After doing my homework, I've decided that this is what I would do if I was Joe D., Detroit Pistons GM, for a day.
I'd drop Kwame Brown, Allen Iverson, Rasheed Wallace, Will Bynum, and Walter Hermann.
I'd re-sign Antonio McDyess on the cheap; you know he wants to be here. Otherwise, he would have signed with Boston, L.A., or Cleveland after the Denver deal.
I would also shop Rip for one lottery and one second-round pick. A perfect trade partner would be OKC; they have a great young point guard and two great young forwards. Following today's trade with New Orleans, they now have a center, so Rip would round out their five nicely.
My remaining starters are now SG Rodney Stuckey, SF Tayshaun Prince, and PF Amir Johnson. We've got question marks at the point and at center.
Now I'm ready to tackle the free agent market.
Stuckey and Aaron Afflalo cover the two, and both can back up at point, but we really need a new starter there.
We have Prince at the three; he plays serious minutes and we can bank on really anyone to backing him up.
We have Johnson and Jason Maxiell locking down the four, but we do still need a center.
Free-agent point guards to possibly pursue are Mike Bibby, Andre Miller, and Ramon Sessions (though he's restricted).
My list of free agents who could potentially fill the pivot position includes: Carlos Boozer, Mehmet Okur, Al Harrington, David Lee (restricted), and Charlie Villanueva (restricted).
With our draft pick that we acquired via the Rip trade, we'll target Wake Forest PG Jeff Teague. He's currently in the top five in scoring in the NCAA and is projected at the sixth spot overall in the draft.
With our awarded pick (should be around 17), we'll take Georgetown SF DaJuan Summers. And there will be no trading of first-rounders for second-rounders this year.
Then, with our awarded second-round pick, we either pick up UConn PG A.J. Price or UNC SF Danny Green.
Now the roster looks like this:
PG: Bibby OR Miller
C: Boozer, Memo, OR Lee
SF: Summers OR Green
PF AND C: Max AND McDyess
I really think that this would be a championship team, or at least a contender down the road. And if we put in the work this summer, we can just sit back and watch everyone stumble over themselves in the 2010 offseason.
The only free agents we have in 2010 are Amir and Walter Sharpe, so if we can just resign Amir that summer, we’d be in the clear.
Even if we can’t re-sign Amir in 2010, we could always go after a cheap big like Ben Wallace, Mikki More, Brad Miller, Joel Pryzbilla, Tyson Chandler, or Kenyon Martin, all of whom will be on the market come that July.