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Pistons roundtable: Grading Detroit’s 2012-13 season

The (somewhat) annual Pistons roundtable has returned. Each day this week, our panel of Pistons writers will answer a question about the Pistons – all in one place. Please add your answers in the comments.

Was this season a success of failure for the Pistons?

Drew Sharp, Detroit Free Press

It was a success in that the franchise discovered the centerpiece around which all others players will orbit. Andre Drummond was much better than anyone foresaw as the ninth overall pick. There was actually interest in watching Drummond and Greg Monroe start together and then Drummond went down with the back injury. That killed whatever limited buzz there was for this team.

Mike Payne, Detroit Bad Boys

In a vacuum, this season was a failure by record alone. Yet unlike the last few seasons, it’s hard not to feel a sense of optimism going into the summer. Despite Detroit’s record, this season was a moral success in that the team finally severed its last remaining connection to the 2004 title team. It’s no longer grasping at the past, it has embraced its own future.

Phil Fattore, Pistons 101

The fact that the Pistons are missing the playoffs doesn’t make this season a failure. It’s the long stretches of uncompetitive play and a sub-30-win record that spells failure. Still, knowing that the Pistons have found their future in rookie Andre Drummond provides somewhat of a “saving grace.”

Daniel Poarch, Life on Dumars

A little bit of both, but I’ll say it was a “success,” based primarily on the play of Andre Drummond. Losing isn’t fun, but this team was not going to contend this season so seeing a top pick play like a future star is certainly encouraging. Now they may be in position to add another in this year’s lottery.

Eric Stafford, Life on Dumars

Would neither be an option? I don’t think you’d call this season a success by any means, but I also don’t think finding yourself a gem in Andre Drummond and a few solid rotational players in a season where expectations weren’t high to begin with would be classified as a failure either.

Thom Powell, Life on Dumars 

It’d be hard to call it anything other than a failure. The Pistons ended up in mid-lottery limbo again and failed to escape sub-mediocrity despite another excellent draft find in Andre Drummond. There were small victories — unloading Tayshaun Prince’s contract arguably chief among them — but this was another depressing season to be a Pistons fan.

Natalie Sitto, Need4Sheed.com

You can’t call a season a success for any team when they hover at the bottom of the standings all season long.  They didn’t make the playoffs and despite  a few good wins against the Heat and the Spurs, on most nights this team was harder to watch than the Dennis Rodman’s pajama party with Kim Jong-un.

Patrick Hayes, PistonPowered

With the emergence of Andre Drummond much quicker than even his most ardent pre-draft supporters predicted, it’s hard to call it anything but a success in the long run. But yeah, the on-court product was a total failure for the fifth season in a row now.

J.M. Poulard, PistonPowered

Failure. In my opinion, the team just wasn’t competitive enough and the time Andre Drummond missed took away some valuable NBA reps from him. When looking at the bigger picture, it’s difficult to see how this season helped the franchise going forward.

Jameson Draper, PistonPowered

The addition of Andre Drummond and the development of Greg Monroe really got me excited about this season and I recall talking about a possible playoff berth back in October. The Pistons got off on the wrong foot, starting the season 0-8, but were right back in contention again by mid-January. Right when the Pistons began to gun for the eight seed with Jose Calderon, Drummond got hurt, killing their playoff hopes. This season was a failure.

Brady Fredericksen, PistonPowered

Failure. The expectation, realistically, probably wasn’t playoffs, but it was for this team to show considerable growth. I don’t think that happened. Is this year’s team better than last year? Probably, but is that enough to warrant anything? Andre Drummond’s emergence late in the season is one of the only positives on court.

Dan Feldman, PistonPowered

Success. This season wasn’t pleasing, but it was necessary. The Pistons unearthed a gem (Andre Drummond), gave plenty of minutes to unproven young players (Brandon Knight, Kyle Singler, Khris Middleton, Kim English) and lost enough to keep their draft pick this season. Just three years ago, I asked panelists of this roundtable, “If you had to build a team around a current Piston besides Rodney Stuckey or Jonas Jerebko, whom would it be and why?” Seriously. I had to exempt Stuckey and Jerebko, because they were far and away Detroit’s most promising young players. This team desperately needed an upgrade in young talent – attained by wise drafting and committed curating – and this season accomplished that. Next season won’t be a success for meeting the same criteria, but standards had sunk so low, this year qualifies – barely – as a success.


  • Apr 15, 20131:40 pm
    by vic


    This season was a successful tank job, in that a team that could have easily made the playoffs – if it had started Drummond, or Drummond had not gotten injured when it signed Calderon – gets to pick up one more draft steal.

    In terms of basketball it was a failure.

    My preferred Lineup next season:
    Calderon/Nate Wolters 
    Otto Porter/Singler 
    Thats a lineup that could win in the playoffs next year and is well setup for the future with Nate learning from Calderon for a few years. Both Knight and Middleton will add muscle this summer and improve at shooting guard.
    Give Bill Laimbeer or Stan Van Gundy this roster to work with, and Detroit Basketball is back overnight.
    2nd option: 
    Trey Burke/Rodney Stuckey 
    James Ennis (draft pick)/Singler 
    James Ennis is a sleeper 2nd rounder with tremendous athleticism, defensive skill, and can shoot the 3 a little bit too. His weakness is assist/turnover ratio.
    This team will take a little longer to contend for a championship, but it has tremendous heart and athleticism, and potential with the right coach, Laimbeer or SVG.

    • Apr 15, 20134:12 pm
      by tarsier


      The Pistons better also be making a splash in FA. Otherwise, why give away the future first rounder?

      • Apr 15, 20138:44 pm
        by Vic


        That money can wait till next year

        • Apr 16, 20135:15 pm
          by tarsier


          Then why give away a first rounder?

    • Apr 15, 20135:31 pm
      by Pistons87


      “easily” made he playoffs is a bit much.  They were certainly a better team with Drummond but asking your 19 year old rookie to play 30+ minutes a night and lead us to playoffs without hitting a rookie wall and with suspect conditioning to begin with is a difficult task at best.

  • Apr 15, 20131:58 pm
    by Wolverines23


    This season was a failure.

    I like Vic’s line up, but I’m going to make an assumption that Calderon doesn’t sign with us, and we lose the last two games and hold on to 5th or 6th pick.

    I don’t think we have a shot at Porter (he goes at 3 or 4), so I’d draft Trey Burke or Oladipo:

    Trey Burke/ Rodney Stuckey
    Brandon Knight/ Kim English
    Khris Middleton/Kyle Singler (unless we sign a FA 3)
    Greg Monroe/Jonas Jerebko
    Andre Drummond/ Kravstov Slava

    I think it’s safe to say Knight plays SG, but if we go with Oladipo then he has to go back to the 1, or come off the bench:

    Brandon Knight/ Rodney Stuckey
    Victor Oladipo/ Kim English
    Khris Middleton/ Kyle Singler
    Greg Monroe/ Jonas Jerebko
    Andre Drummond/ Kravstov Slava

    • Apr 15, 20134:13 pm
      by oats


      Come off the bench… Way too many guys I’d go with over him in free agency to stick with Knight as a starting point guard. He is a terrible starting point guard.

    • Apr 15, 20134:15 pm
      by tarsier


      Pistons still have a reasonable shot at a top 3 pick.

      • Apr 15, 20134:36 pm
        by G


        I’m clinging to that hope with all I’ve got. I think they probably end up with the 7th if they don’t win the lotto.

        • Apr 15, 20136:19 pm
          by tarsier


          And it’s a year in which I’d be almost as happy with the third pick as the first.

  • Apr 15, 20132:31 pm
    by Quick Darshan


    To be determined…  The determining factor is whether players around the league saw enough in Monroe and Drummond to consider Detroit as a place where they could eventually win a championship.

    Drummond and Monroe are the cornerstone, but Detroit will need to attract some key free agents to become relevant.

  • Apr 15, 20132:33 pm
    by Huddy


    I find success in being able to be excited about what the team will do next.  The last few years there have been various promises of improvement mostly based our young players improving in the offseason, but this year we finally can anticipate some actual roster moves that can really change the look of the team.  it is hard to expect a team to look considerably better with the same roster after an extra few months of training camp, but a fresh draft pick and 20mil+ in cap room makes this a much more optimistic off season than we have had in a while.

  • Apr 15, 20132:40 pm
    by Corey


    I understand that free agency is hard to predict, but a projected roster that only shows current players, plus draft picks, won’t be remotely won’t the pistons look like next year. Especially if it doesn’t include CV in the rotation. If they amnesty CV, they’re looking at $30m in cap space this summer. I certainly hope they can add SOMEONE useful with that money. After all, there is a “minimum team salary” requirement in the CBA, and they’d be way under it.

  • Apr 15, 20132:43 pm
    by mixmasta


    Success for me.
    I watched more games this season than the past few years. Mainly because of Dre and Greg’s play, BK’s passion, and team movements.
    The last time I watched this many games was…..ahm…long time ago?

  • Apr 15, 20133:15 pm
    by DoctorDave


    Failure. Here’s why:
    While earning the 8th seed this year was probably a stretch, competing for the 8th seed shouldn’t have been. But they’re 9 games out of 8th seed. Read that again: 9 games out of 8th seed. How can that be a success in any fashion?
    Good points: the emergence of Drummond; the shedding of Gordon’s contract; two future all-stars playing BIG together (Drummond and Monroe); young genuine rotation pieces; the ability to see what can happen offensively with a legitmate point guard; moving two bad attitudes. There’s some promise here.
    Bad points: the Pistons are still two starters away from competing even for an 8th seed; no point guard (Calderon is not sticking around…) yet on next year’s roster; still too many wings; not enough depth at the 4-5 position; too many poor players; losing next year’s #1 pick (which at this point, they still need); a coach good with x/o’s but doesn’t seem to have the belief of his team; a GM that I love but that has appeared to have lost his mojo and ain’t getting it back; key player (Drummond) lost too much time to injury, and curiously didn’t start the first 30 games (what’s up with that?).
    The good points just aren’t enough to override the fact that this was a lousy season. Sure, there’s future hope; but hope doesn’t bring you a lot of W’s in the W/L column.
    Will BK7 become a PG? Can Singlar contribute to a winning rotation? What can the Pistons trade for CV’s expiring contract (no way they amnesty him now)? Will the draft land them one more piece? Will FA$$$ be smartly spent, or will it be “BGCVed?” (That’s a verb, by the way.)
    This offseason need to be another good one, or we’re doomed to 5 more years of hoops purgatory.

    • Apr 15, 20133:34 pm
      by Huddy


      Most of your “bad points” are things that are TBD for next season still.  The past few years we have finished the off season with issues like being a couple of starters away from competing or lacking depth, ,but we have those issues now prior to the draft, FA with cap room, and any trade opportunities based on upcoming expiring contracts.  For that reason I think it still haspotential for success.
      There are definitely a lot of unanswered questions still, but at least we have the entire offseason to see the answers as opposed to being in pre-season hoping all of our young guys have turned the corner.

    • Apr 15, 20134:21 pm
      by tarsier


      Shedding Gordon’s contract cannot be seen as a success unless Dumars hits the FA jackpot. A first round pick (probably between 10 and 20) is just a really steep price to pay for removing one year of a bad contract.

  • Apr 15, 20133:45 pm
    by neutes


    Feldman wins the roundtable, if you can do such a thing. This season was a resounding success on every account but the product on the court. Prince is gone, for a PG that is actually a PG, and ridding this team of two more years of Isolayshaun. Drummond is here. We now know that Knight is not viewed as a centerpiece to this rebuild. We kept our draft pick, have a chance at the lottery, have cap space, and have a future devoid of horrible contracts…that is, until we stockpile some this offseason. But that’s for a later discussion. Now, we rejoice, and reflect on a much needed season.

  • Apr 15, 20134:10 pm
    by danny


    A+++++++ another season of under performing is what I expected.  Getting a high draft pick and dumping bg and tay is amazing.  Frank is probably going to get fired after his “performance” which is another bonus in my eyes.  Now lets just draft a nice piece and get a couple of role players in the FA and I think we have a solid foundation to build on. 
    Is anyone opposed to having a stretch four on the floor?  I know it is way to soon to assess dre but I think he will be better than dwight.  He just needs a vet to mentor him in how the game is played and how it unfolds.  Bring big ben back to mentor the kid and watch him be the most dominate big in the league. 

  • Apr 15, 20134:13 pm
    by Moparguy


    I think that if he is smart Dumars does not use up all his cap space and tries to get solid players to fill in the holes around Drummond/Monroe. My idea leaves the team with stilla alot of cap space and solid players in the rotation. They would use the ending contracts of Stuckey/Charlie V to bring in some additional talent
    PG Trey Burke/Brandon Knight/D.J. Augustin
    SG- Arron Afflalo/Kris Middleton
    SF- Andre Iguodala/Kyle Singler/Rodney Williams
    PF Greg Monroe/Jonas Jerebko
    C- Andre Drummond/Glen Davis
    I realize that this probably isnt a top 4 team in the east.  But it does improve the quality of the wing players with better defenders, gives us a variety of young players at the PG position, and adds another post scorer in Davis.  Plus Igoudala gives us a nice leadership component and best of all keeps alot of the cap space the team needs intact

    • Apr 15, 20135:02 pm
      by Greg


      How will you get Affalo and Glen Davis away from Orlando? You will have to pay at least 12 Mio / year for Iguodala and propably 3-4 for Augustin, Affalo makes 8 Mio and Big Baby makes somthing around 4-5 Mio. Most of the Capspace would be gone Trading for Affalo would be a nice but we have no peaces that orlando could want.

      • Apr 15, 20136:29 pm
        by tarsier


        if we have no peaces they want, maybe we can find a conflict they’d like?

    • Apr 15, 20135:11 pm
      by RussellC


      I hope Iguodala opts out and we go after him. With him the Pistons don’t need to go after a point guard because they will have three primary ball handlers. I don’t know if they have enough cap space but Iguodala and Josh Smith would make them contenders in the East.

      • Apr 15, 20136:26 pm
        by tarsier


        Sign Smoove and Iggy. Draft Smart. Detroit’s starting lineup of Smart, Iggy, Smith, Monroe, Drummond can be the most talented bunch of turnover-prone players who can’t shoot in the NBA, maybe even in NBA history.

        I honestly think a really good coach could make it work, but it would be the most unnecessary and hilarious (if I wasn’t rooting for the Pistons) challenge in the league. 

  • Apr 15, 20134:39 pm
    by oats


    I think I’m going to have to say success. Coming in to the season the team didn’t have a clear foundation in place. At this time last year the team only had Monroe, a guy who probably was going to top out as a second banana. He had a chance to be more than that, and theoretically still does I guess, but it seemed unlikely. Drummond looks like a cornerstone guy. He’s the kind of guy teams build around and he looks the part of best player on a good team. Now with Monroe slipping in to that second guy role, the team has a core and the beginnings of an identity. That identity is that the talent is in the team’s bigs in a league that is progressively getting smaller. Obviously having holes around the perimeter means the team doesn’t have a true identity just yet, but there is something to build on and form one. Personally I’m hoping the team tries to copy the Spurs as much as possible.
    The on court product was a disaster, but the long term picture looks much better now than it did at the end of last season. That’s what I care about, getting the team to the point where it eventually is good. They are closer to that goal now than last year.

  • Apr 15, 20134:44 pm
    by G


    I’d say the season was a failure. 

    I thought based on how they finished last year, improvements with Knight and Monroe, and if Drummond turned into who we hoped he was (is), the ceiling for the 2012-13 Pistons was a bottom seed in the playoffs, #7 or #8. The floor was pretty close to what actually happened.

    Drummond turned out to be better than expected, so that’s sort of a sprinkling of sugar on this sh– sandwich, but it’s offset by Knight making no progress at all, Stuckey’s regression, and Monroe treading water.

    Dumars (or whoever) could turn it around pretty quick with a great draft pick and some quality acquisitions in the off-season, but I’d say this season as a whole was a big stinking failure.

  • Apr 15, 20135:38 pm
    by Pistons87


    Failure – They were unwatchable unless Andre was in the game.  Both Monroe’s and Knight’s development flatlined this year.  Stuckey regressed. Jerebko regressed although seemed to find his way at the end but certainly did not improve.  Kyle was a positive in that they found a serviceable rotation player, although they asked him to do way too much.  This team should have improved because our key players young players should have improved, but they were actually worse with pretty much the same players plus Drummond. 

  • Apr 15, 20137:03 pm
    by Travis


    Villanueva won’t be amnestied. Sorry folks. It will have to be a trade that brings in a draft pick and a veteran minimum player to get Dumars and Gores to approve the trade. Why? Villanueva’s salary that will come off the books in ’14 will be used to resign Monroe to 4 year contract, 5th year player option at $13.5M a season.  Dumars will use CV’s contract to create salary cap space and swapping CV’s for $7-$10 million dollars in salary won’t provide that flexibility next off-season.

    Obviously this is my humble opinion and a very big guess. Disagree on this scenario? And if so- why? 

  • Apr 15, 20137:09 pm
    by piston moribund


    oh sit, Collins resigned.  Sign him now, dont wait for frank.

    • Apr 15, 201310:23 pm
      by oats


      I really don’t like Collins. His offense seems to be designed to take as many mid range shots as possible. It is quite simply the worst way to score possible. Plus, Collins is very much not a long term coach. He wears out his welcome awfully fast. No thanks.

      • Apr 16, 201310:36 am
        by G


        ^Agree. Part of the problem with his offense in Philly is it was predicated more on jumpers than easy buckets. He also spent the better part of a press conference bitching about the roster he helped build.

  • Apr 15, 20139:04 pm
    by Moparguy


    The way they would get Davis and Afflalo would be by trading the EXPIRING contracts of Stuckey and Charlie V.  For next year at least it makes it a revenue neutral move.
    And no way does Igoudala take 12 mill a year to sign.  He is a big name but averages less than 20 ppg.  He is more like an 8-10 mill per year player.
    I would love Josh Smith as well but as one of the top 2 free agents on the market there is lettle chance of him coming here.  Although one selling point would be to let him play SF instead of PF which seems a more natural position for him. 
    He and Igoudala would be a very nice pair of players at the 2 and 3.  Both are excellent defenders and have above average assist rates for their positions

    • Apr 15, 20139:29 pm
      by tarsier


      There aren’t even 10 guys in the entire league who average 20 ppg. That is hardly a requirement for a big contract. It would be shocking to see Iggy sign for less than 8 figures annually.

  • Apr 15, 201310:19 pm
    by D_S_V


    The season for Drummond has been an absolute A+ when considering expectations and what he displayed this season (potentially a second or even single best player on a championship team). Monroe got it together and maintained my faith that he is at least very good and very valuable whether on this team or as a trade chip. Knight has been discussed more than enough on this board, so I’ll just settle with he is not lost value as a former 8th overall selection.

    But this late season 4 game win streak cannot be more irritating to me. To look at the dump that the Pistons as a whole offered during the 2012-2013 season and then not come away from it with a legitimate shot at top 3 draft selection talent because of a win streak that comes in the last 10 games of a season is tragic. Absolutely tragic. 

  • Apr 16, 20134:15 am
    by moparguy


    Igoudala only has averaged 12.9 ppg this year.  That is all.  And while il do like his entire skill set a guard who only averages that wont be getting 8 figures next year.  Anyone who does that should be fired.  And that is in a wide open attack. I think he can average more PPG but no one is going to pay an almost 30 yr old guard to average 1 million for each PPG. Not in this spending climate

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