General manager Joe Dumars apparently got the message.
Detroit Pistons fans and team owner Tom Gores haven't been happy with the on-court product. The inexperienced rosters over the past five seasons has put together a record of 150-244. The losing and team dysfunction has also resulted in their fourth head coach since 2008, in Maurice Cheeks.
More importantly, it's installed a "win now" mindset for Dumars, and the man has been shuffling for change and improvement. The Pistons made an impact in the draft grabbing first-round guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, and hidden gems like Peyton Siva and Tony Mitchell in the second round.
Dumars even reached overseas for shooting help when he signed small forward Luigi Datome from Italy.
But the majority of the talk has surrounded the big-named faces. Dumars made a big splash signing forward Josh Smith earlier in the month. And now the most recent acquisition of a sign-and-trade bringing former Milwaukee Bucks guard Brandon Jennings to Detroit. The Pistons sent guard Brandon Knight, swingman Khris Middleton and center Viacheslav Kravtsov to the Bucks.
After demanding big money this offseason, and Milwaukee showing no interest in retaining Jennings, the Pistons broke little blood signing him to a three-year deal worth $24 million.
Detroit made some moves to help shape up their 15-man roster, but it will be quite the challenge managing the playing style and personalities of the new-look Pistons.
With all these changes however, what else could happen in the future of this team? Here are some possibilities.
You can't help but wonder how long the Pistons will tinker with the experiment of playing Josh Smith and Greg Monroe together. Despite the fact that Moose will start at power forward, expect Monroe and Smith to interchange a lot in the front court. With no backup center, Monroe will see plenty of time at center and Smith will rotate with the second unit at power forward.
Playing in a contract year, are the Pistons looking to extend their young big man's contract? Dumars has only deemed center Andre Drummond "untouchable", but not Monroe. Plus his name has been mentioned enough as a landing chip for Boston guard Rajon Rondo.
With the possibility of Monroe already reaching his ceiling, he's expendable. For the right price, the Pistons could definitely be in the hunt to move Moose, especially if he struggles to succeed next to Smith.
Don't forget the expiring deals of guard Rodney Stuckey and forward Charlie Villanueva. The Pistons already offered both players to Toronto for forward Rudy Gay. There's still a possibility they look to dump at least one of those contracts by the start of the season.
Playing in the Eastern Conference is a gift and a curse for teams like the Detroit Pistons. With this new core of talent, the Pistons are now good enough to slide into the postseason.
The gift is playing in a lack-luster conference ran by only a couple elite teams (Indiana, New York) and one super team in the two-time defending NBA champions. After Chicago, and maybe Brooklyn, the rest of the East is far more inferior.
Detroit should be able to score a lot more points and certainly improve defensively. They could be working with an average ceiling and only seeing the first-round of the playoffs as no higher than a No. 6 seed.
The Pistons certainly have added enough fire-power to boost their low number in attendance as well as fall into the playoffs. Seriously contending for a title is still years away in their rebuilding plan.
Clash of the Lefties?
Detroit already had enough on their plate in finding a way to make forwards Josh Smith and Greg Monroe work together on the court. The best answer to those two gelling would have been the addition of a pass-first Rondo-esque point guard, or the departure of Monroe.
Instead of finding a sure equalizer, Dumars took another gamble on another lefty in guard Brandon Jennings. Him being left-handed isn't an issue, but his playing-style could be hazardous to the Pistons' development.
The majority of Detroit's offense will come from their lefty trio of Jennings, Smith and Monroe. Jennings has averaged over 15 shots in his four seasons with Milwaukee, Smith's averaged just over 14 in his past seven seasons in Atlanta and Monroe has averaged 10.5 in three years in Detroit. Monroe averaged a career-high 13.1 points-per-game last season.
While Monroe has been consistent and efficient shooting just over 51 percent, Smith and Jennings have been headaches with their shot selections.
Jennings has averaged 17 points and 5.7 assists with Milwaukee. He's a talented passer but not an efficient enough distributor, especially since he's a shoot-first point guard.
Jennings' biggest issues and scariest concerns were his high-volume and inconsistent shooting. His 39 percent average from the field and 35 percent from three-point range certainly scared some teams away this summer. He's also a tremendous liability on defense due to size and poor discipline. BBallBreakDown.com created an in-depth video showing the inefficiencies of Jennings' game that kept him on the market for so long.
He's not much of an orchestrator or leader for that manner. Demanding the money he wanted, as well as his lack of leadership as a point guard also played a role in Jennings' long stay on the market.
With Monroe out of the lineup, the Pistons can run and show off a bit of their athleticism with Jennings, Smith, and Drummond. Detroit can possibly exploit their shooters as well like veteran guard Chauncey Billups, Luigi Datome and Kyle Singler.
The scary thought however is Jennings and Smith get too trigger-happy, especially behind the arc. The new Piston guard can show his explosiveness by driving and creating in the paint for guys like Drummond and Smith, instead of settling for fall-away threes.
Maybe Mo Cheeks can find a suiting rotation where these new pieces can fit together, but it doesn't seem so certain at the moment. It will be enough to find a comfortable fit playing together. The new coaching staff with Cheeks and different faces like Rasheed Wallace could have a difficult time keeping the personalities of Jennings and Smith in line.
Better days are on the horizon for the Pistons, but how good is the question. Time will tell as the productive offseason continues and Dumars continues to shake things up.
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