After the signing of forward Josh Harrellson, we can now officially say that the roster Detroit has now is the complete roster for the 2013-14 NBA season. This team has taken a complete flip over the last year in terms of its members and looks to be on the rise back up the ranks in the NBA. In this article I will be taking a much deeper look into this team. I will not only go into each player's profile on this team, but also sum up how I think they will work together as the year progresses. Detroit has a lot of new faces but still has some of the old in the background and I am going to put each one under the spotlight in today's "In Depth Review" of the Detroit Pistons.
Chauncey Billups (#1):Billups has returned to the Motor City after being traded in '09 to the Nuggets. Mr. Big Shot will not exactly pick up where he left off in Detroit but will provide an invaluable amount of leadership from his experience and a solid shooting touch from beyond the arc. Expect Chauncey to play backup roles in both guard positions throughout the year if he stays healthy and be a strong mentor for Brandon Jennings among the other young guards during the season as well.
Will Bynum (#12): Bynum is entering his 6th season in Detroit and has been able to provide solid bench play throughout. Last season he played 18.8 minutes per game and although his minutes may take a cut because of the arrival of Billups, Caldwell-Pope, and Jennings he will still play a strong role on this team. Every team needs their explosive player off the bench who can heat up quickly, and Bynum is that guy. Odds are he will play around 15 minutes a game to provide instant offense whenever the team needs it.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (#5): The 5th pick in this summer's draft has a pretty big role in his first NBA season. Not only does the rookie have a good chance to land the starting shooting guard spot , but will most likely be this team's go-to spot up shooter as well. Caldwell-Pope will not be the main scoring option like he was at Georgia, but he will earn his fair share of open shots if he can learn to move without the ball well. Pope may not get starter minutes because he needs to develop first, but expect to see him starting at least at some point this year and for him to have a very solid NBA season.
Luigi Datome (#13): The former Italian League MVP has decided to join the Pistons this season as he makes his transition in the NBA. Last season over in Italy Datome put up just over 16 points and almost 6 rebounds per contest. His strongest skill is his jumper which is really going to help the Pistons with their spacing issues. He is also the type of player to make a lot from a little which means he will not need to the ball as much as the other players in order to put points up onto the board. Datome is likely to see a good amount of minutes this season at the small forward position. With Smith rotating around and really being the only person above him that can play the position, Datome will have plenty of opportunities to come in and make an instant impact in his first NBA season.
Andre Drummond (#0): This guy had a monster offseason and has shown that he is ready to take on the rest of the NBA head on. Besides Dwight Howard, Drummond may be the most athletic and explosive center in the league on both ends of the ball (when healthy). Andre will be starting for the Pistons this season and if he stays healthy will be all season. I expect him to have a double double year and provide a defensive presence for Detroit that hey have not seen since Big Ben.
Brandon Jennings (#7): Jennings is entering his 5th NBA season as a new member of the Detroit Pistons. This new change of scenery may be just what he needed in order to take on the next level in terms of his overall development in as a player. Brandon's selfish attitude and bad shooting habits will be an obstacle to overcome at first, but if he can change those and realize what his role is on this team he will become a very productive player. He will more than likely become the starting point guard, will be responsible for running the floor effectively, and being the court general that Detroit has been without for the past few years.
Jonas Jerebko (#33): Jerebko has been a member of the Pistons for 4 years now and has slowly regressed into smaller roles in each season. Jerebko is a decent bench player who basically only comes in to give the starters a rest now. He has no special skill but overall is someone who can come off the bench and hold his own for the time that he is out there. Sadly, I see Jonas possibly getting traded this season but while he is still here I expect him to continue his role as a bench player that play about 16 minutes a game this season in Detroit.
Tony Mitchell (#9): The rookie from North Texas may end up being a huge steal for Detroit from this summer's draft. the 6'8'' forward showed this summer that he will adjust to NBA game just fine, especially on the defensive end. He has an explosive game that may not translate a ton scoring wise, but he will provide a great defensive option off the bench for Detroit. In my opinion he will hold the same role that Jason Maxiell held earlier in his Piston career. Mitchell will not play tons of minutes per game this year, but when he plays expect 110% effort and for his energetic play to possibly make a couple highlight plays during the season.
Greg Monroe (#10): Monroe is entering his 4th season in Detroit and is going to benefit greatly from flying under the radar with all the hype now around Andre Drummond. Monroe is an incredibly talented young big man that has tons of time to keep improving. He was the leader of this team last year, and although he is not the most talented anymore he is still a big part of this group. Monroe will continue to be a force on the rebounding end as well as occupy more space down low offensively to help spread out the floor on offense. Greg still needs to become a better defender, but will start at the power forward position for Detroit and provide the same solid assets he always had as he continues to grow through this 2013 season.
Kyle Singler (#25): In his 2nd season in the NBA, Singler will end up taking a small step back from where he was last season. With the lack of small forwards, Singler got a lot of playing time last year to work on his game and adjust to the pros. Now with players like Smith and Datome, his minutes will slip but he will still have plenty of time to show off his skills. I expect Singler to play about 12-15 minutes per game this season off the bench for Detroit. This is a step back in terms of playing time, but I think as a result we will see Kyle up his efficiency offensively and make use of each minute he plays this year.
Peyton Siva (#34):Siva had to fight for a roster spot this summer and he definitely earned it. He had a very solid Summer League and showed that he has the work ethic to improve and deserve a roster spot. His ability to pass the ball without turning over and his ability to steal the ball quickly on the defensive end are the skills that he will have to rely on in order to get any time this season. Siva is undersized, lacks a jump shot, and is basically last in line on this guard-filled roster. I expect to see Siva on the court, but not very much. Most likely, the only time you will see Peyton is during blowouts where he will do what he can to make an impact with the small amount of time he is given.
Josh Smith (#6):In his 10th NBA season, Josh Smith is now a Piston. He brings his electric play to Detroit and although he could clash with the current frontcourt, he brings a level of energy that Detroit has rarely seen in one player. He is a dominant athlete that can attack the basket with force as well as send shots flying on the defensive end. Smith will have to learn to shoot a lot less if he wants to make the biggest positive impact he can in Detroit, but overall he brings a lot of pluses to this roster. I expect to see Josh start at the small forward position for Detroit and although it will start out rocky because he is not in his natural position, he will still be able to make highlight reel plays that will bring a lot attention to this Detroit team as they move through 2013.
Rodney Stuckey (#3): It feels like Stuckey has been a Piston forever. In his 7th season in Detroit, Stuckey will be playing the backup role for both guard positions. With his size and ability to attack the rim, he will be a great offensive weapon of the bench. He will take less minutes because of all the guards on this team, but Stuckey will still make a big difference for this team. Although he could be traded this season, expect to see Stuckey play a good chunk of minutes off the bench for Detroit and continue to put up solid numbers as he had his whole career as a member of the Pistons.
Charlie Villanueva (#31): This will be Villanueva's 5th and final year in Detroit. It is safe to say he has overstayed his welcome and will not be doing much this season. Charlie has continued to disappoint Detroit fans and has shown little effort to change it. In the final year of his contract I expect Villanueva to play minimal veteran minutes for this team. He could easily get traded because of his expiring deal, but while he is still in Detroit he will come off the bench and make a very small impact in the upcoming season.
Josh Harrellson: Harrellson fills out the final spot on this Detroit roster after previously playing overseas in China to finish his 2013 season. Harrellson was signed for two reasons. He can provide rest time for the starters and he shoots above 30% from three. Josh will rarely play this season, but having a shooting big man is always something to be happy about. He may be the final roster player but when he does play expect to see him spot up from beyond the arc and possibly provide a little offensive boost for the Pistons while their starters are taking a seat.
Overall: Overall, I am very excited to see this team play. They have more depth than they have had at basically every position and have the overall talent of a playoff contending team. In the 2013 season I expect things to start out rough chemistry wise, but in the end they will return to the playoffs and show the league that they have made their way back from the bottom. With a new head coach in Mo Cheeks among all the new faces, the future looks bright for this team. They are nowhere near championship contention, but that is not a priority right now. The goal should be to make the playoffs and for this team to develop as a group for the future. To sum it up, exciting basketball is finally back in the Motor City and I among many others are very anxious to see how this season plays out.