2013-14 record: 29-53
Fourth place, Central Division
Didn't quality for the playoffs
2014 Draft Picks: Round 2 - Pick 38
Areas of strength
Stan Van Gundy has the coaching chops and presumably is refreshed enough to get more out of the Pistons who will be held over, and he'll have the authority – he's the boss – to make moves to fit pieces around them. Andre Drummond and Greg Monroe are two of the more prized young big men in the league, though playing them together has been a challenge.
Losing your lottery pick to Charlotte for 95 points worth of Corey Maggette is a lousy way to start Van Gundy's blueprint for the Pistons future. Some conscienceless gunners remain in Brandon Jennings and Josh Smith, while Rodney Stuckey is a free agent after one of his better seasons. This team is desperate for turnaround, having missed the playoffs for three straight seasons. Monroe might prove most valuable as a trade chip if Van Gundy can't find a way to better coordinate his efforts with Drummond.
Two stats that matter
110.5 -- Points per 100 possessions allowed by the Pistons defense (a number which would rank last in the league) when Josh Smith, Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond were on the floor together.
67 -- The Pistons missed a third of their free throws to rank last in the league in foul line accuracy. Had they hit the freebies at the league average of 75.6 percent, they would have scored 180 more points, an average of 2.2 per night.
The way to go
NBA.com's Draft expert, Scott Howard-Cooper, offers up his suggestions:
The past is slowing Stan Van Gundy from getting to the future. The new head of basketball operations (and coach) takes over with the intention of dramatic changes, except that it won’t start with the help of a lottery pick because No. 9 went to Charlotte as part of the 2012 Ben Gordon-Corey Maggette trade. The Pistons saved $14 million at the time and pay big now. There will be enough talent early in the second round to find a reserve at No. 38, maybe even someone to answer the distress signal on defense.
2013-14 Team Stats (points per 100 possessions, with NBA rank)
Offensive: 102.9 (19th)
Defensive: 107.3 (26th)
G: Brandon Jennings
G: Will Bynum
G: Chauncey Billups
G: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
G: Peyton Siva
F: Kyle Singler
F: Josh Smith
F: Jonas Jerebko
F: Luigi Datome
F: Tony Mitchell
F: Josh Harrellson
F/C: Greg Monroe
C: Andre Drummond
G: Rodney Stuckey
F: Charlie Villanueva
Recent Draft History
2013: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (8), Tony Mitchell (37), Peyton Siva (56)
2012: Andre Drummond (9), Khris Middleton (39), Kim English (44)
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)
-- Steve Aschburner