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Pistons climb to No. 20 in ESPN’s future power rankings

ESPN released its updated future power rankings – rating how each team will rate in the 2013-14, 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons – and the Pistons rose from No. 22 to No. 20. Chad Ford:

20. Detroit Pistons | Future Power Rating: 558

PLAYERS 283 (17th)

MANAGEMENT 69 (22nd)

MONEY 131 (5th)

MARKET 20 (28th)

DRAFT 56 (13th)

The Pistons continue to be mired in the 20s despite a string of great draft choices the past few years.

Their Players score rose dramatically this time, from 26 to 17, thanks in large part to the impressive rookie season of Andre Drummond, who at 19 years old looks like a potential star. With Drummond, Greg Monroe and Brandon Knight, they have mined three straight gems outside of the top five of the draft. If they can land another at No. 8 overall this year, they’ll have a terrific young core.

The team also has, for the first time in a while, money to spend. After suffering some serious buyer’s remorse the last time they had tons of cap space (remember Ben Gordonand Charlie Villanueva?), expect the Pistons to be much more cautious this time around.

Overall, our ranking might be a bit pessimistic. Despite some lean years, Detroit is now one, maybe two young pieces away from competing for the playoffs. If they can continue finding young talent, this is probably the last time the Pistons are in the 20s for a while.

Or maybe the Pistons will miss in this draft, send a low lottery pick to the Bobcats next year and fail to add young talent this year or next. Really, it could go either way.

31 Comments

  • May 31, 20131:44 pm
    by tarsier

    Reply

    Maybe the Pistons can use their cap space to absorb Thomas Robinson and trade two second rounders for him. It sounds like a good way to add a top 5 pick.

    • May 31, 20132:07 pm
      by G

      Reply

      That would be a great deal, except Morey is a pretty good card player that seems to know what everyone else is holding. If he’s that eager to deal Robinson, it’s probably a sign that the kid doesn’t have much to offer. That said, I’d rather take a flyer on a possible bust rather than 2 second-rounders in THIS draft.

      • May 31, 20132:17 pm
        by tarsier

        Reply

        Odds are two second rounders would be the 37th this year and the Pistons’ next year. That would still seem worth offering although Houston would probably try for a 2014 late first rounder.

        • May 31, 20134:47 pm
          by Sop

          Reply

          My guess is Morey and co. would only bite if they had some good reason to think that they could land Dwight this summer.

  • May 31, 20131:52 pm
    by Crispus

    Reply

    Gee thanks for the counterpoint Debbie Downer.

    • May 31, 20132:05 pm
      by jacob

      Reply

      He is right though if Brandon doesn’t develop and we miss this pick and have a bad year next year? Never know I look at the positives. Drummond and Monroe hopefully will turn this franchise around!!!

    • May 31, 20133:01 pm
      by Crispus

      Reply

      I know Dan is pretty analytical, but it costs less than nothing to be optimistic in a blog post. Why doomsay for no good reason?

      • May 31, 20133:06 pm
        by G

        Reply

        Is presenting two possible outcomes being pessimistic? I think he was just saying there’s also potential for a really bad outcome and to manage our expectations. Fans tend to overreact to everything, or see a low ranking like that as a diss. He may have been trying (unsuccessfully) to counteract the fan indignation.

  • May 31, 20132:07 pm
    by Combo Guards VS Logic

    Reply

    We’re just a few combo guards away from competing for the championship!!! 

  • May 31, 20133:23 pm
    by tommy t

    Reply

    So… Knight’s a gem?

    • May 31, 20133:25 pm
      by tarsier

      Reply

      Remember, some people only see PPG. That puts Knight in a similar class with Monroe and Drummond.

  • May 31, 20134:52 pm
    by Sop

    Reply

    I just don’t believe that Cleveland deserves to be 12 spots higher than the Pistons. I still think Tristan Thompson and Waiters are mediocre at best which leaves them with… Kyrie, Kyrie, Kyrie always Kyrie and whoever they get from this draft. Sure they should be higher than Detroit but 12 spots higher??? give me a break.

    • May 31, 20135:00 pm
      by tarsier

      Reply

      Consider that they have the second best chance in the league at having LeBron on their team in a little over a year. Even if there’s only a 5% chance he’ll return, that’s worth a lot.

    • May 31, 20135:01 pm
      by tarsier

      Reply

      Also, they have the first overall pick in this draft and they keep their pick for next year. And Waiters has at least a shot at being better than mediocre. And everyone underrates Drummond.

    • May 31, 20135:04 pm
      by G

      Reply

      Waiters had a decent rookie season, Knight still compares favorably. Thompson might be Monroe’s equal (or might not), but that’s it. They’ve got Irving, who’s one of the 10 best players in the league when healthy. They had an edge on Detroit based on Players, Money, Management, and Draft. They’ve got a lot of picks this year (including the #1) and they’ve got money to spend. So do the Pistons, but the Cavs have much better picks and also own their pick next year as well, which the Pistons might not.

      • May 31, 20135:09 pm
        by tarsier

        Reply

        Thompson is nowhere close to Monroe as a prospect right now.

      • May 31, 20135:12 pm
        by tarsier

        Reply

        Also, Irving is not a top 10 player. He’s a fantastic scorer. I’d love to have him. But he’s arguably the worst defensive starting PG in the league and he has an AST:TO ratio under 1.8!

        • Jun 1, 20133:38 am
          by ShimmeringWang

          Reply

          Is there anybody on the Pistons roster you would refuse to trade, straight up, for Irving? (Hint: If the answer is yes you are bad at NBA.)

          • Jun 1, 20132:31 pm
            by tarsier

            Being better than every Pistons does not make a guy a top 10 player.

            And no, there is nobody i would refuse to trade for Irving in Detroit. Drummond would give me pause (fan bias) but I would still pull the trigger.

      • May 31, 20135:16 pm
        by G

        Reply

        By that I meant Thompson’s ceiling is where Monroe is now, and Monroe may be at or near his peak already.

        Maybe I overstated Irving, but he’s definitely in the top 15-20.

        • Jun 1, 20134:03 am
          by oats

          Reply

          How often do guys peak at 22 exactly? I’d say the odds strongly favor Monroe having some untapped potential still.

          • Jun 3, 20138:32 am
            by G

            To be honest, I’m not sure. But looking at his game right now, I don’t see a lot of upward potential on the offensive side of the ball. Defensive side, sure, but on offense he would need to add an efficient mid-range shot to get to the 20-10 mark. It’s possible, but I’m not sure…

  • May 31, 20135:27 pm
    by Otis

    Reply

    Not the first to point this out, but Knight is not a gem. He’s probably not even a starter, and there are a few other guys Joe could have taken who would have been significantly better picks. Knight could potentially be a “gem” of a sixth man, but you gotta put him in that role and see how it works. But at the moment, he’s about to enter his third season and he’s not even our third best player.
     
    Also, if this team adds a “gem” of Knight’s caliber in this draft, they still won’t have a “terrific young core.” They’ll have two very nice centers and almost nothing else notable on the roster. The moral of the story is that the national media doesn’t know anything about anything, least of all about us. Even when they’re trying to be nice, they’re completely clueless.
     
    Am I the only one who sees how bleak the future is here? Assuming we get a good-not-spectacular player in the draft (maybe someone in the class of Knight/Singler), then fail to add anything truly special in trades/free agency, we’re going to have another 30-ish win season, then likely surrender our 2014 first rounder and suffer a sixth consecutive wasted season with no end in sight… Where is the hope? That Monroe and Drummond suddenly blossom into Gasol and Randolph (whose games have NOTHING in common with theirs)? Even if those two rose to that level, which is a TOTAL dream, you need a lot more around them than we’re likely to add if we insist on keeping them both.

    • Jun 1, 20134:23 am
      by oats

      Reply

      This again, really? I’ll just stick with the last paragraph. Monroe scores reasonably similarly to a young Randolph, his defense isn’t that far off from a young Randolph, and he passes reasonably similarly to Gasol. Drummond has the potential to be an even better defender and scorer than Gasol. That’s definitely something in common with them as a tandem, even if their individual games and means of achieving those outcomes are different.
       
      They do have a problem that the Memphis guys don’t, the lack of a jump shot. The odds of one of them developing one is reasonably high, and I’m still not completely convinced it’s entirely necessary if they don’t. I’d still say that passing from the high post is a pretty good way to stretch the floor. I seem to recall you pointing out that no one bothered to follow Monroe to the high post due to his passing, but the counter is that no one bothered to game plan for a Drummond/Monroe front court pairing. They just didn’t play enough minutes together for teams to have a good feel for what any particular strategy would do. Those games likely weren’t going to matter because the teams had nothing to play for, or because one of them was so much better than Detroit that the strategy wasn’t that big of a deal. We’re talking 10 games together, not exactly a lot of time for the pairing to develop the kind of report needed to punish teams for having a sloppy defense against them. It seems ridiculously premature to declare this pair won’t work out.
       
      As for the rest of that paragraph, if those guys pan out then it only takes mediocre talents around them to make the team at least Atlanta good. That easily gets them out of the bottom 12 in the league, which is really all it takes to get higher than 20. If the pairing turns out not to work, they are still considerable trade assets. This is a projection of how the team will fare several years in the future based on current assets. That means the ability to trade these guys is being factored in to the projection.

  • May 31, 20135:36 pm
    by Jodi Jezz

    Reply

    lol, Chad Ford had us ranked 28th before last season and like always he’s wrong…It’s crazy people still believe this lame dude…Patrick, what happened?..

    • Jun 1, 20134:39 am
      by oats

      Reply

      First of all, it’s future rankings and not current ones. More than that, it’s not actually projecting actual success. It’s a ranking of long term assets for the various teams.

  • May 31, 201311:08 pm
    by SujefeThomas

    Reply

    I don’t see the fit with Robinson, we need a true point guard or a wing player, not another developmental big. And trade whatever else to have Robinson come off the bench? idk, seems like a waste. I’d try and trade up, put Knight on the table, i just don’t care too much for him long-term as a real solution at point guard, or being a capable defender at SG.

    • Jun 1, 20134:45 am
      by oats

      Reply

      The talk is about maybe a pair of 2nd round picks, and Robinson’s potential is high enough that it makes a ton of sense to bring him on. If he becomes a good 3rd big man, that’s is significantly better than the expected return of a couple 2nd rounders. That’s assuming the team even keeps him. They might just play him for a year or two and rehab his value, and then have a really nice trade chip on their hands. There’s also the outside chance that he makes Monroe expendable. Robinson is a better athlete than Greg, and in college he had a nice mid range jumper. If that shot comes back then he might be a better fit next to Drummond, even if he is a slightly lesser talent. It could be that he just had a rough year because Sacramento is a mess and he got traded to a team in a playoff race as a rookie. I’d say it’s a worthwhile risk given the likely outcome of second round picks.

      • Jun 1, 20132:35 pm
        by tarsier

        Reply

        Yeah, if the price were a first rounder, I’d pass.

  • Jun 1, 201312:00 am
    by jacob

    Reply

    THESE RANKINGS MEAN NOTHING!!!!! If you really look at them you can pick holes all over the place. Did he call Miss Cleo?

  • Jun 1, 20137:08 am
    by Gus

    Reply

    Robinson seems like a good fit, young, charges less than Maxiell, and has lots of potential … if incorporated Robinson, would no longer need Cody Zeller … and if Robinson shows great performance, we could trade-out Greg Monroe. I see a great trade.
     

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