Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE
The longtime Pistons small forward said in April that he was hoping the Pistons could sign a veteran point guard to help mentor the young Brandon Knight. I don't think Pistons fans had much problem with that, as they just wanted a point guard period -- none of the trio of Knight, Will Bynum and Rodney Stuckey are traditional point guards (to say the least) and while they've already moved Stuckey off the ball many believe that is Knight's destiny as well.
But even as they prepare to again give Knight 30 minutes a game to start learning how to do "point guard things," right now the team is thin in the backcourt. And with the signing of Vyacheslav Kravtsov the ability to sign one is as good as gone. And worse, it might point to Ben Wallace being true to his word and retiring.
Lets take a look at the roster as it stands right now:
That is already 15 players and the guard situation seems especially dicey. The only reserve point guard as of now is Will Bynum with Rodney Stuckey serving as a safety valve at the position. But an injury to Knight or Stuckey could really pose a problem for the Pistons.
And again, with the roster already tapped out it means that it is less likely that the Pistons will be able to bring back Ben Wallace, which is doubly sad as they could have really used a strong presence like him following the drafting of 18-year-old Andre Drummond.
There is a possibility that one of the recent second-round draft picks bolts to play overseas but I don't think that they were drafted with the understanding that they would have to spend a year out of the NBA. A trade isn't that crazy, especially if they can craft a two-for-one deal trading marginal talent for marginal talent. But the most expendable non-rookies are Austin Daye and Will Bynum. I don't think the Pistons would have picked up Daye's $4 million option if the team was going to just give him away before the season started. And if you deal Bynum away you are still facing the same lack of point guard depth.
And speaking of lack of depth, assuming they don't just throw Drummond to the wolves right away (ala Knight) and put him in the starting lineup, the team will be relying on two untested rookies as its only reserve true big men.
So is this the team the Pistons are going to have on opening night. Is there roster flexibility I haven't considered yet? As constituted, is this team better than last year's?