Despite some feeling of disappointment in the season thus far and disappointment in no moves being made at the trade deadline the Pistons find themselves in 8th place and within striking distance of spots 5-7 after going 7-3 in their last 10 games. We asked our contributors a few questions to gauge how they’re feeling with less than 25 games to play before the post season.
1. On a scale from 1-10 how disappointed were you that no moves were made by the Pistons at the trade deadline?
Jacob Kuyvenhoven: 2. It would have been nice for the Pistons to fleece somebody I guess, but most of the reports seemed like panic trades. I was perfectly fine with sitting out this trade deadline.
Steve Hinson: 5 - it would have been nice to have made a run for some of the top players who were available, but considering the rumored asking price, it's fine passing. More encouraging is the takeaway that there aren't any sacred cows - but that we're not giving fellas away just to try messing around in the free agency market...like we have before.
Ben Quagliata: 3 - Jackson’s trade value is at an all-time low, you don’t give up on Drummond 6 months into a 5 year deal after a year where he was an All-Star, and KCP would’ve been hard to get equal value because of his rookie deal. The only thing I’m slightly disappointed about is not adding another shooter - apparently Nick Young was available for a 2nd round pick, but no moves are better than bad moves.
Ben Gulker: 0, as in not at all disappointed. Selling low wasn't the answer.
Justin Lambregtse: 1, I wanted them to stand pat and that is exactly what they did. I didn't see any potential moves that really would have moved the needle much.
Ryan Pravato (Prava88): About a 5. I expected Baynes to get moved at least. Not super surprised though. Let's give this young team a chance to really pick it up. They have an opportunity to turn their season around.
Gabriel Frye-Behar: 4 - Probably the right choice to stand pat, but I'd be concerned that Reggie's value might remain low and there do seem to be some chemistry issues that shaking the mix up might help.
Sean Wheeler (hypnowheel): 2/10 - If this team had 2015-16 Reggie, they’d be well over .500 at this point. While no core player is a superstar, they’re a healthy starting-quality PG away from being a top 4 team in the East… and they are still very young.
Ken Wallace (revken): I'd say 5, because I was secretly hoping we'd pull off another fast one. But I'm glad we didn't do anything stupid.
2. What are your best and worst case win/loss records for the final 25 games post All Star break?
Jacob Kuyvenhoven: I'd say 18-7 to finish with 45 wins is about the best case. Worst-case would be like 6-19 to finish with 33, or whatever causes us to miss the playoffs by one game and have the #14 pick.
Steve Hinson: Best case: 44-38 - the schedule is pretty favorable, but they need their starting unit to start playing defense.
Worst case: 36-46 - the Pistons are just as mediocre as the rest of those "favorable" opponents on their schedule right now.
Ben Quagliata: Best case scenario is probably somewhere around last year’s record of 44-38. Our SOS the rest of the way is the 2nd easiest in the East behind Boston so there’s a good chance to climb. A worst case would be flopping completely and only ending up with 34-36 wins, as Jackson and Drummond implode and the bench cools off.
Ben Gulker: Finishing the season a game or two over .500. So however many that is!
Justin Lambregtse: Best case: 19-6, 5th seed. Worst case: 10-15, 8th seed
Ryan Pravato (Prava88): Best case is a 16-9 clip and getting that 6th seed probably. Worst case is they become the Brooklyn Nets and lose about 15 straight games and the DBB comment sections become very depressing yet still tremendously entertaining.
Gabriel Frye-Behar: Best case, let's say 19-6, 5th or 6th seed. Worst case, 10-15, 8th seed or just missing the playoffs.
Sean Wheeler (hypnowheel): Best case is 25-0. Worst case is 1-24. But given their schedule, I see them finishing around 43-39.
Ken Wallace (revken): My best case is that we go 15-10, and my worst case is that we go 11-14.
3. Given the middling play of the team and the apparent strength of the draft would you rather sneak into the playoffs or get a better draft pick?
Jacob Kuyvenhoven: I'm usually an advocate for maximizing draft capital, but the Pistons have banked too many wins to realistically be in the running for a top 10 pick, and they're actually significantly favored to make the playoffs currently. All they have to do to play a first-round series against a team other than Cleveland is pass Chicago and hold off Milwaukee and the others, and that's what I'd like to do.
Steve Hinson: Playoffs. There's not much of a difference between a 12 pick and an 18 pick. Last year, it was the difference between Taurean Prince and Henry Ellenson. I'll take playoffs and Ellenson.
Ben Quagliata: The Pistons already have 28 wins, and it’s not an unreasonable assumption to think they’ll get close to 40. If the Pistons miss the playoffs, their pick will likely be 13-14 at best, whereas they only need to leapfrog Chicago to avoid Cleveland, and are still in play for the 6th spot, which would bring a draft pick closer to 18-20. I’d rather a chance at a series win and the 20th pick over the 13th pick and no playoffs.
Ben Gulker: The team has been winning of late and is close to full strength. Make the playoffs and keep building in that. Teams that make the playoffs every year are more likely to become contenders that perennial lottery teams.
Justin Lambregtse: I would rather sneak into the playoffs. The draft is deep, but the players I would really want are going to be high picks, and there is no way this team can be bad enough at this point to get a high pick.
Ryan Pravato (Prava88): Sneaking into the playoffs would suggest that they would be the 8th seed. A 7th seed or better (while maybe it's still technically sneaking in) means no Cavaliers to face. And that means Detroit has a chance to do some damage -- you know, if they are up to it.
Gabriel Frye-Behar: Playoffs.
Sean Wheeler (hypnowheel): Always playoffs. This team has enough young players. They need to start converting draft picks into useful veterans.Hypnowheel
Ken Wallace (revken): I don't know if the draft prospects will be all that different between a 15-16 pick and 13-14 pick. Obviously we'd have a shot at winning the lottery if we miss the playoffs, but the odds of that are not great. So I'd rather see us play better and maybe even move up to a 7th or 6th seed.
Disappointed at the deadline? Thinking we’ll finish strong or hope we go full tank? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.