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Detroit Pistons fall to 25th in ESPN’s Future Power Rankings

Chad Ford and John Hollinger have released their latest Future Power Rankings, and the Pistons fell from No. 22 to No. 25:

The hard times that have befallen the city of Detroit continue to hammer the Pistons’ front door as they continue to slide in our rankings. The days of hardcore fans filling the Palace are gone. The Bad Boys are taking on a completely different (and unwanted) connotation. Given yet another rough start to the season, it’s pretty hard to be confident in the future of the franchise.

The team is still up for sale, with no clear resolution coming anytime soon. The team lacks a legitimate star. They’re bogged down by bad contracts on their books for the next few seasons. And the roster lacks any proven long-term options in the middle.

The two bright spots for the Pistons have been Rodney Stuckey, who is having the best season of his young career, and rookie Greg Monroe, who has shown a few glimmers of progress after a very slow start.

But there isn’t much help on the way for the young duo, as Joe Dumars‘ hands are tied a bit until the team is sold. If the Pistons are going to do anything in the next few years, they’ll need to get Richard Hamilton off the books, make a trade-deadline deal that gives them value for Tayshaun Prince and develop a couple of their prospects. That’s a lot of ifs for a team that was a lock to play deep into the playoffs for the past decade.

13 Comments

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  • Dec 16, 20103:42 pm
    by nuetes

    Reply

    I saw this earlier, and I find it funny they have Minnesota as worse off than the Pistons. Minny isn’t exactly a free agent destination, but with the way they are set up they certainly have the ability to have a brighter future than the Pistons. I do agree with some of them though. To me Charlotte, Detroit, Atlanta, Cleveland, and Memphis are probably 5 of the most screwed teams right now as far as the future goes.

  • Dec 16, 20103:54 pm
    by Laser

    Reply

    i agree with this and never understood how some rankings still had these clowns at 23 after that toronto fiasco. the only place where i really disagree is that rip doesn’t NEED to go… as long as either stuckey or gordon did. rip would look better than those two in a different uniform, but i’d settle for any of the three getting outta’ dodge. and no matter what other moves we make, we’re going to be bad until that happens.

  • Dec 16, 20103:55 pm
    by Laser

    Reply

    ah, now i see that it’s future rankings. in that case i can’t see how we’re not 30th. there are FIVE teams with a bleaker outlook than us???

  • Dec 16, 20105:54 pm
    by Jacob

    Reply

    Do these future rankings really mean anything? That’s why they play the game….and there is always the current great unknown of the new CBA which can affect a lot about the future

  • Dec 16, 20107:58 pm
    by Laser

    Reply

    uh, do current rankings mean anything? does any of our discussion here mean anything? no harm in predicting the fates of teams around the league. and by any standard, ours looks grim right now.

  • Dec 16, 201010:52 pm
    by Jacob

    Reply

    @Laser: no there’s no harm in it, but neither do I think it should be taken too seriously. These are projections over the next 3 years. Think about 3 years ago….would anybody have thought the Heat would be in the position they’re in? How about a team called the OKC Thunder challenging for a top spot in the west? A lot can happen in 3 years. Besides, anything written by Hollinger needs to be taken with a HUGE grain of salt

  • Dec 17, 201012:27 am
    by Laser

    Reply

    well, it’s an exercise in something i guess. not quite futility, but close. thing is, there is a limited amount of predictability to these things. take into account a team’s flexibility, project the progression (or regression) of their players. there’s plenty you can’t predict, but you can see patterns emerge and which teams appear poised to be good/bad in the near future. fortunes can change, and it’s all educated guesswork, but i think it’s in good fun. and i don’t think anyone takes it terribly seriously.
     
    teams like the heat and thunder, i suppose you’d have to look at the future rankings from three years ago to know what ford and hollinger thought, but i think their respective positions could have been foreseen to some extent. the heat had been positioning themselves for last summer for a few years, they had the loyalty of a superstar. the thunder (were they still the sonics?) had a sure-fire future superstar had been building with young talent since trading ray allen, so they might have been a trendy pick. you get the idea. and the pistons would have to catch a hell of a lucky break (or ten) to be any good any time soon.

  • Dec 17, 201012:43 am
    by Laser

    Reply

    for instance: imagine we get a clue and trade t-mac to someone like chicago for their first rounder. chicago slips a little now that noah is out for 2 months, but they land a 7 seed. we make a similar trade that swaps tayshaun for an unproductive expiring deal like new york’s eddy curry and land their first rounders for the next two seasons. new york also lands a pair of bottom playoff seeds in consecutive seasons. and these aren’t stretches at all. both of those guys are expiring and could do some good elsewhere. so we end up with three first rounders this year (a lottery pick plus two in the late teens) and two next year (face it: another lottery pick and one in the late teens). we strike gold one of these two years and jump to a top three pick, landing a franchise quality player. the other lottery pick is pretty much a stud, and two of the three mid-first rounders pan out nicely and end up being very solid contributors. suddenly we’ve got a very young, cheap team and the future looks incredibly bright. we contend for years to come.
     
    or, in the alternative: we hold onto these guys for no good reason, let them walk in free agency, and continue to stink. our future remains bleak.
     
    so yeah, nobody knows what the future holds, but once the dominoes start to fall and you get an idea of what kind of talent and flexibility a team has, some things are predictable. there are always x-factors, but some teams are easy to figure out. don’t forget, you can lock guys up for five-six years, which can lock a team into a holding pattern, good or bad.

  • Dec 17, 201012:45 am
    by nuetes

    Reply

    Well yeah I would agree these things should be taken with a grain of salt for the most part, because a trade could always change the fortunes of a team, as well as getting a steal in the draft. Look no further than the Knicks, who for as many first round picks as they’ve had to trade away over the years to get rid of all their contracts, the 1st round picks they have made have turned out well. Gallo and Chandler are alright. Fields was a 2nd round steal. Signed Felton and Amare and they are back in business. Probably seemed like they were never going to reach this day a couple years ago.
     
    The biggest predictor of future failure would have to be a long-term capped out team with fading talent, and very little developing talent. Charlotte fits that to a T, which is why they are last in those rankings. Memphis is killing itself by offering all these players long-term deals when they’ve already proven they aren’t good enough to get them anywhere. Atlanta killed themselves by offering Johnson that contract in a bad market. There are situations where you can say for sure teams are not going to be looking too good a few years from now. With the Pistons it’s a tough call. But unless some moves get made it’s not going to be looking pretty.

  • Dec 17, 20108:24 am
    by Patrick Hayes

    Reply

    Landry Fields is to nuetes as Austin Daye is to DetroitPCB.

  • Dec 17, 201010:03 am
    by Jacob

    Reply

    All good points. These type of predictions are all in good fun, and I was just hoping that no one was looking at this and getting depressed because we’re ranked 25th, since these type of predictions are simply subjective projections and don’t mean a whole lot. Anything Hollinger is usually done based on advanced mathematical formulas, chemical reactions, bunsen burners, beakers with green liquid and smoke coming out of them…..and not actually about the games, so I don’t take it very seriously. Maybe I’m just an optimistic fan, but I think our future outlook is brighter than more than just 5 other teams.

  • Dec 17, 20102:12 pm
    by Laser

    Reply

    @nuetes: don’t forget, charlotte also has financial issues. i suppose it’s a bad market (like atlanta), but ownership doesn’t want to spend at all. so that’s a factor. another issue in atlanta, where they defied the odds, is the sheed trade where we “FLEECED” them (by some bizarre definition some folks choose to subscribe to somehow) to end up with josh smith. i think they’re a middling team with joe johnson and al horford as their one-two punch, but adding josh smith to that core elevates them to “very good.” they’ve got other good players too, of course, but there’s a big difference between having two stars and having three. and they owe it all to the “misfortune” of the pistons “robbing them blind” for rasheed.
     
    @jacob: you’re just an optimistic fan. sorry.

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