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.
Drew Sharp, Detroit Free Press
Did this season show Tom Gores is being patient, or will it push him to show his impatience?
Gores made his fortune by nurturing an investment and maximizing its value. That demands patience and following a plan. I look for him to demand a playoff appearance next season and, as a result, I expect the Pistons to act more aggressively this off-season. But not impulsively. They won’t throw money at a problem simply because they possess the means.
Mike Payne, Detroit Bad Boys
It would be unfortunate, but not an irreplaceable loss. If Detroit can get ahold of Jarrett Jack’s agent before hitting the bargain bin and the trade market, I’ll feel better about the loss. Calderon should be looked at as a temporary solution anyway, and Detroit’s search for the next point guard should begin today, Calderon or not. Bonus points for avoiding all combo guards in the search.
Phil Fattore, Pistons 101
Which Detroit bench player has had the most encouraging close to the season?
Jonas Jerebko’s recent resurgence is impressive, but the most encouraging bench player has been Khris Middleton. Scoring at least 10 points five times across March and April, Middleton is proving to be an efficient bench scorer. With Will Bynum’s expiring contract leaving his future unknown, it’s comforting to know that Middleton is capable of performing at a high level.
Daniel Poarch, Life on Dumars
What have we learned from Brandon Knight‘s post-injury play?
It’s been a year Knight would likely prefer to forget, but while he struggled after his return from injury in March, he’s still shown he can score as well as flashes of potential facilitating the offense. We’re still looking at more questions than answers, however. Is he a shooting guard or a point guard? A starter or a bench option? They’re questions the Pistons need to answer.
Eric Stafford, Life on Dumars
Do you see any hope for Brandon Knight at point guard?
There’s a little hope, but not much. Whether there’s hope or not, I still think he’s better suited to play shooting guard. That way the Pistons can cut down on the number of decisions he has to make with the ball. In the end he might fit better as a 6th man combo guard off the bench.
Thom Powell, Life on Dumars
Middleton has such a small sample size of production that I’m a bit reticent to pick him, but I’ll do it anyway. I thought Kim English would be the 2nd rounder that would play his way into the rotation, but Middleton made the most of Detroit’s end-of-season tank-fest and finished strong. Singler hit the rookie wall hard in 2013 and never really recovered. It doesn’t help his case that he’s three years older than Middleton, either.
Natalie Sitto, Need4Sheed.com
Did you get any joy from Rasheed Wallace’s comeback season with the Knicks?
Do NBA players like tattoos? It was nice to see Sheed play the roll that he’s comfortable with in the past few seasons. Limited minutes, limited conditioning and hanging out behind the arc and knocking down three’s. It’s hard to live in a world without Rasheed Wallace screaming "ball don’t lie!"
Patrick Hayes, PistonPowered
Rank the NBA prospects who played college basketball this season in the state of Michigan, regardless of whether they’re entering this year’s draft.
1. Trey Burke – He’s probably not a Chris Paul caliber player, but he might be Ty Lawson
2. Mitch McGary – I’d take him over Cody Zeller right now
3. Gary Harris – He’ll probably stay another year, but at worst, he’s a likely three and D shooting guard in the NBA
4. Adreian Payne – Another guy likely staying, expect Payne, projected as a second rounder this year, to be a top 15 prospect next year
5. Glen Robinson III – I’d like to see more of him playing a more natural wing position (he’s played a lot of four at Michigan), but he’s a NBA athlete and he can hit the corner three. Those are enough to get him on the court for someone.
6. Ray McCallum – Don’t sleep on the University of Detroit point guard, who was a bigger prospect than Burke and Keith Appling in high school. He turned down high major offers to play for his dad (it remains to be seen if that decision benefits him in the long run), but he can certainly play and he’ll get draft attention next year.
J.M. Poulard, PistonPowered
What do the Pistons do on the court that is most difficult for opponents to gameplan against?
The Pistons’ athleticism on the offensive boards was simply a nightmare for opponents. It didn’t matter how, they always managed to stick their noses in there for put backs.
Jameson Draper, PistonPowered
Should the Pistons consider re-signing Jason Maxiell?
No. Maxiell is dead weight to this team and is not providing anything in any facet of the game. Detroit has enough young big men (Monroe, Drummond, Kravtsov, Jerebko) and could use the extra roster spot to sign someone better. Maxiell will be very cheap, but it’s still not worth it.
Brady Fredericksen, PistonPowered
What do you make of Rodney Stuckey‘s strong finish to the season?
Nothing. He’s done this in 2011, 2010 and 2009, too. Five years into his career, there’s no real explanation as to why he seems to get hot late, but the one thing that is clear is that he can’t sustain that pace during the parts of the season that actually matter.
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