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Pistons receive B grade for offseason

Chad Ford of ESPN:

Key additions: Andre Drummond (draft), Corey Maggette (trade), Vyacheslav Kravtsov (FA), Khris Middleton (draft), Kim English (draft)

Key subtractions: Ben Gordon

The Pistons finally got their big man. Whether he is the next Dwight Howard or Kwame Brown is anyone’s guess.

Drummond looks the part of an NBA superstar. He is huge and super athletic and looks like the perfect complement to Greg Monroe on the front line. He is also very raw, and the word out of Detroit already is patience. Long term, adding Drummond could be the move that puts the Pistons over the top. Or not. The talent is there, but there are legitimate questions about the heart.

The Pistons also found a taker for the remaining two years and $25 million of Gordon’s contract. Trading for Maggette was more about salary-cap relief than basketball. That trade should guarantee the Pistons significant cap room next summer to make another addition.

Overall, the Pistons moves shouldn’t have a major impact on the court this season, but the seeds are being sown for a robust harvest down the road.


Ford’s ‘B’ grade sounds about right. As much as I disliked the Ben Gordon-Corey Maggette trade, nothing mattered more for the Pistons than drafting Andre Drummondan A-plus move. Add solid acquisitions like Vyacheslav Kravtsov and Kim English, and the Pistons had a positive offseason.


  • Jul 25, 20121:33 pm
    by jacob


    Chad Ford gave a lot of teams a good grade. Like the Hornets an A. They don’t even have a point gaurd anymore.

  • Jul 25, 20121:54 pm
    by Lapin


    I don’t think we can grade until we see how the new bigs come along and how and if Frank’s rotation works with tons of wings and tweeners. Joe D added lots of potential and created lots of competition for minuets. Hopefully the competition will be healthy and positive. Besides, we still have about 3 months of offseason left.

    • Jul 26, 201212:05 am
      by jacob


      Ford did state at the beginning of this article that this (grading teams) would be like giving a student a final grade after the first week of class.

  • Jul 25, 20122:03 pm
    by Keith


    The offseason is always a time of hope. Ford also has spent most of the last year all over rookies, and could probably talk himself into any one of them. There is an overarching trend in the way the media reacts. Offseason and preseason is all about what a team CAN do, about all the potential for greatness they have. Mid season is all about tearing teams apart for not reaching the lofty expectations of pre-season, or gushing over the unexpected improvement of an obscure team. The end of the season is all about reality, coming to terms with where each team really is and what they need to get better. Then we are in the offseason again and every rookie is going to be that star missing piece.
    I think the Pistons deserved a C+ for the offseason. The Gordon trade was necessary, but not ideal – a C-. The team didn’t move up in the draft, but didn’t move down, a C. They seem to have drafted well, but also took a ton of risk with Drummond (B+). They didn’t unload any other bad contracts, and didn’t sign any real rotation players (D+). They may have struck gold, but are years away from knowing it, and will be bad until they know.

  • Jul 25, 20122:28 pm
    by Remy Porsella


    Irrelevant comment here, but I just want to say how much I love pistonpowered. The atmosphere is so friendly and all of the comments are insightful and positive. It’s not like ESPN.com or youtube, where every comment is a battle with other people and every other word is “douche” or “fag”". Thank you commenters for making this the best website in the world.

    • Jul 25, 20122:59 pm
      by Vic


      I agree it’s kind of refreshing to get away from negativity and bitterness sometimes

    • Jul 25, 20123:03 pm
      by Daye and Knight


      No problem douche bag!!! Lol it can get crazy here but it hasn’t been in a while so that’s always a good thing

    • Jul 25, 20127:23 pm
      by labatts


      You are so right.  I’ve kinda burnt out of the whole blog commenting thing — except for here.  IMHO, the authors deserve credit as well as the friendly commenters.

  • Jul 25, 20124:40 pm
    by MNM


    I don’t really consider the draft an “offseason move”. I consider the draft to be “the draft” and “offseason moves” to be like trading and/or releasing players, signing free agents, firing/hiring coaches, etc.  Therfor, the only thing the Pistons have done was trade the most expensive multi-year contract veteran on the roster (Ben Gordon) 2 days before the draft for a expensive expiring contract veteran (Corey Maggette), where they also had to give up a future 1st round pick to make the deal in the 1st place. Then the other day signed a young big man from the Ukraine (who, if we are all being honest with ourselfs, we know little to nothing about) to a multi-year deal.  This is all they have done up to today which is July 25th..after telling us how for 3 years they were in a “holding pattern”, because they were without a “real owner” and were not allowed to make any moves in fear that it would or could hurt an impending sale of the team.. So far, this is all they’ve done.. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again.. “That’s not good enough”. 
    There are plenty of teams that have been making moves like trading guys who I’ve never heard of for draft picks (which is something the Pistons can use). Why Detroit sits around and does nothing, I’ll never understand.  Im sick of reading about “Is Ben Wallace coming back?! We don’t know, but he’s 50/50 right now and they have 1 spot left on the roster!”.. The fact that this is what we are left to breakdown is L.A.M.E. The fact that Chad Ford gave them a “B” is not suprising, because that’s what he does.. He’s never short on givng credit to teams.. He typically tends to be too generous. But at this point, Im giving the Pistons a “C-” or a “C”..and that’s only because they did SOMETHING over a month ago. I understand that it’s only July and they still have time this offseason to make a move. If they do, then I will give them a better grade. For me the offseason ends on the night before the Pistons regular season starts.. I just hope they are pro-active by then.

  • Jul 25, 20128:00 pm
    by Jodi Jezz


    Chad Ford is a joke…I’ll never take what he says seriously…

    • Jul 25, 201210:28 pm
      by Patrick Hayes


      Why? He’s probably the national writer who is most well-connected to the Pistons front office. He seems to have a decent relationship with Dumars and has broke a lot of Pistons news over the years.

  • Jul 25, 201210:09 pm
    by ryan


    All things considered I’m pretty happy with where we are right now but of course i wish we could’ve done a little better. For example the Ben Gordon trade was a very good move because we had to get rid of Gordon but giving up that pick was too much with too little protection. The deal straight up would’ve been a clear win as it is it’s a gamble.
    Drafting Andre Drummond is also a move I like but I still think we could’ve found a way to trade down for two picks. Nobody knows how the various rookies will turn out at this point but given Meyers Leonard’s positive showing in Vegas I would’ve preferred a combination of Leonard and Jeremy Lamb to only Andre Drummond (even though Kim English is already set to have his jersey retired on opening night). We gambled with Drummond and I think it’s a solid gamble but I would’ve liked to get a little more.
    The signing of Vyacheslave Kravtsov seems like a good move even though we know very little about the guy so again I like this move. The other thing is that by losing Vernon Macklin for nothing we’ve kind of negated this positive move. Why didn’t we get on the ball and get Macklin a job in Europe where he can get minutes and a good salary and we retain his rights? That’s the kind of smart move top teams make because it keeps an asset in their hand (more so) and it sends a very good message to the rest of the league about how they take care of their guys.
    So I give our off season a C based on it being largely a product of luck (AD falling to us), with a little smarts (picking up Kim English) and a lot of one step forward one step back moves (the trade and free agent signings). Also because there is more dead wood that needs to be trimmed from our roster and so far that hasn’t happened. I am hoping that we’re waiting to find better deals but who knows.
    Also I REALLY appreciate the general friendly atmosphere here. I’ve left discussion groups because they degenerated into ridiculous bickering and personal attacks so it’s nice to see people here can be pretty cool with each other.

  • Jul 25, 201211:37 pm
    by Giles mills


    I just want to say, John Henson looked really good in the summer league…..

  • Jul 26, 20124:11 am
    by ryan


    He’s a summer league superstar.

  • Jul 26, 20123:24 pm
    by Keith


    Henson was came out as a junior, playing for a great coach on a great team. It should come as no surprise that he is more prepared for summer league level competition. Same with Zeller. Not saying they don’t also have the skills to succeed in the regular season, but Drummond is a 2 year away project. Just because Henson or Zeller look like rotation players early doesn’t mean Drummond won’t be a star (something neither of those two are likely to become) later.

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