Joe Dumars has disclosed his plan: make the Pistons faster, more athletic, and tougher than the rest of the league. Andre Drummond was described as one of the most athletic big men to come around in a generation - big, strong, fast, quick, and a true leaper. With the addition of this year's draft picks you can see that the team continues to make strides in this direction. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope brings athleticism, power, leaping ability and excellent shooting ability to the wing position. Tony Mitchell may be even more impressive than any other athlete drafted in his rare combination of strength, speed, and leaping ability. Peyton Siva is small, but also brings speed, quickness, and unyielding tenacity - he was rated the second fastest point guard at the combine behind only Shane Larkin.
These four players form the nucleus of a squad that is changing the face of Detroit Basketball. I have a feeling that there are several other players that will blend well with this mix. Kyle Singler has proven to have a solid motor. Jonas Jerebko too is known for his hustle. Brandon Knight may not be yet recognized as much for his quickness yet, but I have a feeling that it is just a matter of time until he does emerge as an exceptional player. Don't forget Will Bynum's toughness and quickness; I'm expecting him to re-sign with Detroit to help instill this upbeat style of play. Kim English may yet prove to be a solid addition. I recall him being named one of the smartest players in last year's draft, and it might be said he needed to figure out his NBA game during his first season. Khris Middleton and Slava Kravtsov are two more young players that could well fit the new Piston mold.
Of course the team also has a Moose. He's a big powerful player too with considerable gifts. I expected a bit more from him last year, but perhaps as the cast around him becomes better, he will prove to only shine more brightly. Every team needs a low post power forward that can create scoring opportunities - Greg Monroe is this player for the Pistons, and truly should be recognized as a star.
Does Joe have more in store? There are players you have to wonder a bit about whether they really fit the new Pistons style. Charlie Villanueva and Rodney Stuckey are two players that have repeatedly struggled in Detroit. Will they remain on the team? Are they going to be moved in a trade? Will CV be 'amnestied' yet this year, in his last contract year? How will Stuckey's half year guaranteed contract play out? Are they players who's financial commitments make them especially appealing to another team? It seems that they are most likely on the bubble and it could pop and send them away soon.
Eric Bledsoe appears to be one of the targets the Pistons would like to add. He would seem to fit with this new style of play. It would be interesting to see the Pistons also deal for another small forward to bolster this new image further. Who comes to mind as a good fit for the Pistons that might be on the trading block?
Michael Kidd-Gilcrest was recently mentioned as being available. Although he hasn't proven to have great shooting ability, perhaps his slashing style might prove to be a good fit while he works on developing a better mid-range shot.
Derrick Williams has also been mentioned as being available. Although he was drafted as a power forward he's been noted as having worked on improving his quickness. He might prove to be another interesting option.
Are there other likely candidates? What about signing free agent CJ Leslie or Richard Howell from NC State? Both players bring special physical qualities that could help them to become special contributors - speed and strength.
Oh, you were expecting me to mention proven pro free agents too, weren't you? Well there are some good players to be had, but to be honest, I'm not that enamored with how they would fit with the new piston blue print.