Detroit Pistons' Quality Over Quantity: How They Can Improve Their Fortunes
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As the latest NBA season has begun, the Detroit Pistons are off to an excellent start, and appear to be back to their winning ways of 2004.
Oh, wait. That's not what's happening at all.
Despite a win over the Warriors on Nov. 7, the Pistons are off to a horrible start to the season, showcasing an uncertain lineup and a 2-5 record to start.
Although their record isn't the worst in the league (several teams have only one win), it is quite disappointing for a team seemingly stacked with depth and talent.
So what's the problem?
As the title of the article suggests, the Pistons have accumulated a roster that can be described simply as quantity over quality.
Now, this doesn't mean that the Pistons have more players on their roster than other teams. It means that their roster is made up of a whole lot of good players, and zero great players.
Apart from perhaps Ben Gordon, who finds himself coming off the bench and likely regretting his choice to sign with the lottery-bound and log-jammed Detroit team, the Pistons have no player capable of putting up 20+ points per game for a whole season, and they certainly don't have a point guard who can dish out more than six assists per game.
Without a dominant go-to guy, the Pistons have no chance to compete with the league's elite, and have no reliable closer.
The Pistons are exceptionally deep, and although depth is certainly not a bad thing, too much of it can lead to chemistry problems and prevent solid young players from developing.
The problem is clear; the solution is simple.
Make a trade.
At shooting guard, the Pistons have Ben Gordon, Richard Hamilton, Terrico White and when not forced to play out of position at point guard, Rodney Stuckey.
They have one true point guard: Will Bynum, a very capable backup, but not necessarily starter material.
At small forward, the Pistons have Tayshaun Prince, Austin Daye, Tracy McGrady and Dajuan Summers.
At power forward, Detroit has Charlie Villanueva, Jonas Jerebko and Jason Maxiell.
And at center, they have Ben Wallace, Greg Monroe and Chris Wilcox.
From this roster, a few things can easily be concluded.
One, they are in need of a new point guard. Two, they have too many good players at the shooting guard and power forward spots, and no great players.
Three, there is a solid amount of youth on this team. And four, as I mentioned before, they have plenty of good players, but no star.
The Pistons have a number of players they could potentially use as trade bait, and their depth would certainly look appealing to a team looking to improve their bench or free up room for a young star.
Jonny Flynn didn't seem to gel well in Kurt Rambis' triangle offense, and with the impending arrival of Spanish superstar Ricky Rubio and the offseason acquisition of Luke Ridnour, his services may no longer be needed in Minnesota.
In addition, the pastures could be greener in Minnesota, and some help at the center and shooting guard positions wouldn't hurt the Timberwolves.
The Pistons could offer Charlie Villanueva and Dajuan Summers, plus a draft pick, for Jonny Flynn and Nikola Pekovic.
The salaries match up, and the trade would supply the Pistons with a young, true point guard to run the team, while the Timberwolves could use Charlie Villanueva to space the floor, freeing up the paint for franchise player Kevin Love, who complained about lack of room to operate in the post last year when Al Jefferson was in Minnesota.
Love has the size to start at center, so Villanueva could be the Wolves starting power forward. If David Kahn still insisted on starting superstar Darko Milicic, Villanueva could resume his role as sixth man on a new team.
Another potential player the Pistons could trade for is Andre Iguodala. The 76ers are apparently open to trade offers for Iguodala, as they worry he will restrict the development of rookie Evan Turner.
Iguodala, like Turner, is more of a playmaker than a scorer, and Turner would likely fit better with an elite scorer and shooter. Ben Gordon comes to mind. The Pistons could potentially trade Ben Gordon (or Richard Hamilton and a pick) for Iguodala.
Detroit could also package in Jonas Jerebko and receive a bonus of Jodie Meeks. The Pistons would acquire a defensive stopper and some semblance of a franchise player in Iguodala, along with an explosive scorer in Meeks.
Meanwhile, Gordon could fire away on the 76ers off dishes from Turner and Jrue Holiday.
I believe that both of these trades would greatly benefit all parties involved, and that the Pistons must make some sort of trade in order to improve their playoff hopes, even if it isn't one of those listed above. The Pistons have the assets to become a playoff team in the East, but in order to do so they will need good coaching and some new faces.
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