Okely dokely. Plan time. With the incalculable number of variables that different theoretical trades would add I'm going to start my reign as imaginary GM by saying that there won't be any trades this offseason.
Sorry, I know that's lazy and boring, but I think the squad as is, plus a couple pieces that are readily available could truly be a legit threat in the East next season, so I think there's a potentially strong argument for... letting the pot stew, or the stew, stew some more, or pick your own analogy. Here goes the plan:
PLAYER I WILL GIVE MASSIVE AMOUNTS OF MONEY TO BECAUSE HE DESERVES IT AND IS GOOD
1. Andre Drummond - Max contract, 5 years/$120m. $20m/year.
CORE PISTONS PLAYERS WHO ARE NOT GOING ANYWHERE BECAUSE THEY'RE ALREADY GOING TO BE PAID BY THE PISTONS
2. Reggie Jackson - $15,000,000
3. Tobias Harris - $17,000,000
4. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope - $3,678,319
5. Stanley Johnson - $2,969,880
6. Marcus Morris - $5,000,000
7. Aron Baynes - $6,500,000
PLAYERS ON THE PISTONS WHO ARE SOLID AND PAID BY THE PISTONS AND SHOULD STAY AND BE BETTER THEN EVER BEFORE (BUT IF IN THE REAL WORLD ANOTHER TEAM WANTED THEM I WOULD POSSIBLY TRADE FOR A DIFFERENT ASSET)
8. Reggie Bullock - $2,255,644
9. Jodie Meeks - $6,540,000
10. Darrun Hilliard - $874,060
PROSPECTS WHO I WILL THINK ABOUT DRAFTING AND THEN MAYBE DRAFT
I'm happy with the wing options on the roster, so the draft will be all about guards and bigs, so I'll group my draft prosepcts in two sections, so here you go, 1. Guards, 2. Bigs.
Malik Beasley (SG). First round option. A potential steal is staring the Pistons in the face here. Beasley's stats and "measureables" compare very favorably to Jamal Murray, a certain lottery pick and potential top-5 prospect. Beasley was an elite scorer as a freshman at FSU, something rarely accomplished in the ACC. IME, If he'd played at UNC/Duke/Kentucky there's a good chance he's a top 5 pick. Beasley is a pure SG statistically, so he's redundant with the roster, but I also think he has a chance to be one of the better players selected in the draft, and KCP is about to become a very highly paid SG, and while there's no doubt he's a valuable player, having a high upside developmental prospect behind him seems like not a bad idea.
Denzel Valentine (PG/SG). First round option. Versatile offensive player, great shooter and passer. Decent size/length maybe will mitigate against lack of height. The Pistons roster is generally low on passing ability, he'd be a nice fit as a ball handler initiating offense out of PnR's in SVG's offense. Goes to MSU so is the next Draymond. Concerns about athleticism and how he'll hold up on defense. Not as "safe" a pick as typical 4th year seniors because of transition from ball dominant lead guard to role playing floor spacer/occasional ball handler.
Gary Payton II (PG). Second round option. Elite defensive potential. Steal rate and offensive rebound totals for a PG suggest a guy with tippy-top level athletic ability. Also has a fairly well rounded game statistically. Old for his class so upside is questionable. But seems a safe bet to be an above average defensive player.
Brice Johnson (PF/C). First round option. Borderline dominant inside scoring and rebounding numbers. Subjectively is the personification of scout words like "bouncy." Adequate but not great defensive numbers. Questionable fit alongside Dre as he's not a floor-spacer, but if Johnson is drafted with the idea of being a change of pace, high energy back-up, there's a whole lot to like in his game. Despite being a 4th year senior, potentially unlocked potential as he's still a string-bean but already massively productive.
Domantas Sabonis (PF/C). First round option. Still young for having already flashed major rebounding and inside scoring skills. Big questions defensively as his block rate is borderline scary low for a big man prospect. Riskier prospect than he might seem at first glance.
GUYS WHO I WILL PICK IN THE NBA DRAFT
First round, 18th pick - Malik Beasley (11). Second round, 49th pick - Gary Payton II (12).
Reasoning - Beasley has probably the highest upside amongst players who are likely to be available at 18. He's a wing scorer coming into a league where a team can never have too many wing scorers. He doesn't plug a roster hole, but he's an excellent fit long-term for a team built around Dre. Payton is a safe pick, IME his strengths are of the type that are most likely to translate to the NBA, and I think he's the best overall value available in the Pistons 2nd round range.
GUYS I WILL GO AFTER AND SIGN IN FREE AGENCY (ALL NUMBERS APPROXIMATE AND POSSIBLY IMPOSSIBLE)
Veteran back-up PG, who is hopefully unnecessary, but knowing SVG is very likely to play a decent number of minutes: Donald Sloan (13). 2 years/$4mil. Why, you ask? Because he's probably just a little less good than Shane Larkin, but will probably be paid waaaaay less. Showed an improved jumper last season. Is a quintessential back-up PG and will be fine being paid like one. IME because of just how subjectively wobbly Steve Blake looked at times last season it's made the back-up PG position seem more important than it actually is.
Veteran back-up small-ball PF: Marvin Williams (14). 2 or 3 years at $8m-$10m per year. He's an unrestricted free agent, and I'm banking on Charlotte being mainly concerned with re-singing Batum. Would give the Pistons a potentially devastating floor spacer who can fit in basically any line-up combination at multiple positions. Would add to the Pistons supply of lengthy SG/SF/PF's who are all long/smooth/etc. Seems like a no-brainer fit, question will be if he's looking for a sure-fire starter spot, or gets a crazy contract offer from somewhere.
GUYS WHO ARE JOEL ANTHONY
15. Joel Anthony.
OVERALL NEW AND IMPROVED ROSTER CONSTRUCTED BY ME