A new era in the Motor City
The 2011 NBA Draft brought a lot of anticipation with it for Pistons fans.
There were several players out there that could help the Pistons out in their quest back to respectability. Through the draft, the Pistons acquired Brandon Knight, Kyle Singler, and Vernon Macklin.
With the draft in the rear-view mirror, Joe Dumars and the Detroit Pistons still have a lot of work to do to compete this coming season. There are numerous holes in the roster and position battles everywhere.
The team has laid out a solid foundation, starting with the draft, but they must find a coach that will maximize the potential of the young pieces.
Knight while at Kentucky
With the eighth overall pick, the Pistons selected Brandon Knight out of Kentucky, immediately filling the need at point guard.
There were some questions whether he would be a one or a two, but in Detroit he will undoubtably be given the the reins early. He will most likely start from the git-go next to Rodney Stuckey.
His development will be the key to this coming season and the future of the franchise.
Kyle Singler was a very interesting addition for the Pistons as they already have several other "tweener" type players on the roster. I like Singler's game but I don't necessarily think he was a great fit with guys like Keith Benson still on the board.
However, there is a lot to like about Singler's game. He is a good spot up shooter, he handles the rock well and is a very heady player. With the right scheme, he could be quite a weapon, but finding playing time right now may be an issue.
Vernon Macklin is also headed to the Motor City. While all the reports suggest he is a great kid, he lacks any semblance of an offensive game. He is athletic and imposing and, most importantly, he has a big body.
That alone may help him make the squad, but I see him playing in Europe for a while.
There is one obvious hole when looking at the Piston's roster: inside.
Greg Monroe had an eye-opening rookie campaign yet is only one man. He looks to have the power-forward position locked up in Detroit for many years, yet outside of him, there is nothing. Charlie Villanueva is more of an inside-outside player, Austin Daye is a very tall small forward, and Ben Wallace is a shade of his former self.
There are two free agent big men that would be great fits for the Pistons. Tyson Chandler is a perfect complement to Greg Monroe. Monroe is a great passer and finisher, while Chandler is a banger. It would give the Pistons as formidable of a starting frontcourt as there is in the NBA. Chandler is a winner, something that few of the current Pistons are.
Along with Tyson Chandler, the Pistons should look in the direction of Leon Powe. All of the other bigs on the roster are your garden-variety bangers. Powe has a refined offensive game and is a healthy year away form being a star.
With the arrival of Brandon Knight, there emerges a need for a veteran point guard presence to mentor him.
Earl Boykins could be a perfect fit. He has been around the league a long time and has overcome long odds.
This would be a cheap, sensible solution.
Rip Hamilton has become an icon in Detroit.
The man in the mask has become a hero for many kids throughout Michigan. With that being said, Hamilton is killing the team from within.
He was at odds with former coach John Kuester from the beginning, causing turmoil all season. He is not trying hard or buying in anymore.
All this, along with decreased production, signifies his need for an exit. It will require a trade, yet if the Pistons pay some of his contract, finding a suitor shouldn't be too hard.
They have spurned him twice. And been wrong twice.
Bill Laimbeer is the right choice for the Motor City. It is a blue collar town and a blue collar team. And nobody was more blue collar than Laimbeer.
He was a force in the middle for years for the Pistons. He doesn't pull any punches and has a history of success. He has yet to be a head coach in the NBA, but he will succeed when he gets his chance; it might as well be in Detroit.
Laimbeer will implement a tough nosed defensive scheme and reemphasize toughness. These will both be welcomed in Detroit as they have been missing since the trade of Chauncey Billups.
With these changes, the Pistons will be in a great position to compete in the coming years. The team has undergone many changes recently and needs a lot of work, but the 2004 championship was not that long ago and hope still glistens.
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