The Detroit Pistons will have a much different look going into the 2009-10 season. The heart of the championship team of 2004 is gone. There is no Ben Wallace, no Chauncey Billups, and no Rasheed Wallace. Antonio McDyess and the once future of the Pistons, Amir Johnson were also lost to free agency and a trade of Johnson. The team will even have a different coach in John Kuester, as the experiment of Michael Curry lasted only a season.
The future of the Pistons is much brighter than in years past. The additions of younger, blossoming superstars, Ben Gordon and Charlie Villaneuva along with the drafting of Austin Daye and free agent signing of Chris Wilcox, solidifies Detroit as a contender again. The steady play and leadership from veterans Rip Hamilton and Tayshaun Prince won't hurt either.
The draft and free agency created much needed depth from a team that seemed depleted last year. The guard position is well represented, with Rip and Gordon at the 2 slot and Rodney Stuckey and Will Bynum at the point. Tayshaun Prince and rookie Austin Daye are almost mirror images of each other at small forward. Villaneuva should give the team more scoring, especially from 3-point range. Jason Maxiell and the rookie from Georgetown Dajuan Summers will provide the dirty work off the bench. Kwame Brown improved steadily last season. The once promising #1 overall pick has finally found a home in Detroit and will probably be the starting center.
The changes made for the 2009-10 season only reflect how disappointing last year was. Joe Dumars seems determined not to go through that again. The Pistons should be contenders, although it won't be easy with Cleveland, Boston, Orlando, and Chicago all improving, as well.