Task #1 is obvious, get rid of Joe Dumars, but after that what do you do with the roster?
That is 8 of the 15 players that can be carried on a roster. You may ask where Josh Smith and Brandon Jennings went. Josh Smith was sent to the New York Knicks for Andrea Bargnani who becomes a floor stretching big man who plays 15 minutes per game. Brandon Jennings is traded to the Los Angeles Lakers for Steve Nash, Nash is a role player who seldom plays, he is used as a three point specialist and to mentor Peyton Siva and the other young guards.
Next up is the draft, in the first round The Pistons select Marcus Smart, a 6-4 elite athlete and defender. Smart comes in as a combo guard, but first the Pistons should try to make him a Point Guard.
In the second round of the draft the Pistons select CJ Wilcox, a mature 23 year old Shooting Guard, he shot 39.1% from deep last season and would help space the floor.
Now the Pistons have 12 players of their 15 man roster, including 3 point guards, 4 wing players, and 5 big men.
Now is free agency, after Charlie Villanueva and Rodney Stuckey expire the Pistons save 17 million dollars, but the Pistons give Greg Monroe a 4/56 extension, they save 3 million dollars there, they decline Chauncey Billup's option year saving 2.5 million, they use the stretch provision to release Will Bynum saving them 1.8 million, Jonas Jerebko declines his player option saving the Pistons 4.5 million dollars, the Smith for Bargnani trade saves the Pistons 1.6 million, but they Jennings for Steve Nash trade costs 1.6 million making those trades a wash.
After taking the rookie salaries plus the 10 veterans on the Pistons roster the team salary adds up to $48.58 million, out of a league salary cap of $58.68 million. This gives the Pistons $10.10 million in cap space, this gives the Pistons space to do some work in free agency.
The first move is to sign Trevor Ariza for 4 years at $8 million per year, amounting to $32 million, assuming that the contract is slightly back loaded this contract will cost about $7.5 million against the cap.
This leaves 2.6 million for one final free agent to give the roster 14 player, the signing is Jason Smith for 2 years at $2.5 million per year. This gives the team a big man who can knock down mid-range shots.
The New Roster looks like this:
PG: Marcus Smart – Peyton Siva – Steve Nash
SG: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope – Kyle Singler – CJ Wilcox
SF: Trevor Ariza – Kyle Singler – Luigi Datome
PF: Greg Monroe – Andrea Bargnani – Tony Mitchell – Jason Smith
C: Andre Drummond – Josh Harrelson – Jason Smith
Next up is the Head Coach dilemma, I am going to throw a name out there, Steve Kerr. Steve Kerr was a good GM with the Phoenix Suns, he constructed a solid roster and generally drafted well. He played with Michael Jordan, and Dennis Rodman, so he knows how to handle superstars and how to handle insane people. He is on of the greatest shooters ever and could be a great teacher to Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.
I know nothing about what makes a good GM, but my ideal GM fits the following description: Not Isiah Thomas.
This is just my idea, so feel free to comment on yours and criticism is fine, the main point of this off-season is to be a playoff team next season (7 or 8 seed is fine with me) since we won't have our pick, and this sets us up for a huge free agency period with the expiring contracts of Andrea Bargnani and Steve Nash.