By: Evan Jankens
The Pistons this year are in a weird spot. They know they have to get better through the draft since it doesn’t seem like any big name free agents would want to play on a team that is rebuilding. The question is, will tanking this year really help the team out in the long run?
The Pistons are filled with young guys who need to win to know what it’s like. Right now Brandon Knight, Greg Monroe, Rodney Stuckey and Jonas Jerebko are the pieces the team will build around. OK, so now they have four spots out of their starting five in place for the next three to four years. I believe the Pistons will once again look to get bigger in the middle, whether it’s drafting a center or a power forward. Greg Monroe has shown that he can play either the four or five and guard both positions as well.
Where the Pistons really need to get a big improvement is their bench. On the Pistons bench right now is an ageing Ben Gordon who can still come off the bench and light it up on any given night; Austin Daye who was the 15th overall pick 3 years ago and can’t seem to get off the bench and contribute to the team at this time; and Will Bynum, who is a backup point guard — but he is what he is, a nice player who can score on his own.
But is he a player you want to have during rebuilding years? Charlie Villanueva is a PF who has all the intangibles a big man needs, he can shoot, he’s 6’11 but when it comes down to it he doesn’t play in the post and doesn’t seem to have an interest in rebounding. Damien Wilkins is a swing man, a nice veteran piece on the team but he won’t be around after this year. Jason Maxiell who also is a PF and has seemed to play some nice basketball over the past month and can give the Pistons some energy in spots but yet again no one to write home about. Tayshaun Prince is the veteran leader on the Pistons, can he stay healthy over the next few years to lead the young guys and teach them about the NBA? I know I hope he can be that as well as the Pistons I would assume. Walker Russell Jr. is just filler right now on the team. Finally there is Ben Wallace who has been a staple of the team but announced this is his final season.
Now you know the breakdown of the roster you can see there are a ton of holes to fill. Tanking this year and landing the number one overall pick would be awesome — Can you imagine the Pistons landing a player like Anthony Davis from Kentucky who is hands-down the best player in college basketball? Davis would be a great addition to Greg Monroe but that doesn’t fill all the other holes this team has. After Ben Gordon coming off the bench there really isn’t too much of a sure thing. Austin Daye may have a huge summer and something might click in his head and he can be the player the team has always thought he would be, but that’s doubtful right now having seen the lack of improvement over the last few years.
The Pistons need multiple players and not just one at a time. Right now the Pistons sit with a record of 16-32 which is last in the Central Division and only better than the Charlotte Bobcats in the East. If the Pistons land in the top 5 they will do just fine in the draft, since this year is a pretty deep draft. Losing game after game for this team in my opinion would only break the spirits of these young players who have to see what it’s like to win. That’s what it will take to drive them to want to win more! Players need to win to see what it’s like. Lawrence Frank is a tremendous head coach in the NBA and should be able to teach these players how to win and right now just losing to lose is not an option.
So, let us know: Should the Pistons just tank to get the best possible draft pick?