They began the season honoring their legendary coach and their long-time owner. They ended the season with their second team pulling out some meaningless victories and rumors of dissension with the coach. The Detroit Pistons team in April 2010 has fallen to levels not seen by a Pistons team in many years. Following a previous offseason where they committed a significant amount of money, there are questions whether this team will ever be championship calibre again.
Much like the Lions winning in Week 17 a few years back, this team also tanked a good draft pick with victories in four of their final six. How does a team go from losing 11 in a row to winning road games in Philadelphia and Miami? While the team could be commended for not giving up and playing to the finish, they have left the Pistons in a dire position to get a franchise changing player in the draft. They need to get some lottery luck or trade up to end in the enviable top three.
The five years, $95 million committed to the Charlie Villanueva/Ben Gordon combination was a tremendous waste. They started a combined 33 games this past season, while averaging roughly 25 points between the two of them. There’s no reason to expect that a player like LeBron James or Dwyane Wade would have taken that same money to come to this team, but it would take some tremendous efforts over the coming years to justify these deals. The Pistons will likely have to go the trade route this offseason to get younger and better for the future.
With Karen Davidson in charge and looking to dump the team quickly, the future is as uncertain as it has been in a generation at the helm of the Pistons. Davidson’s right hand man, Tom Wilson, is spearheading the Ilitch franchise to a likely move to the Palace. Joe Dumars lost his own right hand man, John Hammond, to the playoff-bound Bucks a couple years ago. Concern is inevitable for this franchise with a rich past and a waning fan base. If Dumars is to show his real genius, this offseason is his moment.