“Deeeeeetroooiiiit baaaaasketbaaaaall.” There’s a phrase we can be excited about using again. The Detroit Pistons made a huge blockbuster deal on Tuesday that will send Brandon Knight, Khris Middleton, and Vlacheslav Kravtsov to the Milwaukee Bucks for Brandon Jennings. The Pistons meant business this offseason. When Dumars and the organization said that there were big moves to be made, they were not lying.
Before I give you my take on the trade and new Piston roster, I’d just like to point out an interesting fact: the Pistons now have three lefties in their starting lineup (Jennings, Smith, Monroe). I’m not sure if that has ever happened on a team before, but all three of these lefties are legit players. Smith and Jennings are both all-star caliber players and Monroe is almost at that level.
Now, on to the trade: honestly, I don’t think Dumars had much thinking to do about this deal. The Pistons, 100%, got an amazing deal that could change their whole future. Forget about taking that next step from being a lottery team to a lower-seeded playoff team. Detroit is sick and tired of playing games. They’re ready to start embracing the culture of winning basketball again.
Brandon Knight brought a nice amount of potential to the table and the Pistons were likely willing to be patient with him. However, Dumars and the front office came across an opportunity they simply could not pass on. Jennings is a point guard and a point guard’s main job is to control the floor and make their teammates better. Although Jennings still has to work on his decision-making as a point guard, he can consistently score 20 points per game. That is something this team has not had for a few years, probably since Rip Hamilton was slowed down by the departure of Chauncey.
Jennings gives Detroit a bonafide scorer who is willing to do a lot, from taking game-winning shots to being the point guard of the future. Put him with Josh Smith, Greg Monroe, and Andre Drummond. Now, this squad has a lot to work with. The addition of Jennings and Smith adds much more funk and excitement to the offense. Although both have trouble taking good shots at times, there is an upside to that: the previous team Detroit had was made up of players who were hesitant to shoot the ball. Jennings and Smith sure aren’t shy when it comes to that department.
Now, let’s throw Smith aside and look at the trio of Jennings, Monroe, and Drummond. Talented big men greatly benefit off good point guards and vice-versa. As Drummond continues to develop his offensive game, he and Jennings have the potential to be the best point guard-center combo in the league, someday. Jennings and Drummond may not click right away because it’s going to take some time. But both are young players with very promising futures. Because of that, don’t be surprised if we see Detroit back in the Conference Finals a couple years from now.
Now that the Pistons have a squad of a few young all-stars, I think quite a few fans will come back to support them. The real fans, such as myself, have bared with them through their ups-and-downs. We must understand that the NBA is a business. Teams have times where they’re dominant, when they’re just average, and when they’re going through a period of struggle. When the opening game of Detroit’s season kicks off, make sure to flip on those television sets and stay tuned.
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