This year was yet another disappointing season for the Detroit Pistons, finishing 10th in the Eastern Conference with a 37-45 record. Those types of seasons have become the norm these last few years for Detroit. Not bad, not good, just simply mediocre.
The Pistons are never good enough to get to the playoffs, and when they do, they can’t get past the first round. In the past 10 years, the Pistons have only made the playoffs three times, and in those three times, have only gotten past the first round once.
It all boils down to center Andre Drummond. Drummond has a huge five year/$127 million deal, which they likely don’t want on their hands. While he has had some great years, even making an All-Star Game in 2016, his lack of an offensive skillset, his vulnerability to injuries, and horrific free-throw shooting have made him not as reliable as you’d like your star player to be.
— Aaron McMann (@AaronMcMann) November 15, 2016
He only scores 13 points per game and shoots an ugly 38-percent from the free throw line. Because of this, the Pistons have been and are willing to put Drummond on the trade block.
Another player it comes down to is starting point guard Reggie Jackson. Jackson also signed a five-year, $80 million contract two years ago with the team, stealing him away from the Oklahoma City Thunder, who were placing their bets on the fact that Russell Westbrook would be the point guard to keep.
The Pistons made the first round of the playoffs last year, before getting swept by the Cleveland Cavaliers. That series made one thing very clear: the Pistons are nowhere near ready to contend. While they have their moments where it seems like they are pulling together to make a playoff run, someone gets hurt or something goes wrong. The Pistons front office has finally figured out that they need to go into a full rebuild.
The best option for them now regarding the future of the Drummond-Jackson duo is simple: trade them away. They have not been significantly helping the team to win, and whatever the big problem that the Pistons are dealing with at any given time always seems to be regarding one of those two players. However, other teams may turn down a Drummond trade because he is simply not reliable enough offensively to provide the high-powered offense needed to run a team in today’s NBA. For instance, earlier in the year, before the trade that sent DeMarcus Cousins to the New Orleans Pelicans, Detroit offered a trade package to the Sacramento Kings that would have sent Drummond packing.
NBA trade rumors: Pistons tried Andre Drummond-for-DeMarcus Cousins swap https://t.co/NmHJHVCOaK
— MLive Sports (@MLiveSports) February 20, 2017
The Kings chose Buddy Hield and others because they have shown that they can play great offensively, which is what you need in the NBA nowadays. Jackson has had great years, but he is simply a mediocre point guard who has not proven that he can be trusted to run an offense and lead a team like point guards are expected to do.
All in all, the Pistons need to rebuild, and the rebuild needs to start with getting rid of Andre Drummond and Reggie Jackson. Those will be the starting steps in a long rebuild.