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Top Team Needs for the Detroit Pistons Going into 2021

| November 6, 2020 7:50 am PDT
Detroit Pistons' Biggest Needs for the 2021 NBA Season

The Detroit Pistons have been going in the wrong direction for several years now. The franchise has endured coaching changes, failed trades, and misguided free agency moves.

Detroit has really dug themselves a hole, but in one sense, they’re able to finally start over this offseason. A slew of players are already gone, and others will be coming off the books, which means the Pistons can honestly do a lot of different things, if they so choose.

This team is embarking on a full-blown rebuild, though, as an aging and constantly injured Blake Griffin can’t possibly be their franchise cornerstone.

But where do the Pistons really go from here?

It all depends on what they want to accomplish this year. Are they kidding themselves into being title threats? Do they just want to sniff the playoffs? Or are they going to build this thing back up like real, actual adults?

I’ll assume (hope?) the latter, and here’s what the Detroit Pistons’ biggest needs are – and how to address them before the 2021 NBA season arrives.

A Franchise Point Guard

The number one need for the Detroit Pistons is point guard. Derrick Rose is a really nice bench guy and spot-starter, and Luke Kennard can handle the rock in a pinch.

Heck, I don’t even hate a little Langston Galloway here, and a little Bruce Brown Jr. there.

As long as the Reggie Jackson era is officially in the rearview mirror, we can all take a second and breathe in the musty mist of mediocrity, am I right?

Perhaps, but Detroit has a pick inside the lottery this year, so it makes sense to invest it wisely. Fortunately for them, this class is loaded at the point guard position.

LaMelo Ball won’t get to them, but Killian Hayes might.

Some regard him as the top point guard – if not the top player – and yet he may slide right to the Pistons.

There’s also Tyrese Haliburton and Tyrell Terry, while the Pistons could always trade down (or back into the first round) and net a better value like Nico Mannion or RJ Hampton later in round one.

I doubt free agency is the way to go here; not if the Pistons are serious about getting their guy. Take the guy that calls to you, rotate them with Rose until they’re ready, and cross your fingers you didn’t mess it up.

Someone to Take on Blake Griffin’s Contract

You came here looking for the Detroit Pistons’ biggest needs. This is absolutely one of them. It’s not a position or something abstract. It just is a literal need. Or a desire.

Let’s say both.

The problem is Blake Griffin is a really good player. Like, so good, that it’s sad that nobody even knows it anymore.

Griffin can smash his way to easy buckets, he has a finesse game, he can kill you with his mid-range jumper, he’s developed a silky smooth three ball, he rebounds well, he starts fast breaks, and he can create offense for himself and others.

He literally is a mini-LeBron. Unfortunately, he’s breaking down and costs a ton. He can’t elevate the Pistons on his own, either. Even if he could, Detroit no longer can trust him to do so.

The Pistons can’t just cross their fingers that he can make that happen, and they sure shouldn’t build around him as if he’s some superstar that can’t fail. It’s time to move on, however painful, and by any means necessary.

Fortunately, there should be a trade market for Griffin.

Don’t ask me how it happens, though. Just head over to the ESPN Trade Machine thingymabob and see what sticks to the wall of desperation.

A Big Man to Build Around

Not Blake Griffin. I love the guy, and he can still play, but he isn’t the dude the Pistons want to attach their future to at this point.

It wasn’t Andre Drummond, and we all came to terms with that, so let’s just rip the band-aid off here and move along, shall we?

Awesome. Okay, so the next best thing would be to just draft a stud. Detroit does own the 7th overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, so that is not wishful thinking in the least.

The first guy that jumps out is obviously James Wiseman. He’s unproven, but the little we’ve seen from him is jaw-dropping stuff. He’s a traditional big with elite athleticism, length, and explosiveness.

Yeah, sign me up for that.

If not Wiseman (he could easily go a lot earlier), then the Pistons should be eyeing Onyeka Okongwu, although the 7th spot feels a bit rich for him.

Considering Detroit’s dire need for a franchise point guard, you could also argue they should just use some of their cash and address this need in free agency. That could involve hanging onto the budding Christian Wood, who crushed for them down the stretch last year.

He also happens to be one of the better big men available on the open market.

Once in free agency, though, there’s a lot of useful bigs to choose from. Tristan Thompson, Hassan Whiteside, Serge Ibaka, and Derrick Favors are just a few attractive names when looking for some help down low.

Summary

Beyond the three big Detroit Pistons needs, this team just needs to bring in bodies. They’re going to have the cap space to sign guys, swing trades, and make whatever moves they want.

Griffin is a temporary problem, but he’s no longer the roadblock. There’s nothing overly wrong with hanging onto him and squeezing whatever goodness he has left in those deteriorating legs.

If Griffin balls out and the guys around him rally, maybe this is a playoff team. If Griffin breaks down, Detroit will wish they’d traded him and drown in a sea of tears for another couple of years.

It’s all the same thing, right?

In all seriousness, the Pistons are in a rebuild. They can keep Griffin and allow him to leave a positive imprint on the young guys coming together, or they can move him for some assets.

Whatever they do, they must enter the new year with a plan at point guard, and a long-term option down low is also pretty crucial. Filling out the roster will take care of everything else in due time.

Before long, you should be able to bet on the Pistons in some capacity, whether it be their win total, whether they make the playoffs, and so on. Make sure you’re using the best NBA betting websites when you do so.

Noah Davis
Noah Davis

Noah Davis is one of the more diverse writers at GamblingSites.com. Like many of his colleagues, he's a huge fan of both football and basketball. But he also writes about box office records, TV show prop bets, DFS, and all kinds of other subjects.

When it comes to the NFL, Noah's favorite team is the Cleveland Browns. He enjoys cheering them on with his wife and daughter.

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