The Pistons finished this shortened NBA season with a 20-46 record, which was 13th best in the Eastern conference. The only stars on the roster are former NBA MVP Derrick Rose and power forward Blake Griffin, who had an injury-filled, disappointing season. Here’s the Detroit Free Press with an overview of what Pistons free agency may look like this offseason:
The Pistons are projected to have around $30 million in cap space, depending on the new salary cap. They are among six teams in the league that will have cap space, positioning them to be a major player in the free agency and trade market.
Since general manager Troy Weaver took over in June, the organization has avoided using the term “rebuild.” Despite finishing 20-46 and moving on from Andre Drummond and Reggie Jackson, the franchise is eyeing a return to playoff relevancy.
It’s tough to project exactly what the Pistons will prioritize. But there are two obvious positional needs on the roster — point guard, and center. Pistons coach Dwane Casey told reporters in June that for the roster to continue to develop, the team needs a starting point guard. Derrick Rose is the only natural point guard on the roster with experience. Considering he has a year left on his deal, it seems likely the Pistons will look to acquire a point guard either through the draft or free agency.
The roster also only has one true center under contract next season in recently signed Justin Patton. There are other players on the roster capable of playing the position, but the Pistons lack depth there. Casey experimented with playing Sekou Doumbouya as a small center during group workouts in September, but said having a traditional center is a necessity.
D-Rose is 32 years old, while Griffin is 31. While Rose is signed just through next season, Griffin reportedly has a player option for almost $39 million in the 2021-22 season. Unless he has a seriously great bounce-back season, Griffin is likely to exercise that option to remain with Detroit.
But no matter how those two players play, the team is clearly in rebuild mode, and that needs to dictate the moves they make in the next few months.