Thursday, February 18, 2016

Updated 2016 Asset Board


RankPlayerPositionHeightWeightAgeValue
1Andre DrummondC6'112802289
Even with talent upgrades, still easily the Pistons' best piece.
2Reggie JacksonPG6'32102575
All-Star snub has been a pleasant surprise beyond the arc.
3Kentavious Caldwell-PopeSG6'52052371
Pistons went 1-3 without him. Defense is a plus and efficiency is improving.
4Tobias HarrisF6'92352369
Will fall second on this list if he ever shoots consistently from the outside.
5Marcus MorrisF6'92352668
New frontcourt additions should ease up his heavy playing time and duties.
6Stanley JohnsonSF6'72451966
Will be a real two-way joy to watch if he improves his shot selection/connection.
7Donatas MotiejunasF/C7'02252565
RFA status and health keep him below Johnson, Morris and Harris for now.
8Aron BaynesF/C6'102602852
Could see lighter minutes if/when Motiejunas plays the five.
9Darrun HilliardG/F6'62152250
9.3 PPG, 1.8 APG on 53.6 FG% and 40.0 3P% in 4 games KCP missed.
10Marcus ThorntonSG6'42052848
Trigger happy guard can hopefully provide punch to suddenly strong 2nd unit.
11Anthony TolliverPF6'82403040
Looking at a reduced role with the addition of Harris and Motiejunas.
12Jodie MeeksSG6'52102830
Health issues have completely submarined his value.
132016 2nd Round Pick43-51---30
A new PG prospect could be the target.
14Steve BlakePG6'31753628
The new backup PG, for better or for worse. Just needs to hit open shots.
15Spencer DinwiddiePG6'62002225
May get another look if Blake struggles, now that Jennings is gone.
16Reggie BullockG/F6'72052415
Fool's gold in the preseason. Break glass in case of severe, severe emergency.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Pistons Get Early Deadline Win

The Pistons got an early start on the 2016 trade deadline today when they acquired Orlando Magic combo forward Tobias Harris for Brandon Jennings and Ersan Ilyasova.  The deal left a plethora of Magic fans scratching their heads, and gave the Pistons yet another piece in a core of players under the age of 26.  I reviewed the option of signing Harris this summer when he was a restricted free agent, so we'll skip the full breakdown of his game.  To shttps://www.blogger.com/blogger.g?blogID=5963162630699131332#editor/target=post;postID=8740231628606917159ummarize, Harris is big and athletic enough to play both forward positions, and the only thing holding back his offensive game is an unreliable outside shot.  He's still developing as a defender, and it's hard to say which forward position he would be best-suited for moving into the future.  The good news is, he and Marcus Morris can each defend both forward spots.  Having that kind of defensive versatility is a plus in today's NBA.  Even regardless of fit and versatility, the Pistons got themselves one heck of a value yet again in the trade market.  Adding a 23-year old forward with a 17 PPG season under his belt for no assets of any consequence is a big deal.  For a franchise that saw a first round pick traded for Corey Maggette (no, the context of this really isn't important), this continues to be a sight for sore eyes.

Here's a breakdown of what Stan Van Gundy and his front office team have done via trade since taking over:

IN: Tobias Harris, Marcus Morris, Reggie Jackson, Anthony Tolliver, Steve Blake, Reggie Bullock, Joel Anthony
OUT: Brandon Jennings, Ersan Ilyasova, Kyle Singler, DJ Augustin, Tony Mitchell, Quincy Miller, Will Bynum, 2017, 2019 and 2020 second round picks

That's nothing short of incredible.  The two best players on the "out" list are guys who are borderline starters at best.  The "in" list contains three guys the Pistons intend to build around.  Those second round picks would have to turn into a Draymond Green-level talent for the Pistons to have any sort of regret about any of the deals they've made.  Even with that being said, extreme hindsight is the only way any of these deals will look poor. 

In the wake of the deal that brought Harris to Detroit, Adrian Wojnarowski tweeted that the Pistons are scouring the market for a veteran guard.  That certainly makes senses, as the only downside to today's deal was that it left the Pistons with only Steve Blake and Spencer Dinwiddie to back up Reggie Jackson.  With two more days to find an answer, here are some guys the Pistons could/should take a look at to bolster their backcourt:

Jerryd Bayless - Milwaukee Bucks - 10.5 PPG, 3.4 APG, 42.4 FG%, 43.6 3P%, 56.6 TS%
This is my preferred option to assume the Pistons' newly established void in the PG rotation.  He'd present a clear upgrade from Steve Blake, could provide the outside shooting the Pistons desperately need, and he can play both backcourt spots.  With the Bucks out of the playoff picture and Bayless' contract up at the end of the year, cost shouldn't be an issue.  A swap of Joel Anthony and Spencer Dinwiddie for Bayless and Johnny O'Bryant works financially.

DJ Augustin - OKC Thunder - 4.2 PPG, 1.9 APG, 38.0 FG%, 39.3 3P%, 52.2 TS%
Augustin hasn't been worth the acquisition for the Thunder, and the veteran has steadily ceded minutes to rookie lottery pick Cameron Payne as the season has worn on.  Stan Van Gundy unlocked something with Augustin in the pick-and-roll last year though, so picking him back up may be beneficial for Augustin and the Pistons.  He's also on an expiring contract, so there isn't much future cost for the Thunder to move him.  Augustin for Spencer Dinwiddie and Joel Anthony works, although you have to wonder where the motivation is for OKC there.  A protected second rounder could get the job done.

Randy Foye - Denver Nuggets - 6.0 PPG, 2.1 APG, 35.1 FG%, 29.2 3P%, 45.7 TS%
Foye has fallen on hard times this season, as his normally reliable shooting has betrayed him.  A career 37% outside shooter, Foye is shooting a Josh Smith-esque 29.2% this year.  He would certainly be the lowest-cost option of the three guys listed here, and he too is only under contract through the end of the year.  If you're dead set against the Pistons giving up a second round pick for a PG, Foye is the guy you want the Pistons to pick up.  Once again, Dinwiddie and Anthony would work from a salary standpoint. 

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Game Recap #48 - Pistons at Raptors

(25-23) PISTONS 107
(32-15) RAPTORS 111

Box Score
Standings

TAKEAWAYS

- Improved effort, results to come?  The Pistons were plagued by poor effort on their most recent four game road trip, which saw them lose two winnable games.  While they've lost two straight (to the East's two best teams, no less), I think that the effort has been much improved from where it was about 10 days ago.  So, while the results haven't exactly been encouraging, it would have been unreasonable to expect two wins against Cleveland and Toronto anyways.  The only way there is damage done by these two losses is if the Pistons carry them with them into their game with Brooklyn on Monday.

- Re-establishing the defensive identity. Effort isn't everything on defense though, and the Pistons need to get back to the things that had them among the league's top five or six defensive squads for most of the first half of the season.  Part of the problem of late is an inability to guard without fouling, while the other main issue has been that they're allowing too much dribble penetration.  This team doesn't have enough overall athleticism to rotate successfully and/or switch on a routine basis.  Re-gaining this squad's defensive identity starts on an individual basis.

- No need to panic. While the recent week and a half hasn't exactly gone as planned, the Pistons are still in good shape playoff-wise.  A Pacers win bumped the Pistons down to 8th place in the East, but they sit there 2.5 games up on the Knicks and Hornets.  The Pistons have much better efficiency numbers than both of those teams, have some schedule factors in their favor compared to both, and (in my opinion at least) have a better roster than both teams.  If you're going to worry about missing the playoffs, keep one eye on the Wizards.  Still, I'd say the main focus right now should be on seeding, not about making/missing.

Click "Read More" for tonight's Player Scores...