Projected Starting 5: Brandon Jennings, Chauncey Billups, Josh Smith, Greg Monroe, Andre Drummond
Bench: Rodney Stuckey, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Peyton Siva, Will Bynum, Charlie Villanueva, Luigi Datome, Jonas Jerebko, Kyle Singler, Tony Mitchell, Josh Harrellson.
Let's talk about the Detroit Pistons. The team that won 29 games last season, finishing 11th in the Eastern Conference, and 4th in the Central division. A team that could hang tough, but didn't have what it takes to win games. They didn't have a go-to guy, but this season, everything has changed. Personally, I believe that the Pistons are the team to watch in the Eastern Conference. Pistons GM, Joe Dumars, heading into the offseason, had money to spend. With the knowledge of the guys who were going to be available following seasons end, you could say he went all out.
You could say he got off to a good start. According to ESPN's Chad Ford, Dumars had a pretty successful draft, who graded the Pistons with a 'B', bringing in Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Tony Mitchell, and Peyton Siva. Onto Free Agency. On July 11th, Detroit signed Hawks unrestricted free agent, Josh Smith, to a four-year, $54 million deal. Bringing in Josh Smith is a huge addition, not only because he was the best available after D12 and CP3, but because he adds a new dimension to this Pistons squad. Before this move, the Pistons had a young, and athletic team. With guys like Rodney Stuckey, Andre Drummond, Greg Monroe, and Jonas Jerebko. That same day, the Detroit brought back the guy who was with the team the last time they experienced success, the 2004 NBA Finals MVP, Chauncey Billups. Mr. Big Shot agreed to rejoin the Pistons on a two-year, $5 million deal.
About three weeks later, on July 30th, the Pistons agreed to a sign-and-trade to acquire Bucks restricted free agent, Brandon Jennings. In this deal, where the Pistons got Jennings, the Bucks acquired guard Brandon Knight, forward Khris Middleton, and center Viacheslav Kravtsov. The contract that Jennings signed, was for $24 million, over three years.
So, watch out for the Detroit Pistons, they just may surprise you with their success.
Prediction: 50-32 (3rd in Central, 5th in East)