Detroit Pistons use Summer to reshape team

Tracy HeckCorrespondent IAugust 13, 2009

ORLANDO, FL - MAY 30: Ben Wallace #4 of the Cleveland Cavaliers looks on from the bench against the Orlando Magic in Game Six of the Eastern Conference Finals during the 2009 Playoffs at Amway Arena on May 30, 2009 in Orlando, Florida. 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 Elsa/Getty Images)

As the Summer has moved on, Detroit Pistons General Manager Joe Dumars has continued to make moves to hopefully make his team a contender for the NBA championship once again.

After a lackluster season that ended in a early exit in the first round of the playoffs, it was time for a change.

Dumars began the season with the questionable hiring of first time Coach Michael Curry and then went on to complete the disasterous Chauncey Billups/Allen Iverson trade. By the time the season ended, it was obvious that the Pistons team was lacking big players in the middle and needed some younger, fresh blood in order to be able to compete at the level they had been used to.

Dumars started the offseason by drafting forwards Austin Daye, DaJuan Summers and Jonas Jerebko. Although none of them are powerhouse players they've played well during the Summer league and show promise.

Dumars went on to pick up shooting guard Ben Gordon and power forward Charlie Villanueva in the free agency market and traded for forwards Fabricio Oberto and Chris Wilcox. Dumars then went on to fire Coach Curry and hired another first year coach in John Kuester.

The hiring of Kuester was met with a lot of protest, particularly since Dumars had stated he was looking for more experience. The team's talks with Avery Johnson stalled after he asked for more money and guarantees than they were willing to part with.

Although Kuester's hiring was questionable, it does make sense. Kuester is known for his strong offense and previously worked as an assistant coach for the Pistons. He has a strong releationship with the Pistons top players and he understands Dumars' vision.

After hiring Kuester, the Pistons made the surprising announcement that Brian Hill would become an assistant coach. Hill is an ex-head coach and Kuester used to be his assistant.

Around the same time that Kuester was hired, both Antonio McDyess and Rasheed Wallace chose to sign with other teams, leaving two huge holes in the Pistons lineup. However, this week the Pistons re-signed former center Ben Wallace, which will hopefully help fill those holes.

Wallace has had his offensive issues in the past but he is still a strong presence in the middle. His defensive strength will also be a huge benefit to the team.

Many of Dumar's moves haven't been very popular but when you look at the big picture, the Pistons look a lot stronger than they did last year. With eight of the team's 14 roster spots occupied by new players it should be a interesting season.