Pistons: Where Will They Be Next Year?

Brian MitchellContributor IJune 27, 2009

AUBURN HILLS, MI - NOVEMBER 04: President of Basketball Operations Joe Dumars of the Detroit Pistons introduces Allen Iverson #1 at press conference after being traded from the Denver Nuggets on November 4, 2008 at the Palace of Auburn Hills in Auburn Hills, Michigan. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

With the Cleveland Cavaliers obtaining Shaq and the Orlando Magic getting Vince Carter, and the Boston Celtics returning a healthy team, where will the Detroit Pistons stand? Is Joe Dumars secretly trying to build the Pistons as a contender for the 2011-2012 when most of the top Eastern powers will be broken up?

Let's look at it this way. In two years, the aging Boston Celtics will no longer be. With Ray Allen likely playing in his final 2 years, Boston is not likely to be the same team. Their window of opportunity is thin. The Cavaliers will not have the same team because of an aging Shaq and Ilgauskas and the chance of Lebron James not returning to Cleveland. Orlando will have an aged Vince Carter and once again have the weakness of the shooting guard and small forward spot.

If the Pistons were able to add Ben Gordon, and Carlos Boozer right now, they would not be able to contend for a championship this year. The move to draft Darko over Dwayne Wade, Carmello Anthony, and Chris Bosh may have affected the balance of power of the Eastern Conference. Imagine if Dumars had selected Dwayne Wade. The Cavs, Magic, and Celtics might all still be looking up to the Pistons. Instead, Joe Dumars has to take a step back in order to produce another contender.

It seems like many teams are realizing that they won't win for the next couple of years so they are cleaning shop. The Phoenix Suns have realized this and are throwing in the towel. Shaq's gone and maybe Amare Stoudemire too. The New Jersey NetsMilwaukee Bucks, and Timberwolves are cashing in their chips too.

From the looks of things, Rasheed Wallace is not likely to return to the Pistons and trade talks of Richard Hamilton and Tayshaun Prince are swirling. The chances are that the Pistons expectations won't be the Eastern Conference finals. Detroit will be ok but nothing special even with big free agent signings. The chemistry will have to develop but when it does, look out! The draft picks will need time to develop as well. One thing is sure though. The Pistons 2011 team will be one to watch.

Prediction: Borderline Playoff Team