a league dominated by the backcourt right now, Michale Gbinije could really thrive. He’s a solid three-point shooter, and he can drain a three-point bomb with a hand in his face also. I think the Pistons will benefit more from him than Ellenson.
A few days before the start to the regular season, the Pistons claimed guard Beno Udrih off waivers. After Reggie Jackson was ruled out for 6-8 weeks, Ish Smith was moved to starter which opened up a spot for the new backup. To be honest, I don’t know a whole lot about Beno Udrih, but from what I’ve seen from the first three games of the season I am impressed.
Beno has allowed very few turnovers, has run the offense well, and has put the ball in the basket. Not to mention his defense has been outstanding If he keeps up this type of production, I think he deserves maybe 10 or 12 minutes after Reggie Jackson comes back.
Everyone coming back for the Pistons have proven their worth to the team. Stanley Johnson had a quality rookie season, and is expected to improve even more this year.
Tobias Harris was a late pickup for the Pistons last season, and he has been All-Star caliber so far this season.
Andre Drummond has been his usual rebounding-monster self after signing a 5-year max contract with the team.
The only player I don’t believe is the right person for the team going forward is Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.
KCP has some stellar defense, which is fantastic. However, as a shooting guard I expect more production from him on the offensive side- specifically from beyond the three-point line.
If KCP doesn’t improve from long, I see him leaving the team after this season in free agency, or possibly an even better scenario- traded away. Either way, I don’t expect KCP to be part of the Pistons for the future.
Jake Carroll covers the Detroit Pistons and the NBA. Follow him on Twitter @carrjaco14.
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