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The five priorities the Pistons should have for rest of season

At the Detroit Free Press, I laid out the five priorities the Pistons should have for rest of season:

1. Lose

2. Evaluate Peyton Siva

3. Develop Tony Mitchell

4. Develop Kentavious Caldwell-Pope

5. Get Chauncey Billups back on the court for the home finale

Click through to the Freep to get explanations of each.

Also, as a corollary to No. 1, here’s a chart showing the Pistons’ odds of keeping their pick based on lottery seed:


  • Apr 4, 20149:55 pm
    by James


    The top four should have been IMMEDIATELY ACHIEVED after firing Cheeks, no ifs, ands or buts.

  • Apr 4, 201411:04 pm
    by Travis


    They were still trying to win at that point 

  • Apr 4, 201411:18 pm
    by James


    To no avail after the next 5 or so games, they knew this team was tragically flawed and couldn’t win, never mind the coach. Its just confounding how development hasn’t been their number one goal for the last 3-4 yrs. Your two prized draftees, Knight and Monroe, traded and still a one-way player who has ZERO DEFENSIVE PRESENCE and below average jumper to pair with the franchise player Drummond is going to leave for nothing next year. Time wasted on Stuckey after 2011, won’t let KCP develope, what’s the actual direction for this so-called team?

    • Apr 5, 201412:00 am
      by Ken


      This franchise is a joke. Its not even about tanking at this point. Teams who have no chance at the playoffs have no business NOT playing young players to get a better idea of what they have going forward with their roster.

  • Apr 4, 201411:58 pm
    by Ken


    Siva pretty much cost them the game in his first forray in the 2nd qtr, but then he came back and played really well in the 4th, so I’ll give him a free pass for the first part being his first real minutes in months
    It was nice to have a PG playing under control and unselfish for a change. I don’t see why he couldn’t fill Bynum’s role as the backup PG going forward. He doesn’t give you the scoring, but he’s a better defender and smarter player, and takes less risks. I’d much rather have him as our backup next year than Bynum.

    • Apr 5, 201412:17 pm
      by Brandon Knight


      No thank you! We need shooters. We need players than can spread the floor and make damn shots! 
      I would look after backup players like:
      Session, Augustine, Brooks, Collins, Nate Robinson…. 

      • Apr 5, 20141:08 pm
        by oats


        I disagree with both of you. Bynum has one guaranteed year left on his deal, and I don’t know if the team will be able to move him. If one of the draft picks is a rookie then they probably slide in over him, but backup PG is too small of a priority right now to spend anything on it this summer. If I was spending money on the PG spot, it would be to try to replace Jennings. So, option A is a rookie takes over the backup spot. Option B is I land a starting caliber PG either via free agency or a trade, in which case Jennings is the backup if he is still on the team. Option C is if no PGs are added or a new starter comes in and Jennings gets moved out in a trade. For option C I still use Bynum as the primary backup. The up and down nature of his play is actually a positive for a backup in my mind. The team can ride him in the games where he gets hot, and bury him when he gets cold. The only way I promote Siva over him is if his average actually gets better than an average Bynum game, and right now that still seems pretty unlikely.
        I still think Siva’s slightly more likely to have the team let him go this summer than they are to keep him. If they feel they want someone who can give them what Siva gives them then they will just pick up an undrafted free agent or call someone up from the D league. There are tons of guys on the fringe of being good enough to belong on an NBA roster at any given time, and Siva is just one of a rather large group of those guys.

  • Apr 5, 20145:16 pm
    by Sop


    Here’s my first edition of Piston’s Draft Board Top 14 (not all these players have declared)
    1a. Jabari Parker: His NBA readiness, scoring, perimeter game at the 3 and, most importantly, attitude to dominate make him the best options for the Pistons, in spite of his lack of elite athleticism. He’s likely a combo forward, which sounds scary but he has the handles and shot needed and is used to playing at both spots so he’s not being forced into a new position. He needs to lose weight and become a better defender.
    1b. Andrew Wiggins: His floor is a better 3pt shooting Deng and his upside is higher than Parker’s due to superior hops, but the major concern here is attitude. He’s too deferential and that’s hard programing to change. This could partially also be due to his lack of handles limiting creative penetration. One thing that hasn’t been pointed out much is that, in spite of a fantastic second leap and great quicks, he doesn’t seem to be a very fluid athlete. He often locks his knees in stride and his shoulders are stiff. This rigidity doesn’t speak of a player ready to develop a breakyoudown-gettothebasket game, but rather more of a catch and shoot and possibly make a strong cut type of SF. Granted he plays very focused D and has great hands on that end. Its important for Drummond’s future to have the Pistons make the post-season next year and Parker can help more with that. He’s shy. Not a trait that smacks of superstar, but who wouldn’t be with those yellow buck teeth.
    3. Dante Exum: This ranking is obviously a huge risk because the Nike Hoops Summit and a few Youtube videos are a highly inadequate data set, but Exum has the potential athleticism and skills to be dominant at either guard spot. Watching him its easy to see his long stride, mobility in the open court, and athletic fluidity even with his length. He has solid court vision and overall excellent size to skill ratio. Perhaps most importantly he’s one of the youngest players in the draft and already looks like he can do everything MCW can do. He does appear to be over reliant on his Euro-step move, plays against lesser competition and the kicker is his shot, the development of which will make him MCW part 2 or a super-star if it comes around.
    3b. Marcus Smart: It would be easy to make the case that Smart is a better prospect Exum based on how much more physically & mentally mature he looks at just a year-and-a-1/2 advantage age-wise. The Smart shove only makes me like him more. No one in this draft wants to win more than Smart. No one will work harder to get better. No one has more nasty. True, Smart isn’t a perimeter threat and the Pistons need shooting, but they also need defense & locker-room leadership. His pg skills aren’t convincing yet but if he can add the deep ball, we’re talking Chauncey 2.0.
    5. Noah Vonleh: Almost a year younger than Randle and much larger than both Randle and Gordon, Vonleh is the best PF prospect in this draft. My diehard Indiana fan friend would rip his hair out every game because they didn’t feed him the ball nearly enough and thus his scoring average is below the other 2. Don’t let this fool you. He’s a solid perimeter shooter already who’s eerily similar to Bosh. He could at least develop into a tougher Rashard Lewis next to our Dwight Jr.  Both Randle & Gordon have superior hops admittedly but we already have Drummond. Picking and keeping him or any of the PFs, however, would seem to require moving either Monroe or Smoov.
    6. Aaron Gordon: Its shocking how much muscle mass Gordon has added in just a year. And he’s still 18 until Sept. I was very skeptical about the Blake Griffin comps that were constantly being thrown out earlier in the year but he does go really hard each night. Still Blake is 6’10″ while Gordon is maybe his listed 6’8″. Not sure he’s NBA sized positionally. And without a shot to save his life, the whispers of tweener are inescapable. With the size Detroit already has Gordon could be a lights out energy guy off the bench. It just seems like they’d want more from a lottery pick. Could be a great trade asset though.
    7. Julius Randle: Randle’s body-language & expressions can make you puke. Besides the Harrison twins no player in the NCAA has a many whiny looks or as much over-showmanship. Get over yourself and play basketball Julius. That doesn’t mean he’s not a beast for a 19-year-old kid. He’s relentless on the glass & has some nice face-up moves. He’s a more promising player to pair with Drummond than Monroe because he can shoot better & has quicker feet. Nevertheless, he’s locker room cancer.
    8. Joel Emiid: Emiid could be the best big in this draft because of his exponentially rising skill and legit NBA size. But he plays the wrong position for the Pistons to draft him. Neither he nor Drummond can play PF and so this pick would be purely an asset grab. That said if he (enters the draft at all) slides on draft night because of his back injury, the Pistons would have to go BPA and figure it out from there.
    9a. Nik Stauskas: At 9 is where it all gets iffy. Really struggled over the whole season with whether Harris or him would be preferable, but had to go with Stauskas because of his size & superior touch. Very few scouts have Stauskas this high but offensively he’s almost a perfect fit for Motown as this draft’s best shooter. Sure we just picked KCP at the 2 last year but obviously there has been little evidence he’s the answer there. I’m not one who thinks he’ll ever be a full-time PG but he has solid handles. His athleticism isn’t elite but it’s underrated because of his skin color. Defensively he’s junk but so is Steph Curry.
    9b. Gary Harris: I’m actually an MSU fan not a UofM follower but my head won’t let the fact that Harris is undersized at the 2 go. Not sure he’s even his listed 6’4″ and even if that’s the case there are very few dominant 6’4″ SGs in the NBA. Maybe he could be Bulls-Era-Ben Gordon. The size/length also hurts his defensive impact at the next level. Still, he has great hops, Izzo-esque work-ethic, and should be better at getting to the rim in the NBA. Not to mention great character. If we had a +sized PG I’d like him a lot more, but my heart would still be happy if we took him as is.
    11. Dougy Buckets: Yes the Senior tweener who sortof replicates Singler. But can actually hit 3s consistently. Problem: Can he do it off the bench with way less shots to warm up? Brightside: His major weakness, not athletic enough to guard NBA SFs could be erased by Smoov switching over to the 3 on D while playing in the post on the other end.
    12. James Young: One has to admit Calipari is the king of bullshit hyping his players after he declared Young “the best shooter he’s ever seen” at the beginning of this year. As the season has proven the hometown kid is streaky from deep and not yet consistent. Yet he’s found a slashing game and isn’t even 19 until Aug. so he should be cut a bit of slack. Not to mention that many of his mistakes could have been erased if he had been surrounded by competent upperclassmen this year, and had not been asked to do more than he was ready for. Also, of the Kentucky kids he looks the most emotionally stable and professional. It would be nice if he was more explosive. If he had more nasty I’d say I can see a little Paul Pierce in him. Should have gotten that at MSU.
    13. PJ Hairston: He’s probably an a$$hole but he can put the ball through the hoop. His steals rate in the D-League is an even better indicator than his 21pts a night that he will be a NBA starter. Hopefully he learned his lesson. More likely he’d follow the lead of Detroit’s “in-it-for-the-money” players and turn it on occasionally. Still priority number one for this franchise has to be to add 3pt shooters.
    14. Rodney Hood: Think 3&D except he needs to pull his head out of his a$$ on D. Sure there are a number of Bigs that could have been thrown into these last 3 spots but you have to get on the floor in order to improve and unless they’re insanely special it would be hard to crack the current Pistons front-court rotation. Hood could be planted in the corner (as is done with KCP) but actually knock down those open 3s. Please for the love of Drummond get a floor spacer in this draft!
    Note: Tyler Ennis is massively overrated and will turn 20 this summer. That’s not a freshmen in my books. His deficiencies were masked by the system he was in and the experience of the players surrounding him. He doesn’t have a single NBA-level skill.

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