Detroit's slowly ascending in the East after impressive year
How about them Cavaliers? After steamrolling their way through the Eastern Conference, its fair to say the Pistons put on one of the best performance against LeBron James & Co. so far this post-season. Despite an undeserved sweep in the first round, Detroit certainly looks like it could be a rising powerhouse in the East, as MLive's David Mayo points out.
Andre Drummond was an All-Star this season, he earned All-NBA Third Team honors and received some votes in the All-Defense teams along with teammate Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. Rookies Stanley Johnson and Darrun Hilliard showed a lot of potential and newcomers Tobias Harris and Marcus Morris made their presence felt in the Motor City. The team will be one to watch in the future as they continue to grow and mature, and as Pistons' GM Jeff Bower explains, a trip to the playoffs this year was a big stepping stone for the young guns. Per Adrian Wojnarowski's The Vertical Podcast:
"We gained an awful lot from playing the Cavs. We gained a lot from the experience and competing against them. I do think we competed and we competed hard and came up short, we are for the better."
Kool Aid or not, the Pistons definitely made the Cavaliers earn their trip to the second round, where the Atlanta Hawks struggled to put anything together; the Raptors have made Cleveland pump the brakes slightly behind some passionate play, but in the end they still made their way past them to earn a Finals berth. After seeing our conference colleagues play this postseason, it certainly isn't a stretch to imagine us snagging the fourth or fifth seed in next year's playoffs.
Although Chad Ford and ESPN would like to make you think we'll be returning to mediocrity as soon as this upcoming season (21st overall over the next three years? Really?), don't be fooled, whether or not anyone is paying attention, we will continue our ascension in the East.
Detroit vs. Everybody.
Draft & Stash a real possibility for Pistons as they look to make more offseason moves
The Pistons have been rumored to be open to trading one if not both of their draft picks in the upcoming draft, with recent comments from Jeff Bower letting on that the team views their first round pick as a bargaining chip in any potential future transactions. Detroit's GM was also candid about some of the other ways the teams may look to use their draft picks, per Vince Ellis at the Detroit Free Press:
"That is a possibility, of an international player who remains over in Europe for a year or two," Bower said recently at the NBA draft combine in Chicago."You have to look at the economics of everything, how each decision impacts it."
As far as international prospects go, there a few in the second round that could make interesting additions a few years down the track after they polish their game a bit more. Seven-footers like Russia's Andrey Desyatnikov or Greece's Georgios Papagiannis could use a little more seasoning before joining the NBA, Detroit may also look to draft a swingman such as France's Isaia Cordinier or Germany's Paul Zipser and convince them to stay with their respective clubs until they have a chance at competing for a roster spot with the Pistons.
In the first round there are a few more options, such as Chinese centre Zhou Qi, French swingman Timothe Luwawu, or even Turkish shooting guard Furkan Korkmaz just to name a few, but with rising speculation that the Pistons will look to draft a point guard in the first, it seems as though the international connection may be left to the second round. How do you feel about Motown potentially going with a draft & stash prospect? Do you have anyone in mind if the do decided to go international? Have your say in the comment section below.
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Happy Birthday Rook @iAmSJ big year for you next year.— Brandon Jennings (@thinkiminthe90s) May 29, 2016