The Detroit Pistons are in the middle of nowhere when it comes to the Eastern Conference landscape.
After missing out on the playoffs last season, Detroit is in a complicated position. They are not good enough to battle against the Cleveland Cavaliers for the top spot in the Conference. They are not a Top 4 team either, so the home-court advantage for them will be hard to get. The Boston Celtics, the Washington Wizards, and the Toronto Raptors are better than them as well.
However, they are not one of the worst teams in the league, either. They are better than the Brooklyn Nets. And are a few steps above teams such as the Chicago Bulls, the New York Knicks, and the Orlando Magic. So basically, Detroit is one of eight teams that will battle for one of the remaining playoffs spots.
Considering their situation, Detroit needs to be very careful with their movements in the open market. They improved the roster with the arrival of Avery Bradley. And a healthy Reggie Jackson could give them quite a boost offensively as well. But if the Pistons want to be playoff contenders, they need to hold on to one particular player. We are talking about Andre Drummond.
Drummond had an impressive season last year, but there are reasons for concern. Even though he averaged 13.6 points and 13.8 rebounds per game, he also showed a lack of effort at times defensively. And given his talent and ability to score near the rim, many believe he should be scoring far more points. In other words, some believe he has been a bit underwhelming throughout his career.
While that’s true, that doesn’t mean the Pistons should part ways with him. Drummond is only 24 years old and will be 25 when the season starts. He is AT LEAST three years away from hitting his prime, and he is already one of the best centers in the league. Considering the NBA lacks competent big man, the Pistons would be crazy to trade him away. Especially considering that they would struggle to replace him. After all, we’re talking about a 25-year-old center who averages nearly 13 points and 13 rebounds per game in his career.
Players like DeMarcus Cousins and DeAndre Jordan are better than Drummond, but Detroit won’t get them. So they need to stay with what they currently have on the roster if they’re not going to find a suitable upgrade. After all, the sole addition of Avery Bradley should be enough to push them towards a playoff berth in the East.
And even if they don’t reach the postseason, Detroit should stay the course. Drummond is a great building block, and the Pistons should try to build around him as long as they can.