As the field for the NBA Finals is now down to 4 (
Indiana, Miami, SAS, Memphis), the hopes and dreams of the other 26 teams have faded quickly. Some of them (Clippers, Knicks, Nuggets, OKC) left the playoffs too early, some of them (Lakers, Brooklyn) never materialized what they thought was a great team, and others (Minnesota, Philadelphia) were hit by the injury bug and never got to see their team perform at expectations. So as 4 teams compete for the ultimate goal, let’s go over what each team needs, in order to reach the conference finals next year. We’re going to go over a few teams each week as we approach the NBA draft.
Group K – Not really sure what’s going on here…
27 – Pistons
The bad: Tayshaun Prince, the last holdover from their 2004 championship team, is gone, and what they got in exchange (Calderon) might not even return to their team. The good: No Darko. The bad: for a team who hasn’t had much luck in recent years, they once again had no luck and ended up in the 7-9 pick range as they have now done for 4 straight years. The good: Greg Monroe, Brandon Knight, and Andre Drummond are those picks from the last 3 years, meaning they consistently pick superbly well in that position.
To being, those 3 are keepers, but they need some scoring and some point guard duties to make them a good team. They really could benefit from a veteran PG like Calderon who will be charged with continuing to develop their core players, so I vote that they keep him. Definitely dump Villanueva if only because his last deal was the worst ever and let Will Bynum go as well. What they’d be left with is the core 3, a veteran PG, and some nice bench pieces in Kyle Singler, Jonas “do they think you need a lanky player to win a championship” Jerebko. All of this and now they get to draft someone too, means that the Pistons could be looking up. The only question is who do they draft? Do they take a PG (Carter-Williams, McCollum) to be groomed under Calderon? Do they take a PG in lieu of Calderon? Do they instead opt for a scorer, which they greatly need? Well if that’s the case, maybe they should consider trying to either trade up to get a Ben McLemore or make a deal for a proven NBA scorer. Or they can take McCollum who is a scoring PG ala Damian Lillard, and make him into a passing PG as well under Calderon. They do have a lot of solid assets to trade. I would definitely like them to go out and sign or sign and trade Monta Ellis, who can at least keep them interesting as they continue to develop a new group of Bad ‘Boys.
Needs: Point Guard, Shooting Guard, Veteran
Monta Ellis (FA)
Key Bench Players:
CJ McCollum (draft)
Would this team make it to the Conference Finals? No.
Would this team make it to the Playoffs? Yes. If they ended up with Monta Ellis, I do believe this is a playoff team. But I’m not positive they’d spend money on him as an immediate fix since they’ve clearly been patient for a few years.
Could I be completely off and they don’t resign Calderon, don’t get a scorer like Ellis, don’t get a strong PG in the draft and look nothing like what I think they can become? Yes. Easily. And that’s why they’re in “Group K – Not really sure what’s going on here…”.