The Detroit Pistons are looking to rebound from a poor performance in the 08-09 season. With Rasheed Wallace and possibly Antonio McDyess leaving for free agency, the Pistons' frontcourt needs a major rebuild.
The most likely scenario for this rebuild is going to center around a trade involving Richard Hamilton or Tayshaun Prince and Amir Johnson or Jason Maxiell for Chris Bosh.
Trading away Hamilton or Prince is a reasonable risk because there are a couple of players entering free agency that could be very serviceable replacements. Players such as Ben Gordan or Hedo Turkoglu, both of which would vastly improve our three-point shooting. Also Marvin Williams from the Hawks will be a restricted free agent.
This trade will allow the Pistons to get a quality big man, a position this free agency and draft are relatively week in.
I'm not sold on Carlos Boozer, he does have some minor injury problems, although none of the injuries should hamper his ability to play in the future. He is a decent inside threat and averages 20ppg and 10rpg whens he's healthy.
His size and defense are of concern though. He averages well under one block per game and his scoring on the inside could be viewed as inflated because he plays next to Mehmet Okur in Utah.
Okur likes to play around the perimeter and shoot threes, which he is very good at (1.3 treys a game at 44% shooting), this forces the opposing center to play further out, allowing Boozer to work inside more effectively. Boozer most likely won't get that luxury here in Detroit, with Wallace probably not returning.
Pairing Boozer with McDyess, if we do re-sign him, doesn't look too appealing on paper either. Both are only around 6' 9", would not be able to handle the likes of Dwight Howard or Yao Ming, and neither have impressive blocks per game.
Also, McDyess is getting older and probably wouldn't be too thrilled playing starters minutes again this year.
This year's draft could improve the Pistons' frontcourt a lot if they draft in the first three spots. Outside of Blake Griffin and Hasheem Thabeet there's not much belief that there's an impact big man in the draft.
I do like Dejuan Blair, he gets about 10rpg in college and scouts say rebounds translate to the NBA level better than most other stats. Dejuan Blair could even be available when the Pistons pick at 15.
However, his faults are that he is little undersized for a four. Listed at 6' 7", he might have a hard time adjusting his game to playing under the rim if he can't use his bulk against the fours and fives in the NBA like he did in college.
If the Pistons end up drafting the highest quality player left, it's likely to be a point guard. Ty Lawson, Johnny Flynn, Tyreke Evens, Stephan Curry, and Jeff Teague all have a chance of being around at the 15th pick. It might be a good idea for the Pistons to take one of these players.
I like Rodney Stuckey a lot, he has great potential and is still the future for Detroit, but Dumars has said that he wants to play Will Bynum and Stuckey together for stretches of games. This leaves room for a third point guard to make up the left over minutes.
I really like Curry because of his ability to make treys, which the Pistons were terrible at this year.
So, with little help to be found for the frontcourt in the draft or free agency, a trade looks to be the surest way to patch the hole down low.
Now, the Pistons could go a couple of ways here. New Orleans is looking to shed payroll and were open to sending Tyson Chandler away.
The Clippers have a glut of very good big men in Chis Kaman, Marcus Camby, and Zach Randolph.
Also, the Wizards could look to unload Antawn Jamison if they manage the first pick and draft Griffin.
Or the Raptors could shop around Bosh in fear of losing him for nothing to free agency in 2010.
Chandler might seem like a good fit for the Pistons and could be had for really cheap, but he might not be as good as advertised. A lot of his points come from fast breaks and alley-oops from Chris Paul.
He is a seven-footer though and could be a force down low, but his price might be to high for giving us similar skills to Kwame Brown, who is half the price (if he doesn't opt out).
The Clippers look tempting as trade partners too, in order to shore up the frontcourt. They might be looking for a little more back in a trade than the Hornets though, because they aren't in payroll shedding mode.
That would most likely mean Hamilton or Prince as bait and I don't know if either of those players are wanted by the Clippers, since they have Eric Gordon and Al Thorton up and coming. I do like all three of their big men though but not nearly as much Bosh.
Getting Jamison would take a large amount of luck by multiple parties. First the Wizards would have to draft Griffin. They would most likely need to win the lottery to do that.
Then they would have to be open to a trade with the Pistons. Prince seems to be the most likely option as it would give the Wizards a strong defensive presence, which they have lacked for a while. This seems to be the least likely option today (draft lottery happens Tuesday, so it might seem more plausible then).
Now, on to Bosh. He's listed at 6' 10" or 6' 11", depending on who's listing. He averages over 20ppg, 10rpg, and one bpg, as well as 2.5apg. He's also only 27, so he still has a long career left.
For this to work, Toronto is going to have to really fear losing Bosh to free agency in 2010. This might be more likely near the trade deadline in February. We also have a piece to the puzzle that the Raptors lack in Prince.
Shawn Marion is old and has shown significant signs of decline in his game. The trade would also most likely require Maxiell or Johnson, who could be replaceable if we draft Blair.
To me, trading for Bosh and replacing either Hamilton or Prince with Gordon or Turkoglu seems like the surest way to address the needs of the Pistons.
Ideally this would leave us with a starting five of Stuckey, Gordon, Prince, Bosh, and Brown or Stuckey, Hamilton, Turkoglu, Bosh, and Brown.
Either of those lineups should be capable of putting 50 wins in the Pistons' stat box.