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DBB offseason plans recap: Stanley Johnson and Tobias Harris top the wish lists

Hey, that was pretty fun!

Ivan Pierre Aguirre-USA TODAY Sports

For the first year of the DBB Offseason Plans Project, we had 15 folks post FanPosts. There were a variety of ideas and for the time of year when the Not Pistons are taking on the Not Pistons in the Finals, made for some nice conversations. We'll need to do this again next year.

So here's how each decision broke down.

8th draft pick

Stanley Johnson: 5
Bobby Portis: 3
Trade: 2
Mario Hezonja: 2
Frank Kaminsky: 1
Myles Turner: 1
Sam Dekker: 1

Half a dozen different players and a couple of different trades, this one was all over the board. Johnson was the closest thing to a consensus, but Portis is the surprise here. Projected as the 17 pick by Draft Express, Count That Baby and a Foul's bandwagon has clearly been picking up passengers. A notable absence from any plans is Kristaps Porzingis, who fits the Pistons need as a shooting power forward and is fifth on Chad Ford's big board.

38 pick

J.P. Tokoto: 3
Rakeem Christmas: 2
Mam Jaiteh: 1
Jonathan Holmes: 1
Guillermo Hernangómez: 1
Timothe Luwawu: 1
Robert Upshaw: 1
Andrew Harrison: 1
Dakari Johnson: 1
Tyler Harvey: 1
Cliff Alexander: 1
Trade: 1

Even more all over the place.

Point guard, shooting guard

Every single plan brought back Reggie Jackson. Considering the sentiment toward Jackson in February and March, I'd say that's pretty remarkable. In fact, most plans seemed entirely comfortable with the status quo at both guard spots.

12 plans had the point guard lineup as Jackson, Jennings, and Dinwiddie, and 13 included Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Jodie Meeks. A couple used Jennings as a trade chip, rolling into the season with Dinwiddie as the primary backup. It seems that most folks are good with the status quo at the 1 and 2 spots.

Six plans had just KCP and Meeks as the only shooting guards on the roster - one thing to keep in mind about this route though is that the position was in pretty rough shape last season when Meeks missed the first 22 games, and that was when we had the versatile Kyle Singler. But if both Jackson and Jennings are playing the way they did at points last season, the idea might be to play with a two point guard lineup if in a pinch.

Small forward

Khris Middleton: 3
Tobias Harris: 2
Stanley Johnson: 2
DeMarre Carroll: 2
Danny Green: 1
Danilo Gallinari: 1
Wes Johnson: 1
Omri Cassipi: 1
Wilson Chandler: 1
Sam Dekker: 1

The most popular route for addressing the opening at starting small forward this offseason was through the free agent market. Restricted free agents Khris Middleton and Tobias Harris would take big contract offers to deter their current teams from matching (and even then could be a long shot), while a couple of plans called for big paydays for DeMarre Carroll.

One interesting thing about the plans calling for rookies, there wasn't a ton of depth behind them. One had Caron Butler as the primary backup, another had Cartier Martin, and the other was K.J. McDaniels. It's not often that rookies are able to step right in to a starting job and be successful - especially at small forward. The only rookie small forward to start at least half of his team's games and provide .100 or higher win shares per 48 minutes was Nicolas Batum in 2008-09. That's it.

But it shows the confidence some DBBers have in this rookie class. And it could pan out. Dekker's well-rounded game has some similarities to Batum, and Johnson has some similarities to another small forward who made an instant impact in Andre Iguodala. Seems risky to me though.

Power forward

Anthony Tolliver: 3
Paul Millsap: 2
Tobias Harris: 2
Terrence Jones: 2
Bobby Portis: 1
Karl Anthony-Towns: 1
Brandon Bass: 1
Thaddeus Young: 1
Jared Sullinger: 1
Kevin Love: 1

If I had to guess who the most popular choice for the starting power forward before this experiment started, my guess wouldn't have been Anthony Tolliver. In addition to showing up the most often in the starting lineup, he also was the backup in 10 plans. In most cases he was providing support for a younger player (Portis, Thomas Robinson, Myles Turner). With his affordable contract for next season though, he was present in all 15 plans.

With Harris also listed a few times at small forward, he was the most popular free agent target of the project. It seems that thanks to Scott Skiles being hired as the new Magic coach, Harris was perceived as the most attainable of the restricted free agents.

While free agency was the route most addressed the small forward spot, there was more variety here. Some went the trade route and a couple were willing to start rookies.


As the franchise player, it's no surprise that Andre Drummond was the primary option for every plan but one. But what's a bit more surprising is that Joel Anthony was also present in almost every single plan as well.


There were two major takeaways that I got from this exercise. First, there are a ton of different routes the Pistons could take this summer. Second, it's not going to be easy.

The free agency market is competitive. With the rising cap teams are going to be willing to spend. With Detroit's six-year playoff drought the Pistons aren't too likely to be an attractive destination.

Thanks to everyone who submitted a plan, and especially to JDBell20 for doing most of the work putting the numbers together.

Now your thoughts. What were some of the highlights/lowlights you observed?