michael redd

Dumars is in the final year of his contract and making the playoffs now seems essential, with a new owner in Tom Gores, a half-empty arena and five straight losing seasons. The Pistons have fine young pieces in Andre Drummond and Greg Monroe, but trying to win with an unproven point guard is tough. It’s partly why Dumars bypassed Trey Burke in the draft, and why the Pistons are mentioned in every trade rumor involving the Celtics’ Rajon Rondo, even though Dumars denies them.

It’s why the Pistons drafted someone who appears more NBA-ready, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, and why they doled out $54 million for mercurial but talented forward Josh Smith.

“I know we can compete for (the playoffs) now,” Dumars said. “We’ve upgraded the talent, the shooting, the leadership, the athleticism. I’m really comfortable if we had to go into the season with this roster. But you can’t shut the door and say, ‘OK, we’re done.’ ”

Reported by Bob Wojnowski of the Detroit News