If you can call having a horrible season and finally getting a lottery pick a move then Greg Monroe is it. Finally the Pistons draft the Big Man they so dearly need. You can’t pin all your hopes on Monroe until he proves himself in the NBA. Monroe, a skilled rebounder and passer at Georgetown will have to show up every night and contribute to be live up to Detroit’s expectations.
Detroit also picked up a what may turn out to be a draft steal in the second round. Terrico White had a strong showing in the Summer League and turned heads with his dunking abilities during the rookie photo shoot.
White unfortunately had surgery on a broken bone in his foot and won’t see the court until early 2011. That’s a better case than defensive stopper Jonas Jerebko who will be sidelined 5+ months. Speaking of injuries, the Pistons took a flyer on one of the NBA’s most often injured superstars, Tracy McGrady, as Detroit Bad Boys notes in their preview:
Beyond the draft, Dumars made solid decisions in free agency. He extended the Benaissance for another two years, inking Ben Wallace to a contract worth not much more than the vet minimum. He gave Will Bynum one of the most fair contracts issued this summer, not spending a penny more or less than what the little fella should have earned. While Joe still had the mid-level exception in hand, he opted instead to issue a flyer to Tracy McGrady, the two-time scoring champion who had been crippled by back and knee injuries. In the off (like, very off) chance that McGrady stays healthy, the Pistons could luck into some real talent.
The upcoming season is critical for Rodney Stuckey, as he’s got a lot of pressure to become the point guard that Dumars hoped when he traded Billups away. While Stuckey is optimistic, the predictions for the Pistons are not. Motown Lowdown tipped us off to this less than flattering the Marvel cover for the Pistons from ESPN the Magazine (more about the Marvel covers). Is Joe D really trying to re-create the Bad Boys? While “doom” may be too strong a word, as you can see in mLive’s survey of sportswriters, there’s not a lot of folks out there calling for success for the Pistons. Many point to the Pistons’ overabundance of wing players and relative lack of defense, and John Hollinger of ESPN.com sums up the opinion of many:
Detroit will be better because Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva will play better and the others are likely to spend less time on the injured list. Additionally, I expect Greg Monroe to pay dividends right away. All those changes may help make the Pistons a halfway decent offensive team, albeit a well-nigh unwatchable one that continues to play a sleep-inducing pace while running mid-90s style isolations. In the big picture, Detroit’s perimeter depth makes a playoff appearance possible if everyone has a good season and stays healthy. That’s a best-case scenario, though.
One of the biggest stories that will affect the Pistons in the upcoming year has nothing to do with what’s on the court, but rather who’s picking up the bill. Mike Ilitch, owner of the Detroit Tigers and the Detroit Red Wings is apparently seeking a monopoly on major sports in the Motor City by seeking to add the Pistons to his holdings. While the move would enable Ilitch to seek a new combined downtown arena for the Pistons & Red Wings, you can put Drew Sharp in the not-a-fan of the move column.
Here’s Flintstone TV talking to some of the Pistons including Rip Hamilton & Tracy McGrady at their 2010 Media Day: