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Why have the San Antonio Spurs been one of the most successful teams in the league for the last two decades?
Sure, they got lucky and drafted Tim Duncan.
But what set them apart was the fact that they had a vision of what they wanted their team to be about, and then set their roster accordingly.
They drafted wisely, but mainly by drafting players that fit their system. So they got lucky with late-round picks like Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili, and DeJuan Blair.
They are a team built around character guys that hustle and play unselfishly. They also play great team defense and don't turn the ball over.
The Lakers have drafted wisely with guys like Andrew Bynum, but they also recognized the type of players that they wanted to surround Kobe Bryant with and set their roster accordingly.
Oklahoma City did the same with guys they surrounded Durant and Russell Westbrook with, such as James Harden, Serge Ibaka and Kendrick Perkins.
The Pistons floundered after their title years because they shifted who they were and decided on a different path that wasn't in their nature.
Had Detroit stuck with what made them a champion, they would have likely remained a good team. Instead, they sold their soul and brought in guys that were not Pistons' type of players.
Moving forward, they need to get back to their roots and start filling the roster accordingly.
Drafting is the most important part, but they also need to make some smart free-agent moves. Get guys that have something to prove, and boost their depth with character guys.
It seems that the Pistons have already figured this out by drafting guys like Monroe, Knight and Jerebko.