Former Grizzlies: None
Offseason in Review:
After falling to the Bucks in their first playoff appearance since 2015-16, the Detroit Pistons spent what money they could to try to upgrade the roster around Blake Griffin and Andre Drummond to stay competitive in what will be a fascinating Eastern Conference.
Their biggest acquisitions of the summer were drafting Sekou Doumbouya with the 15th pick of the 2019 Draft and signing former MVP Derrick Rose to fill the backup point guard spot to replace Ish Smith, who signed on with the Washington Wizards. Rose comes to Detroit after somewhat of a renaissance season with the Timberwolves in which he shot 37% from three-point range, which is by far a career best. The Pistons will no doubt hope that Rose will add a more dynamic scoring punch to their second unit.
They also made some moves to bolster the wing spot, as they traded Jon Leuer to the Bucks for Tony Snell and the 30th pick in the draft. While, for Milwaukee, the move was essentially a salary dump to keep guys like Khris Middleton and Brook Lopez, for the Pistons, it presents the opportunity to add a solid player to a wing rotation that desperately needed a shot in the arm.
They added Markieff Morris to solidify the forward position behind Blake Griffin. A capable rebounder and shooter, Morris can spell Griffin when the All-Star needs a break and could even provide a somewhat capable performance in case Griffin misses some time, as he has throughout his career.
Despite the high level of play we saw from Blake Griffin last year, the ceiling of this team seems pretty limited.
The moves made by the Pistons suggest that this team is intent on moving forward with the core that they have, but is this core really worth investing in? Last year, they won 41 games and had the honor of being first round fodder for the Milwaukee Bucks. This roster looks good enough in the Eastern Conference to compete for the honor of getting crushed by either the Bucks or Sixers.
The Pistons have a lot of money tied up in a “Big Three” (Griffin, Drummond, Jackson) that doesn’t increase their chances of competing for a championship and places them into a basketball purgatory. Not good enough to really compete, but not bad enough to rebuild through the draft. This situation is a real shame for Pistons fans, as Blake Griffin has been playing better than he ever has before, and this situation he is currently in is wasting his remaining prime years as a superstar.
But this is the reality that the Pistons have placed themselves in. It’s shaping up to be a so-so season in Motown.