However, it became apparent that Piston fans weren't satisfied with only one championship and two finals appearances, and that the team would welcome change if it were to bring improvements and the possibility of another championship to the Motor City.
After a promising 2-0 start, President of Basketball Operations, Joe Dumars made a move that shocked the professional basketball world when he traded Chauncey Billups, Mr. Big Shot himself, and the one player that could be attributed with Detroit's past success, for Allen Iverson, Mr. Big Head himself, and the one player who can be deemed the most egotistical player in the NBA.
Now at first, NBA experts believed that bringing Iverson to Detroit would put the team over the top, citing Iverson's will to win as the main component, and the fact that he is probably the more talented player.
To make a long story short, the move completely backfired on the Pistons—leading to a sub .500 record and obvious chemistry issues within the team.
Nevertheless, the Pistons have somehow remained in the playoff picture and will likely secure the eighth spot in the Eastern Conference.
However, regardless of what does happen in this year's playoffs, it is a season that will be forgotten and it has become evident that immense change is necessary.
This summer will be an important one for Dumars and the Pistons organization, with nearly $38 million in salary cap space and multiple voids within the starting lineup.
While some believe that it will require multiple complex modifications, I believe that this Pistons team can be repaired, improved, and transformed into a contender with three rather simple moves.
With my first move, I would immediately sign Carlos Boozer.
It has become public knowledge that he is unhappy with his role in Utah and the possibility of coming off the bench has brought him greater displeasure still.
There is no doubt that Joe Dumars has the ability to lure players and Detroit seems like a place Boozer would fit in nicely.
If my math is correct, by linking my other two moves, the Pistons would have between $17 million and $18 million to offer the forward–which should be more than enough to lock him up for the long haul.
My second move would be to trade the team's first round pick in this year's draft to Chicago for Kirk Hinrich.
Depending on how much the Bulls are looking to get for the guard, the team may have to add a little in order to get the Bulls to pull the trigger.
He is clearly a better point guard option than Rodney Stuckey–averaging 16 points and six assists per game in the last three years.
Hinrich is due $9.5 million next season in a front-end loaded contract, and with Derrick Rose being the point guard of the future, the Bulls don't need a $9 million paperweight.
By completing both moves, the Pistons would add roughly $27 million to the payroll, but would feature a starting lineup of Kirk Hinrich, Richard Hamilton, Tayshaun Prince, and Carlos Boozer, with a question mark at the center position—which is where my third move comes into the picture.
For the finale, Joe Dumars would send Rodney Stuckey to the Los Angeles Clippers for Chris Kaman and the Clippers' 2009 second round pick.
Now, before I go into detail, when Dumars drafted Stuckey, his contract was thrown straight into the Bermuda Triangle.
Dumars will never, ever, ever trade Stuckey. It just won't happen. But, if the Pistons did do this, they would add roughly $9 million in salary, which would bring the total off-season spending spree to $36 million. Kaman, a top ten true center, has proven that he has a polished low-post game and that he can average a double-double, which is all that's really needed out of a Piston center. A frontcourt of Prince, Boozer and Kaman is among the best in the NBA.
Yet, with these three moves, the Pistons will once again have a formidable starting lineup consisting of Kirk Hinrich, Richard Hamilton, Tayshaun Prince, Carlos Boozer, and Chris Kaman.
Along with the starting five, the team would boast a bench of Will Bynum, Arron Afflalo, Jason Maxiell, and Kwame Brown as well as other pieces.
In retrospect, the reality of all or any of these changes being made are slim. However, each of these three moves would work within the limits of the salary cap and would clearly make the Pistons the contender that Detroit has grown used to.
But who knows what Joe Dumars has in stock. Maybe he'll trade Hamilton, Stuckey, and Tayshaun, or maybe he'll just stay put. Until then, we wait.
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