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Pistons climb ESPN future power rankings

Chad Ford and John Hollinger of ESPN released their future power rankings, which they describe as:

The Future Power Rankings are ESPN Insider’s projection of the on-court success expected for each team in the 2013-14, 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons.

The Pistons ranked 22nd:

The Pistons moved up six spots with their strongest summer in recent memory. The team was able to jettison Ben Gordon’s ugly contract, land a potential star in Andre Drummond in the draft and, for the first time in a while, is looking at some potential cap room starting in the summer of 2013.

Getting the Bobcats to take back Gordon’s contract was the big reason the Pistons moved up, as it affords Detroit the type of cap flexibility it hasn’t had since 2009. We expect them to use it more wisely than they did last time.

Essentially every other category remains the same. Greg Monroe remains a bright spot. Rodney Stuckey is solid. Brandon Knight, Austin Daye, Jonas Jerebko and Drummond all show promise. But overall, the Pistons are stuck with the 26th-best roster in a 30-team league.

If Monroe, Knight and Drummond show progress next season and if the Pistons can make a savvy move or two next summer, they have a chance to make a much bigger leap next year. As for now, patience is still the word in Detroit.

(Previous rank: 28)

Only the Hornets and Lakers – teams that acquired big men with elite value – jumped more than the Pistons since the last rankings, which came out in February. The Pistons have made steady steps in the right direction over the last couple years – mostly by drafting well – and it’s exciting to see their progress recognized.

I think Ford and Hollinger didn’t ding the Pistons enough for giving up a draft pick to dump Ben Gordon, though. But that pick is most likely to be transferred in 2014, so it won’t have much effect on the 2013-14, 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons.


  • Aug 16, 20129:55 am
    by XstreamINsanity


    *hangs head for lack of faith shown by Mr. Feldman*

    I really believe that the Pistons have the players, coach and ability to make the 8th seed in the East this year.

    XstreamINsanity’s 2012-11 Playoff Prediction (in no particular order) 
    Miami – LOCK
    Philadelphia – LOCK
    Boston – LOCK
    Indiana – LOCK
    Brooklynn – 80% Chance (Chemistry issues)
    New York – 80% Chance
    Atlanta – 50% Chance
    Orlando – 30% Chance
    Chicago – 60% Chance (Really depends on Rose)
    Milwaukee - 40% Chance 
    Toronto – 25% Chance
    Cleveland – 30% Chance
    Washington – 20% Chance
    Charlotte – 1% Chance
    Detroit – 35% Chance

    And I’m not saying that as a homer either, but based off of the transactions each team has made this year along with lingering injuries and draft choices, that’s how I see it playing out. There are four teams that have a higher percentage than Detroit, but that’s why I used percentages rather than rankings.  Atlanta I may have too high after losing Joe Johnson and Marvin Williams.  Milwaukee may also be too high as they’re going to have to learn to gel and we’ll have to see how Rubio is off of his injury.  Have faith my man, have faith.  I don’t want that pick this year because it’s a weak draft, so let’s hope we make it into the playoffs.

    • Aug 16, 201210:10 am
      by JT's Hoops Blog


      Detroit has a 35% chance to make the playoffs?  I find that rether dubious consideriig teams such as Toronto and Washington have more depth and talent in their rosters than the Pistons ever have.

      • Aug 16, 201211:32 am
        by XstreamINsanity


        NINE of Washington’s thirteen players (9/13 or 69%) have played 3 years or less in the NBA.  That number goes to TEN of thirteen if you go to only 4 years in the NBA.  That’s a lot of youth, much of it unproven and they showed major chemistry issues last year.  Their only veterans are Nene, Okafor and Ariza (could be a chemistry issue).

        The Raptors currently show 18 people on their roster, so I can’t specifically say how many of them will actually play for the Raptors this year.  More than likely only one of the FOUR rookies they have will see real minutes. On paper, they look like a bunch of role players or semi-stars.  I did give them a 25% chance which was higher than Washington.  Last year, 9 of their 23 wins were against playoff teams and they played a playoff team 39 times (by raw eye count).  That’s just over 25%.  And look who they have in their division: Philadelphia, Boston, New York and Brooklyn.  All of those teams are likely to be in the playoffs again and Toronto plays them more than others.

        The reason why I have the Pistons at 35% is because Coach has been really getting with the guys a lot this season, they’ve been making sure to be in the gym a lot more this off season (since they can), some vets went to Summer League just to practice with the guys, we have great potential with two brand new 6’11″+ guys for defense, Knight should (crosses fingers) be a better distributor this year, and we finally look like we have Chemistry again.

        But did you really say “more depth and talent in their rosters than the Pistons ever have.”?  You must not know much about Detroit basketball.  :)

    • Aug 16, 201210:34 am
      by Travis


      I agree. If healthy and if they have a .500 record after the first 20 games, Detroit has legitimate chance. Toronto Raptors should be a good team to watch, but may have a off-court drama. 

      The Wizards don’t have depth unless you consider Okafur and Maurice Evans as dependable 15-20 minute role-players. 

    • Aug 16, 201212:00 pm
      by tarsier


      A) Feldman said “that pick is most likely to be transferred in 2014″. You say the Pistons have a 35% chance of getting into the playoffs in 2013. So why are you hanging your head? There is not more than a 5% chance of the pick being deferred all the way to 2015. So we’ll say by your estimates that there is a 60% chance of it being given to Charlotte in 2014. Isn’t that the most likely scenario then?

      B) In order to make your odds make sense, you have to remove 51% somewhere. Unless the NBA changes their format so that 8.51 teams can come out of the East.

      C) Odds are that Detroit will be better in 2013-14 than in 2012-13. It is much to early to predict the quality of either draft, but even assuming that the 2013 draft is substantially weaker, the Pistons’ pick will probably be more valuable in the 2013 draft just because it is likely to be higher. That said, I too am hoping the Pistons make the playoffs this year. The traded pick just has nothing to do with it.

    • Aug 16, 201212:06 pm
      by Keith


      You have to move Chicago to lock status. Even without Rose in recent years they have been a top 4 team in the east. They play the best defense in the league, and that alone makes them an easy slot into the playoffs (defense is the most consistent aspect of a team from game to game). That makes 5 locks and three open spots.

      I don’t see any way Detroit is better than New Jersey or New York. Those teams don’t play defense, but neither do we right now and they have more talent. That means we are essentially fighting with Atlanta (more talent/experienced), Milwaukee (far better defense), and Washington (more talented).

      Our talent is still very young. Knight is only in his second year, Drummond is a big time project. Monroe is the only consistently good player we have. Sure the East is weaker overall than the West, but you still have to be a decent team to make the playoffs. The last couple years we’ve been worse actually than our record would indicate (only two teams were worse than us in offense AND defense last year, and we were in the bottom 5 of both). Our record has actually been bolstered the last two years because we don’t actively tank and many of the similarly terrible teams reside in our conference (where we play them more).

    • Aug 16, 20123:38 pm
      by Reaction


      Detroit has a worse chance than Toronto and Washington(after those great additions recently to their roster)

    • Aug 17, 20129:51 am
      by Remlap23


      How has no one noticed that this guy thinks Ricky Rubio plays for Milwaukee?!

      • Aug 17, 201212:30 pm
        by XstreamINsanity


        Actually, someone on DBB did.  That was a mishap on my end.  :)  I posted that while doing something very important at work and my head wasn’t on straight.  Wish there was a way to edit posts.  :)

  • Aug 16, 201212:38 pm
    by Quick Darshan


    I don’t think losing next year’s draft pick would be that bad.  The team has enough young talent to develop.

    Singler and English have the potential to be solid bench players.  Jerebko already is and could develop into a quality starter.

    Monroe’s a keeper and potentially a max contract player.

    If Drummond and Knight develop into quality players you’re starting to look at luxury tax issues down the line. 

  • Aug 16, 20121:54 pm
    by Jodi Jezz


    I think its hilarious that you’re still basing your articles on anything that Chad Ford says…That guy has zero knowledge of professional basketball…

    • Aug 16, 20122:14 pm
      by Patrick Hayes


      That would still put him light years ahead of your basketball knowledge.

      • Aug 16, 20126:42 pm
        by Jodi Jezz


        I totally disagree!!!! I’m going to keep record of all the non-sense he says this season and hopefully by the end of the season you’ll stop sticking up for him…
        1. He didn’t think Drummond would be available at 9/ I called Drummond coming to Pistons
        2. He thinks our team is ranked 22nd in the league/ I’m calling the Pistons being 8th seed

        • Aug 16, 20129:18 pm
          by Jack


          OMG, I can not believe it.  For once I agree with Jodi.

  • Aug 16, 20123:38 pm
    by DasMark


    Detroit is in a position where they need to prove themselves to the league. They aren’t going to be given respect for management getting on a role of making good decisions. 

    They need to start cashing in on that bank of potential they’ve built up and start winning games.  Beating on the dogs of the league, and taking games from contenders as well.  

  • Aug 16, 20124:12 pm
    by Al


    They see a collection of guys with tallent to be more than an average group of young nba players. They all have something to prove and that votes well in Detroit’s favor. And they all seem to not mine being on this team which makes it even more worth the effort they have been putting foward. (Summer workouts, being around one another all summer and summer league) Most of the future current players got passed up in the draft which seems to be the motivation. It’s no question that they are at least headed in the right direction hence the ranking climb. The word is out, the Pistons won’t lay down and with that mentality they will do just fine…… Eventually???!?!?!?!?!?!?

  • Aug 16, 20126:21 pm
    by Otis


    Cosign the part about not dinging the Pistons enough for giving away that pick. So they accelerated the rebuilding process by a year, at the expense of a potentially huge asset. But they’re several years away from being competitive anyways. So all it did was sweep one of Joe’s bad signings under the rug three years too late. That was not a good trade. It was “fine” at best and requires no congratulations.
    Sure this team looks like it should be good in a few years. This isn’t an accomplishment. It’s just what happens when you bottom out, pretty much depriving the city of basketball entirely if you think about it, and get a lot of luck on draft night. I guess people just love to stroke Joe Dumars. (Not a news flash!)

  • Aug 16, 20126:54 pm
    by RussellC


    I think the Pistons are going to surprise some people this year. Even if he does nothing else I see Drummond as being able to contribute on defense fairly quickly. If he’s blocking and altering shots or at least making people think twice about coming inside those extra possessions could translate into another 10 points for the Pistons.  We need someone to be that all purpose wing defender like a Tony Allen. Maybe English, Singler, or Tayshaun visits the fountain of youth. Who knows???

  • Aug 16, 20127:56 pm
    by RyanK


    As much as it frustrates me to see the team isn’t rated higher, I can’t say for certain he’s wrong.  We have a lot of players capable of putting up consistently good numbers, but only one that’s seems to be able to blow up and dominate a game: Rodney Stuckey. 
    This season will tell us a lot.  Can Knight become the best player on the team?  Will Drummond turn into a dominate center?  If we have a solid group and Stuckey is our best player, we will not contend for a title.

    • Aug 16, 201210:51 pm
      by Anthony


      Huh? lol that makes no sence

  • Aug 16, 20128:09 pm
    by RyanK


    Gordon’s deal and Middleton are always Dan’s complaint.  I disagree the that first round pick is worth more than having the cap space a year earlier.  As far as Middleton goes, we’ll know this season if he is the next Glen Rice or the next Rodney White.

  • Aug 16, 20128:18 pm
    by Holy Crow


    As the broken bottle of cold duck drips from the bow of the Greg Monroe Future-hall-of-fame bandwagon, let me wipe a tear from the crow’s feet at the corner of my eye to offer my blessing to the Tom Gores’ California dreamin’ new-look Pistons, aho!
    Let it be known throughout the realm that young blood is in the lists and ready for a tilt.  Champions of the fairest ladies, the play-offs, we swear an oath to thee!
    To the play-offs!
    To the play-offs!
    To tha play-offs !

    • Aug 16, 20129:17 pm
      by RyanK


      Can I get a hit off that?

  • Aug 16, 201210:24 pm
    by Travis


    All I expect out of Drummond this year is to show flashes of superior talent. He’s going to get into foul trouble, he’s going to show off and miss easy baskets, and he is going to get dominated by smaller veteran centers. If you can live with that as a Pistons fan, you’ll have a much better time watching the Pistons this year.

    As for the Pistons, I want to see 8-10 close games where they remain competitive in the final seconds and either finish with a win or a heart-breaking loss. Finishing with the 8th seed is my expectation. The Pistons need to be in the 2013 playoffs to attract free agent visits and to build confidence in the talented roster.

  • Aug 16, 201211:10 pm
    by Anthony


    The pistons are going to surprise a lot of people this year. We finished the season off with an exclamation point and i look for them to continue. They should have more confidence heading into this season, and they should be! They will fight for the 8th seed this year, rather or not they make it depends on Knight, Stuck, Drummond, and Monroe. Switching to the 4 can be a little more difficult for Monroe then he thinks because hes slow… I also think Maggette is playing for a contract and has already proven he can score! There’s too much talent on this team to say that they can’t contend. Good luck to my Detroit Pistons and to all you haters, ill see you on the bandwagon next year~!  
    Prince will go to the Clippers for a draft pick and Grant hill by the dead line

  • Aug 17, 201212:19 am
    by Max


    It’s funny how he says the Pistons are stuck with the 26th best roster in the league when they haven’t finished that badly since the days when Don Chaney was coaching the team.  
    For my part, I think the season can break a lot of ways but I also think that if Stuckey is healthy all year that everything will break about as well as possible.  
    Regardless of anything else though, Monroe will break thought to star status league wide and he’s already much better than anyone on Washington or Toronto’s roster.  I will be shocked if he fails to make the all star game.

  • Aug 17, 20123:51 pm
    by Desolation Row


    Pistons in the playoffs this season, and you heard that from me. Put it front page, back page, middle of the page. Pistons in the playoffs this season.  

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