UNDER CONTRACT: F Corey Maggette, G Rodney Stuckey, F Charlie Villanueva, F Tayshaun Prince, F Jason Maxiell, F Jonas Jerebko, G Will Bynum, F-C Greg Monroe, G Brandon Knight, F Austin Daye, F-C Vyacheslav Kravtsov, G Jonny Flynn, G-F Terrence Williams
DRAFT PICKS: F Kyle Singler (2011), C Andre Drummond, F Khris Middleton, G Kim English
FREE AGENTS: G Walker Russell, C Ben Wallace, G Damien Wilkins
MOVES: Before the draft, the Pistons made a move driven by finances, trading Ben Gordon – one of their better players – and a first-round pick to Charlotte for small forward Corey Maggette. From a personnel standpoint, the deal makes no sense. Detroit already has Tayshaun Prince, Jonas Jerebko, Austin Daye and rookies Kyle Singler and Khris Middleton who can play small forward. But Gordon has two years left on his deal and Maggette has one; next summer, the Pistons will have considerable salary cap room. GM Joe Dumars also added Ukrainian 7-footer Vyacheslav Kravtsov with a three-year, $4.5 million deal; he may be able to hold his own as a backup center. Right before camp opened, the Pistons also signed Jonny Flynn and talented but troubled swingman Terrence Williams to non-guaranteed deals. They are no-risk, possible-reward moves because both will have to beat out someone with a guaranteed deal.
TO-DO LIST: The Pistons had no cap room this summer and were perhaps the league’s quietest team in the offseason; when they signed Flynn, it was their first move since the moratorium. They figure to be much more active next summer, when Maggette, Jason Maxiell and Will Bynum come off the books. The trio also could be used as trade bait. Another cap-clearing move could be the use of the amnesty clause on Charlie Villanueva, who will have one year at $8.6 million left on his deal, or buy out Prince, who will have two years and nearly $15 million left on his absurd contract. The coaching staff also has to extract some production out of Daye, who regressed badly last season and can become a restricted free agent next summer.
PROJECTION: There is the semblance of a foundation being built, but promising youngsters Greg Monroe, Brandon Knight and Andre Drummond are surrounded by disaffected veterans such as Prince, Villanueva and Maggette. Coach Lawrence Frank has to make sure that this season is about development and not some postseason pipe dream. This is a bad team that is positioned to possibly get better next summer, and Pistons fans will have to be patient.
(RELATED: What grade did the Pistons get?)
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