Season Ended: Missed the Playoffs
Luke Kennard (SG/SF)
Anthony Tolliver (PF)
Avery Bradley (SG)
Marcus Morris, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Aron Baynes
Projected Starters (Last year averages)
PG: Ish Smith (9 pts, 3 reb, 5 ast)
SG: Avery Bradley (17 pts, 4 reb, 2 ast)
SF: Stanley Johnson (4 pts, 3 reb, 1 ast)
PF: Tobias Harris (16 pts, 5 reb, 2 ast)
C: Andre Drummond (14 pts, 14 reb, 1 blk)
Reggie Jackson (PG), Bobo Marjonovic (C), Luke Kennard (SG/SF), Jon Leuer (PF), Henry Ellenson (PF/C)
Major Story lines
Pistons finally in Detroit – This year the Pistons moved from the Palace in Auburn Hills to Little Caesers Arena in Detroit. I thought this was a great thing but based on the tweets (when I looked it up) there are a lot of people who are not pleased with the move. Regardless the move has been made and the Pistons will look to make the most of their first season in the new arena.
Drummond and Reggie Jackson on the block? – However that may be a bit difficult to do when your best player and your former starting point guard have been the subject of trade rumors going back to last season. The writing is pretty clearly on the wall for Jackson having lost his starting position to Ish Smith but Drummond is a more interesting case. The Pistons will likely wait to see how the season starts before they make any decisions.
Mike Predictions (25 – 57) (11th in the East)
- Pistons continue to underperform – I was high on the Pistons each of the past two seasons and each time they let me down. This time I am giving them lower expectations and setting a bar I don’t think they’ll get below. I expect that the season starts out rough, the rumors start to swirl and the team decides that this 2018 draft class looks nice and packs it in before the halfway point.
- Drummond traded at the deadline – With that said I am fairly confident that the market for Andre Drummond doesn’t become strongest until we near the deadline. I expect that a team that thinks that they are a piece away from either making the playoffs or competing for the title will pull the trigger to grab the rebounding machine.
Josh Predictions (34-48) (10th in the East)
- Luke Kennard wins the 3-pt shootout during AS weekend – Chances are, no one from Detroit is going to have any reason to attend All Star Weekend other than to watch the 205 to 198-point (no longer East vs West) All Star game. However, I think Kennard’s shooting stroke is the real deal, and chances are he’ll have at least a game or two where it helps him put up 25+ points. I predict he makes it to the 3-pt shootout and takes home the trophy.
- Stanley Johnson gets traded – I think Stanley Johnson could be great eventually, but from all that I’ve read, it seems like he’s ready to be the team’s star now, but Stan Van Gundy doesn’t agree. The two butted heads last year — I believe SVG called him “difficult to coach” (or something along those lines). I think Avery Bradley’s defense and Kennard’s shooting make Johnson expendable and a stubborn coach like Van Gundy might be willing to trade him if the price is right, which I think it will be at some point in the season for another team that covets his upside.