Detroit has a new head coach/president/Ron Jeremy impersonator all wrapped up in one person. Stan Van Gundy steps into those roles after two years of being a radio/television talking head. He doesn’t have either Pat Riley or Dwight Howard there to push him out, so this is the most stable job he has ever had.
Stan Van Gundy’s job might be stable, but it won’t be easy. This team desperately needs blown up. You have two talented big men, but due to salary cap, they might need to move one in order to gain cap space and begin the rebuilding process. Can Detroit surprise us and sneak into the 8th spot in the East?
We will be posting a team preview for every team up until the start of the regular season.
Here is the 2014-15 NBA season preview for the Detroit Pistons.
2013-14 Win/Loss Record: 29-53
Key Additions: SF Caron Butler, PG D.J. Augustin, SG Jodie Meeks, PG Spencer Dinwiddie, C Joel Anthony, PF Cartier Martin & C Aaron Gray
Key Losses: PG Rodney Stuckey, PG Will Bynum, PF Charlie Villanueva, PG Chauncey Billips, PF Josh Harrellson & PG Peyton Silva
Projected Starters: Andre Drummond, Greg Monroe, Josh Smith, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope & Brandon Jennings
Fantasy Sleeper: SF Kyle Singler – Singler was a guy who kept playing hard, even when Detroit was double-digit games out of the 8th seed in the East. He isn’t expected to start many games, but he’s Josh Smith’s backup. I expect the Pistons to find any way possible to rid themselves of his contract. This will free up playing time for Singler. I think he can have the kind of career Mike Dunleavy has had in the NBA.
Team Analysis: The biggest trade rumor that never happened was a rumored trade between Detroit and Sacramento. The bulk of the trade would be Josh Smith for Rudy Gay (with other pieces added in to make the salary cap work). It would basically be a money swap, since neither team really views either player as a piece to instantly make them great. If Detroit trades Smith, they can keep Drummond and Monroe. If they can’t trade Smith, one of their big men will need to go.
This team needs blown up. Joe Dumars (who Van Gundy replaced as team president) was desperate to keep his job, so he signed free agents to bloated contracts year after year. This team is now stuck with guys like Brandon Jennings and Josh Smith. I would say anyone not named Drummond, Monroe, and Singler are expendable.
Detroit won’t make the playoffs this year, but this year will be Year One of their rebuilding process. Things will get worse before they get better.
2014-15 Wins Over/Under Betting Line: 36 (Prediction: UNDER)
2014-15 Projected Win/Loss Record: 33-49 (11th in Eastern Conference)
Bobby Roberts (otherwise known as Sweetbob) is the creator of ‘America’s White Boy’ and contributor at Project Shanks. His writing has been featured on ESPN’s ‘SportsNation’, Sports Illustrated’s Hot Clicks, Guyspeed, and various other sites. You can follow him on Twitter at @Sweetbob.