Detroit Pistons: 2016 Preview, Offseason/Draft Recap, Outlook
Detroit Pistons 2016 NBA Season Preview
October 11, 2016
NBA Championship: 150/1 Over/under win total: 45.5 See the Latest Odds
The Detroit Pistons come into the 2016-17 looking to build on a 44-38 record that saw the Pistons sneak into the playoffs for the first time since 2009. Optimism will be at a higher level than recent years, will the Pistons be able to meet the expectations?
Here is your 2016 Detroit Pistons preview.
USA TODAY Sports
Key Additions: The Pistons were another team that didn’t make too big of a splash in the free agency market this past offseason, signing role players such as Jon Leuer, Ish Smith and Boban Marjanovic to multi-year deals. This biggest addition in public opinion would have to be the re-signing of all-star center, Andre Drummond to a 5-year, $130 million deal to stay in the Motor City. Drummond averaged well over a double-double last season, logging 16.2 points and 14.8 rebounds per game, both career highs. Drummond also almost averaged a double-double in his first career playoff series, putting up 16.8 points and 9 rebounds in 4 games.
Key Losses: The most noteworthy of all the subtractions from last year’s squad has to be Anthony Tolliver, who signed a 2-year, $16 million deal to head to Sacramento. The Pistons also traded Jodie Meeks to the Magic for a future draft pick. Meeks was supposed to be an up-and-comer on this young Pistons team, however a broken bone in his foot kept him out of action for the majority of the 2015-16 season, even though Meeks did score 20 points in his return, the team’s regular season finale against the eventual champion, the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Breaking down the draft: The Pistons bolstered their front-court depth through the draft, selecting Henry Ellenson from Marquette with the 18th overall pick. Ellenson flew under the radar up until the draft with the likes of Ben Simmons, Brandon Ingram and Buddy Hield among other taking up the spotlight. However there’s plenty for the Detroit faithful to like about the pick, as Ellenson fell just short of averaging a double-double in his lone season at Marquette, logging 17 points and 9.7 rebounds per game. The Pistons used their 2nd draft pick to balance out the back-court, selecting Syracuse product Michael Gbinije 49th overall. Gbinije, a Duke transfer who left for the Orange, broke out in his senior season, averaging 17.5 points, 4.1 rebounds and 4.3 assists while shooting 39% from 3-point range and 46% from the field, all while leading Syracuse to an improbable run to the final four.
Outlook: The future looks bright in Detroit, as they’ve locked up Drummond and have some underrated pieces around him to start building something. However the Central division is shaping up to be one of the more competitive divisions for this upcoming season. The Cavs are the Cavs, the Bulls are trying to start fresh, the Bucks are also young and dangerous and the Pacers are an enigma. Too many questions for me to think the Pistons are a lock for a playoff spot, but they have a chance.
Projected record: 43-39