Current Detroit Pistons Players Who Must Take a Bigger Role in 2013-14
The Detroit Pistons are a team that seems to be constantly in transition.
At this time of the year, there are plenty of team issues for us to concern ourselves with as fans.
They are looking for a new head coach, they have plenty of cap space to sign a free agent or five and they are about a month away from the NBA draft and yet another high pick.
That being said, let's take a look at the current roster and figure out who on the team needs to take a step forward and have a bigger role with the Pistons next year.
Brandon Knight, PG
It may seem odd that I'm pointing out Brandon Knight right off the bat.
Knight has been a starter since being drafted two years ago and has been a largely effective player for the Pistons.
That being said, he has been wildly inconsistent.
Now we can go back and forth and round and round about who's fault that is. He obviously wasn't utilized properly by Lawrence Frank and has been forced to shift roles between point guard and scoring guard.
The Pistons, in order to take the next step in their development, need to figure out what Knight is.
Is he a point guard who just needs proper grooming, or is he a shooting guard who is very undersized?
Ideally, Knight will take the point guard job and run with it. But in order to do so, he needs to bring his assists total to around seven per game and keep his turnovers right around two-and-a-half.
He also needs to do a better job of setting up teammates for easy looks and finding the right balance between scoring and passing.
Andre Drummond, C
Alright, so if you were scratching your head on the first one, you are probably jumping up and down by now.
Didn't we all decide that Andre Drummond was the most impressive Pistons rookie since Grant Hill?
Absolutely, Drummond had a very good rookie year. He exceeded almost everyone's expectations and handed in an exciting campaign.
But he did still only average around eight points and eight rebounds. Sure, he did that in around 20 minutes per game.
The fact of the matter is that Drummond needs to take the next step as a sophomore. He needs to learn from Greg Monroe who took a big jump in his second year.
The Pistons need Drummond to average around 10-12 points and 10-12 rebounds. They also would like to see him average around two blocks per game.
He certainly is capable of that and more.
Khris Middleton, F/G
One of the biggest problems facing the Pistons is a lack of depth on the wings.
They really only have two legitimate small forwards on the roster, and neither is particularly athletic.
Khris Middleton took nearly the entire season to get off the bench, but then he showed some real potential late in the year.
He can catch-and-shoot incredibly well, he moves well without the ball, and he seems to be developing his deep ball.
Middleton could certainly stand to improve his ball-handling and driving capabilities. Right now, he is best served as a mid-range jump-shooter.
The Pistons aren't asking Middleton to become the starting small forward, but it would be nice to see him become a regular rotation player. I could see him getting around five or six points per game off the bench and providing a different wrinkle to the offense.
Jonas Jerebko, F
Jonas Jerebko has been somewhat of a sad story.
As a rookie, he burst onto the scene as a fan favorite. He was athletic, good-looking and inspired the crowd with his hard play.
But after a major injury sidelined him as a second-year player, Jerebko has struggled to regain his former spot in the rotation and in the fans' hearts.
Jerebko needs to become the athletic stretch 4 that the Pistons hoped Charlie Villanueva would become.
He has the quickness and athleticism to burn traditional power forwards. What he needs to work on is his perimeter jumper. If he can consistently knock down threes, he could become a very valued bench player.
The Pistons would love to see Jerebko put up around 10-12 points and eight boards per game.
Rodney Stuckey, G
Let me preface this by saying that the Pistons probably should trade Rodney Stuckey.
He has a non-guaranteed contract, decent name recognition and is still young enough that he could turn things around.
But as a Piston, he has been largely disappointing. And he took a major step back in his development last year.
Should Stuckey stick around, the Pistons need him to really compete with whomever the Pistons draft to be the best shooting guard on the team.
Stuckey needs to improve his shooting, especially from the perimeter and find a way to finish on a much more consistent basis. This is a player who can drive past nearly everyone in the league, yet somehow is content just getting to the line and not following through and getting his points.
If Stuckey can win the shooting guard job, he needs to be scoring between 16-18 points per game.