It was obvious that the Pistons were going to be major players in free agency this summer.
With nearly $20 million available to rebuild, Pistons GM Joe Dumars made it clear that he was going to try and lure multiple impact players to Detroit. And on the first day of free agency, he did just that.
Joe Dumars reached agreements with former Connecticut Huskies Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva. Gordon's deal is rumored to be approximately $55 million over five years, while Villanueva's is said to be worth at least $35 million over five years.
With Gordon and Villanueva making up about $14 to 15 million of the team's current available cap room, there is only about $3 to 5 million left for the team to play with.
However, just because the Pistons brought in these names, I am a firm believer that there is still much work to do. Gordon and Villanueva are not known for their defensive abilities, and as it stands, this team is going to rank very low in many defensive categories.
By bringing in Gordon, you would have to assume that Richard Hamilton is now on the trading block. Though, I don't know what's available at this point, a defensive center with exceptional rebounding abilities has to be near the top of the list. Unfortunately, there aren't too many in the league and if they were, they'd probably be unavailable.
There has been one in trade talks this off season, however.
Tyson Chandler is the first name that comes to mind when addressing the need for a center.
He's a great rebounder, shot blocker and defender in the paint. The Pistons may be able to capitalize on New Orleans' willingness to, more or less, give him away.
Other than that, their options are slim.
The Pistons need to pray that Stuckey improves as a point guard and matures as a player. He's shown flashes of being a good guard, but is still very raw in terms of talent. If he doesn't develop, not only will the Pistons lack a center, they will lack a true point guard; the most important position on the court.
As for analyzing the Pistons' signings and off season as a whole, it is probably too soon. I don't see how Gordon and Villanueva are going to drastically improve this team, and while there weren't many options available in free agency, I think the money could have been spent more efficiently.
Depending on what Dumars is able to trade Hamilton for will set the tempo for the Pistons heading into the 2009 season.
I don't see the Pistons winning more than 45 games this year, and while that may be an improvement, there's not going to be much that the Pistons can do, in terms of flexibility, next summer.
2009 could be a long year for Pistons fans, but then again, maybe Dumars knows what he's doing.
He's made the right moves once in helping the Pistons to a NBA Championship and maybe he can do so again.
We'll find out soon.