After falling extremely short of their expectations for the 2013-14 season, the Detroit Pistons (mainly Stan Van Gundy) have their work cut out for them this summer.
Detroit fired head coach Maurice Cheeks after just 50 games with the organization, finished with a 29-53 record, and ultimately, are still stuck in the rebuilding process.
As previously mentioned, Van Gundy was named the Pistons head coach and head of basketball operations, signing a 5-year, $35-million contract on May 14.
Now that Detroit doesn’t have a first-round pick, there are three clear objectives for the 2014 offseason.
Greg Monroe enters the offseason as a restricted free agent and it’s clear that Andre Drummond, Josh Smith, and Monroe cannot coexist.
Back in February, ESPN.com reported that Detroit’s front office plans to match a max-offer sheet for the big man, whether or not those intentions have changed since SVG has joined the staff remains to be seen.
There’s no questioning the talents of the Pistons big man and he undoubtedly has a higher ceiling than Smith, however, SVG’s offense prefers a power forward that can extend the floor and Detroit is bound to Smith for another three seasons.
Even in a diminished role last season, Monroe averaged 15.2 points, 9.3 rebounds, and 2.1 assists per game.
A likely plan for the Pistons is to match any offer that Monroe receives in free agency and try to shop him later on, depending on the status of Josh Smith.
Which brings us to Detroit’s second objective:
2. Ship Josh Smith or Brandon Jennings- hopefully both
This may seem like an impossibility, but the Pistons could find a suitor for one of the two semi-superstars.
Last season, Smith averaged 16 shots per game (2nd highest in career), 3.4 3-point attempts per game (career high), shot 41.9% from the field (career worst), and averaged 6.8 rebounds per game (another career low).
He is obviously a piece that Detroit would like to move, but he is owed $13.5 million in each of the next three seasons.
In the other hand, Detroit owes Brandon Jennings $16.3 million over the next two seasons.
In 2013-14, Jennings had career lows in free-throw percentage (75.1%) and points per game (15.5). He also shot just 37.3% from the floor, the worst since his rookie season in 2009-10.
A destination that would make sense for one of these erratic players would be the Brooklyn Nets, who are looking to part ways with the final three years of his five-year, $98.7-million contract.
The only light shinning on the 2013-14 Pistons season was the emergence of Andre Drummond.
Not only did Drummond dominate on a nightly basis, he provided highlight-reel plays and put up an occasional 20-point 20-rebound performance.
On a nightly basis, Drummond averaged 13.5 points, 13.2 rebounds (second-highest in NBA), 1.6 blocks, and 1.2 steals.
His 57 double-doubles and 2.8 combined blocks and steals both ranked second-best among NBA centers.
Whatever the final outcomes may be with objectives 1 and 2, the Pistons must focus primarily on the future of Drummond with this organization.