With injuries to Will Bynum, Ben Gordon, Charlie Villanueva, Chucky Atkins, and Rip Hamilton, the Pistons were unlikely to go even a quarter of the season with a full squad come game time.
So how can the Pistons make a change to become a better team next season and actually be a playoff contender? Well, unfortunately there isn't much they can do.
The Pistons have five players being paid over $5 million. Rip Hamilton: $12.5 million, Tayshaun Prince: $11.15 million, Ben Gordon: $10.8 million, Charlie Villanueva: $7.02 million, and Jason Maxiell: $5.0 million.
Then you have Rodney Stuckey, Austin Daye, Jonas Jerebko, and DaJuan Summers whose salaries add up to about $6.09 million.
Then you have the first-round draft pick, Chris Wilcox's possible $3 million player option deal, and open roster spots.
The cap this season will most likely be right around $56.1 million and the Pistons are sitting at around $55.77 to $58.3 million which gives them pretty much no room to work with in cap space.
The best thing for this team to do is try to stay healthy. If this team stays healthy and Gordon and Villanueva step up, they might be a legit eighth-seeded team in the East (but we will see what happens in free agency and what amazing players the Knicks, Nets, Heat, Bulls, and even the Celtics get to determine just the type of chance the Pistons even have this season).
With all these teams in the East with plenty of cap space, it may be another nightmare season for the Pistons.
Expect to see pretty much the same roster on the Pistons squad next season. Most likely the Pistons will go and draft a big man in the draft such as DeMarcus Cousins or Cole Aldrich if they are available and re-sign both Will Bynum and Ben Wallace.
The only way the Pistons can become a better team is if they can somehow find a way to trade Hamilton and/or Prince and maybe even a Rodney Stuckey.
Many Pistons fans seem to think trading Stuckey and Prince would be the most logical move for the Pistons, but it's not going to happen.
Dumars will not trade away Prince or even Hamilton unless they receive a player in return that brings in more talent. Dumars is not going to trade-off players just for cap flexibility for the 2011 free agency where the market isn't as great (besides Carmelo Anthony).
Everyone also seems to think that Stuckey is a hot prospect to be trading with an expiring contract in 2011. But like I said, after this season not many teams are going to be looking to make much cap room for 2011 after spending all their money on free agents this offseason.
Dumars sees a bright future in Stuckey and sees him in the long-term plans so he will most likely offer Stuckey a contract extension at some point next season and keep building around him.
But in the end, unless the Pistons can bring in a star player and make a couple really good trades, it looks like the Pistons will not make it past the regular season once again.
But on the bright side, Detroit may see yet another high first-round draft pick to help continue getting this team younger talent.