There are still a lot of questions for how the 2015-16 season will go for the Detroit Pistons. Will Reggie Jackson play like he did with the Oklahoma City Thunder or after he was traded to Detroit? Will Andre Drummond take another step forward? Will Ersan Illyasova stay healthy and produce like he did a few years ago? What will happen with Brandon Jennings? And many more questions. Because of this, ESPN is mixed on how it feels about the Pistons.
On one hand, they see two potential first time All-Stars on the Pistons.
ESPN ($) pegs @AndreDrummondd No. 4, @Reggie_Jackson No. 6 on list of likeliest first-time NBA All-Stars http://t.co/4vsbxDkUb0— Keith Langlois (@Keith_Langlois) August 27, 2015
Now, that is an Insider article. However, I am not sure what is the difference between that article and this one, but they have Drummond as number three in this one and don't even have Jackson on the list.
Can @AndreDrummondd take his game to the ASG in 15-16? The @DetroitPistons big man is 3rd on our list. #ESPNForecast pic.twitter.com/LnjKnzc5Yn— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) August 27, 2015
Now, for that to happen, the player either has to be voted in by fans or be a coaches pick. Both are difficult. A lot of people outside the state of Michigan, and even some in Michigan, have jumped off the Pistons bandwagon. So for a Piston to be picked by the fans, the Pistons will need to be newsworthy. On the other hand, even if the Pistons are losing but Andre is having a beast of a season, the coaches could vote him in (same goes for Reggie). However, the coaches usually fill by need and scoring. Let us hope that if Drummond and/or Jackson are chosen it is because the Pistons are winning, not because they are just having awesome seasons despite losses still racking up.
There is an #ESPNForecast category that the Pistons did not receive a vote in, and that is great. That category is which team will have the most turmoil. That honor goes to the Sacramento Kings. Van Gundy is building a cohesive team that all have the same mind and goals, and whether it be the team building through loss or spending a week in Vegas training with MMA trainers, they are bonding. This is encouraging.
Now, previously ESPN had said that the Pistons would finish 11th in the East with a final record of 35-47. That is only three wins better than last year. So it seems contradictory that they would also have voted for the Pistons to have a turnaround this year. Granted, it is only six votes and tied for 10th with the Boston Celtics, but a turnaround is a turnaround.
That turnaround would've been difficult if the Pistons didn't bring in quality players. Well ESPN says that three of those players are in the Worst Newcomer category. Aron Baynes, Marcus Morris and Steve Blake all received one vote. Granted, they are not game changers. But at the cost for each, those are not bad additions. Baynes may be the most controversial when you look at his $20 million dollar contract, but that's over three years. Rajon Rondo led the list with 84 votes, Josh Smith was eighth with nine votes, and DeMarre Carroll followed Smith with eight votes. Oh, and Greg Monroe received six votes.
Though the Pistons have "bad newcomers", ESPN does not think they have any good newcomers. Now, maybe this is strictly limited to free agent pickups. At least that is what I thought until I saw Justin Anderson with five, Karl-Anthony Towns and Myles Turner with three votes. Yo ESPN, where's Stanley Johnson?
Well, ESPN did vote for Johnson for Rookie of the Year. Once. That is right, in their forecast, Johnson does not have a chance to win ROY. Justise Winslow has a better chance, as he received 12 votes. Maybe that one vote Johnson got was Chad Ford after seeing him in Summer League. Nope...
Mudiay was my choice for ROY in #ESPNForecast Towns was No. 2, Okafor No. 3 https://t.co/33zuK0eEZn— Chad Ford (@chadfordinsider) August 19, 2015
This tweet will get deleted in the future, I'm sure.
There was only one other #ESPNForecast poll, and that was for League Most Valuable Player. As I suspected, the Pistons did not get a single vote.
Honestly, I did not expect the Pistons to get much love from any national media source. Which is going to be so sweet when they are playing in the Finals on ABC next June. Would anyone like some koolaid? I have some extra.