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Detroit Pistons Team Overview

2011-12 record: 25-41

Fifth place, Central Division

Did not make the playoffs

DRAFT PICKS:

Round: 1

Round: 2

Areas of strength:
Youth and balance. The Pistons have the young pillars they need to build with and perhaps around in big man Greg Monroe and point guards Rodney Stuckey and Brandon Knight. That promising trio forms for the foundation for what could potentially be one of the breakout teams in the Eastern Conference over the next few seasons. Both Monroe and Knight are as talented on the floor as they are solid off the floor. And they both have ceilings on their games that have yet to be approached, which is critical in the Pistons' predicament.

Needs work:
They have to find another quality scorer on the wing, someone who can serve as the team's go-to-guy while Monroe continues to sharpen his low-post game and Knight figures out his role as a point guard in the league. They don't have the luxury of growing into their roles with the security blanket of a guaranteed 18-22 point scoring veteran around to help tote the load.

Two stats that matter:
28
-- Where the Pistons ranked in assists this season, without anyone averaging more than 3.8 (Stuckey).

13 -- The number of games played last season by Charlie Villanueva, the Pistons' third highest paid ($8 million) player this season.

The way to go:
The Pistons made solid strides in Lawrence Frank's first season as coach and have a chance to add yet another talented piece to their puzzle with the ninth pick in a talented and deep draft. They could go big (Perry Jones III, Tyler Zeller, John Henson, etc., depending on who goes where earlier in the draft) or go with another wing player to bolster their backcourt mix. They'll have plenty of options and don't need anyone to come in as some sort of savior of the franchise.

2011-12 team stats:
Offensive: 90.9 (27th)
Defensive: 95.7 (14th)

Under contract:
C: Greg Monroe
G: Rodney Stuckey
G: Brandon Knight
G: Ben Gordon
F: Charlie Villanueva
F: Tayshaun Prince
F: Jonas Jerebko
G: Will Bynum
F: Austin Daye

Free agents:
F: Vernon Macklin (restricted)
F: Jason Maxiell (unrestricted, player option)
G: Walker Russell Jr. (restricted)
F-C: Ben Wallace
G-F: Damien Wilkins

Recent Draft History:
2011: Brandon Knight (8), Kyle Singler (33), Vernon Macklin (52)
2010: Greg Monroe (7), Terrico White (36)
2009: Austin Daye (15), DaJuan Summers (35), Jonas Jerebko (39), Chase Budinger (44)
2008: D.J. White (29)
2007: Rodney Stuckey (15), Arron Afflalo (27), Sammy Mejia (57)
2006: Will Blalock (60)

-- Sekou Smith

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