When the Pistons swapped Ben Gordon for Corey Maggette, they knew they were getting a guy who has spent as much time at the foul line as anybody in the NBA over the last dozen years. They also knew they were getting an expiring contract, one that gives them the potential to be as much as $25 million under the salary cap next off-season.

What they might not have been quite as certain about was Maggette’s fit in the locker room.

Andre Drummond loved his first NBA practice and can’t wait for more. But the guy with hundreds of them under his belt might be the better source for putting it into perspective. And Tayshaun Prince was pretty upbeat about day one of Lawrence Frank’s second season as Pistons coach, too.

The pushup challenge Arnie Kander gave to Austin Daye? No sweat. But while Daye was bulking up this summer – he hit his target weight of 218, about 20 pounds more than he was when he returned from Russia after the lockout’s resolution in December – Kander was devising ever more devious ways to torment the troops.

“I hate it,” Daye said of the new contraption the Pistons’ strength coach designed over the summer. “I really hate it. It’s 10 times worse than pushups. I hate it.”

There is a short list of questions on the minds of Pistons fans for the season ahead. Can they contend for a playoff spot? Will Greg Monroe challenge for an All-Star berth? How high is 19-year-old rookie Andre Drummond’s ceiling?

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Training camp opens Tuesday and Lawrence Frank has many other questions to sort out before those big-picture items will resolve themselves.

Here are five storylines worth watching over the days and weeks before the Oct. 31 season opener when the Pistons host Houston at The Palace:

Arnie Kander’s holistic approach to physical well being can be extrapolated to his perspective on what makes for a successful basketball team. His is a sort of a “chain is only as strong as its weakest link” view, a belief that a team composed of players who takes the time to get to know one another off the court will be better on the court for the bonds they’ve built.

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