NBA Future Power Rankings: 20. Detroit Pistons
Detroit Pistons: Detroit had one of the quieter off-seasons after having such a busy trade deadline. The Pistons wisely locked up all-star center Andre Drummond to a 5-year $127 Million contract. Drummond will only be 23 years old at the start of the season and has continued to improve every year. Drummond is already one of the best young players in the game and there’s no reason he shouldn’t get better. Outside of re-signing Drummond, the Pistons offseason was focused on fortifying what was one of the weakest benches in the NBA. The Pistons added two much needed stretch power forwards by drafting Henry Ellenson 18th overall and signing Jon Leuer to a 4-year $41 Million contract. Leuer is a good fit, but I’m not sure he is enough of an upgrade over the departed Anthony Tolliver to deserve such a costly contract. The Pistons made another curious decision by signing an end of the bench San Antonio Spurs center for the second straight offseason. Last year it was Aron Baynes, and this year it was San Antonio fan favorite Boban Marjanovic. It seems unnecessary to have both of them with Drummond set to get the vast majority of the center minutes. To sum up, the Pistons will be paying about $13 Million this season for two backup centers. The Pistons best signing was Ish Smith. Smith was a pleasant surprise last season as a member of the Pelicans and the 76ers. Smith is a huge and much needed upgrade as a backup point guard and is a bargain on a 3-year $18 Million contract. The Pistons have a promising future because they can count on a lot of internal development. Drummond, Ellenson, Stanley Johnson, Marcus Morris, Tobias Harris, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, and Reggie Jackson are all 26 or younger. I don’t think the Pistons are quite ready yet to contend for a championship, but they certainly have the makings of a quality playoff team and may be ready to challenges for a title sooner than you think.