20-52 • 15th in EASTERN CONFERENCE
|G||29||$12,600,000||6' 3"||200 lbs||TEXAS|
|F-G||21||$898,310||6' 8"||190 lbs||N/A|
|G||23||$5,686,677||6' 2"||205 lbs||NORTH CAROLINA STATE|
|G||23||$250,000||6' 3"||205 lbs||DUKE|
|G||23||$1,663,861||6' 5"||202 lbs||KENTUCKY|
|F-C||20||$3,121,080||6' 8"||250 lbs||WASHINGTON|
|C-F||25||$1,882,867||6' 10"||270 lbs||DUKE|
|F||27||$19,047,619||6' 8"||210 lbs||SYRACUSE|
|G-F||24||$4,767,000||6' 8"||207 lbs||KANSAS|
|G||20||$5,307,120||6' 5"||195 lbs||N/A|
|G||30||$5,000,000||6' 4"||205 lbs||KANSAS STATE|
|G||22||N/A||6' 2"||183 lbs||VANDERBILT|
|F||22||$2,689,920||6' 7"||215 lbs||VILLANOVA|
|F||20||$3,449,400||6' 8"||230 lbs||N/A|
|F||23||N/A||6' 8"||255 lbs||IOWA|
|G||33||$2,564,753||6' 4"||207 lbs||NORTH CAROLINA|
The Detroit Pistons underwent a roster overhaul in the offseason, with just four players staying on from the 2019-20 campaign: Blake Griffin, Derrick Rose, Svi Mykhailiuk, and Sekou Doumbouya. Literally everyone else packed their bags and moved elsewhere.
Detroit's most notable departures include Christian Wood (signed with the Houston Rockets as a free agent), Luke Kennard (traded to the Los Angeles Clippers), Langston Galloway (signed as a free agent with the Phoenix Suns), Thon Maker (signed as a free agent with the Cleveland Cavaliers), and Tony Snell (traded to the Atlanta Hawks).
The Pistons did bring in a heap of new faces to the squad, though, headlined by free agent signing Jerami Grant. Josh Jackson, Mason Plumlee, Wayne Ellington, and Jhalil Okafor also signed with Detroit as free agents.
Detroit also added three first-rounders from the draft in Killian Hayes (seventh), Isaiah Stewart (16ht), and Saddiq Bey (19th).
The new-look Pistons enter the new season with a starting five of Killian Hayes, Josh Jackson, Jerami Grant, Blake Griffin, and Mason Plumlee. Derrick Rose, when healthy, will serve as the squad's sixth man and should serve as the Pistons' primary offensive weapon for the second unit. Guys like Delon Wright, Saddiq Bey, and Svi Mykhailiuk will be some of Detroit's most important players off the bench.
Despite being part of this team's current core, both Blake Griffin and Derrick Rose should be on trade watch, as the Pistons could emerge as sellers as they approach the trade deadline.
The Pistons won just 20 games during the 2019-20 campaign, giving them one of the worst records in the entire NBA. This had a lot to do with a rather dysfunctional offense for Detroit, who ranked just 20th in the NBA in terms of their 108.8 offensive rating.
Unsurprisingly, the Pistons struggled to score throughout last season. They averaged just 107.2 points per contest, which was 25th in the league. They took just 85.7 field goal attempts per game (27th). They made just 39.2 field goals per contest (27th), and their field-goal efficiency from the floor wasn't very good either at 45,9 percent (18th).
The Pistons heaved a lot of three-pointers last season (32.7 per game - 17th), but they only made 12.0 of them per game (17th). They were actually pretty good from distance percentage-wise, as they shot their threes on a 36.7-percent clip (11th).
In terms of getting to the line, the Pistons averaged 22.4 free-throw attempts per game (22nd). Their 74.3 shooting percentage from the charity stripe ranked 26th in the NBA. The fact that their best player, Andre Drummond, averaged just 59.7 percent from the line last season on 5.2 attempts per game clearly had a lot to do with the team's inefficiency from the stripe.
The Pistons were a middle-of-the-road team in terms of moving the ball around. They averaged 24.1 assists per game (16th). Taking care of the rock is also something this team will want to work on moving forward, as they averaged 15.3 turnovers per game last season (25th).
Detroit's offense was bad in 2019-20 (they ranked 20th in the NBA in terms of offensive rating), but their defense was actually worse. Overall, they garnered a 112.3 defensive rating, which ranked 22nd in the league. They were not bottom-dwellers, but it's safe to say that the Pistons did not put forth a very formidable defensive line in 2019-20.
The Pistons allowed opposing teams to put up 110.8 points per game against them, which was 15th in the NBA. That's actually not too bad. However, if you consider how opponents averaged 48.0 percent from the field against the Pistons (28th), then you'll get a clearer picture as to Detroit's shortcomings on the defensive end last season. They did hold opponents to just 87.3 attempts per game (10th).
One thing the Pistons were good at last season was preventing their opponents from attempting three-pointers. They allowed just 29.6 attempts per game from beyond the arc last year, which was a very impressive second in the NBA. Then again, opposing teams made 36.1 percent of their three-point attempts (19th).
The reason opposing teams veered away from the three-pointer against the Pistons was probably because Detroit made it easier for opponents to score within rainbow territory. Opposing teams averaged 57.8 two-point field-goal attempts against the Pistons (25th), while making their shots on a 54.1-percent clip (24th).
Detroit was able to stay away from foul trouble for the most part, averaging just 19.7 fouls per game (eighth). This resulted in just 20.9 free-throw attempts for opposing teams, which ranked fifth in the NBA.
The Pistons had one of the best rebounders in the league on their team in 2019-20 (at least for the most part), but shockingly, they were the worst team in the NBA in terms of rebounding as a unit. They averaged just 41.7 rebounds per contest, which was dead last in the NBA. To make matters worse, Drummond averaged 15.8 boards per game during his stint with the Pistons in 2019-20. Detroit secured just 32.0 defensive rebounds last term, which ranked 27th in the league.
The Pistons averaged 7.4 steals last season (21st) while swatting an average of 4.5 blocks (22nd). For what it's worth, Drummond averaged 2.0 steals and 1.7 blocks per game on his own.
As a team, Detroit forced opponents to 14.0 turnovers per game, which was just 21st in the NBA.
The head coach of the Detroit Pistons is Dwane Casey. He is now in his third year at the helm after the Pistons hired him in the summer of 2018.
Prior to joining the Pistons, Casey spent seven seasons as the head coach of the Toronto Raptors. He was named as the NBA's Coach of the Year in 2018 after leading the Raptors to a 59-win campaign.
In his first year as the head coach for the Pistons, Casey led the team to the playoffs for just the second time in the past decade. They were overmatched against Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks in the first round, which resulted in an early exit for the Pistons in a clean sweep.
Casey's second season in Detroit was far from successful. The team won just 20 games in 2019-20, and as it appears, this team is headed in the same direction for 2020-21. Over the course of his first two years in Detroit, Casey put together a record of 61 wins and 87 losses.
Despite the team’s lack of success in 2020-21, Dwane Casey signed a contract extension through the 2023-24 season.
Serving under Casey as his assistant coaches are Tim Grguric (also the Director of Player Development), Sidney Lowe, Sean Sweeney, and Micah Nori.
Detroit's latest signing comes in the form of 6-foot-8 forward Tyler Cook, who signed a 10-day contract with the team on March 28, 2021.
Cook, a former Iowa standout, made his NBA debut in 2019 for the Cleveland Cavaliers. He's been in and out of the NBA since. Aside from the Cavs and the Pistons, Cook has also suited up for the Denver Nuggets and the Brooklyn Nets. Prior to joining Detroit on a short-term deal, Cook had played in a total of just 17 NBA games.
The Pistons were very active in the 2020 offseason in terms of bringing in a number of new faces via free agency.
Their biggest catch was Jerami Grant, who signed a three-year deal worth $60 million as part of a sign-and-trade deal with the Denver Nuggets. His steep price initially raised a few eyebrows, but Grant has since proven that he is worth every penny (and more) of his current deal.
Detroit also signed Mason Plumlee on a $24.7-million deal for three years. Josh Jackson signed for $9.8 million for two years, while Wayne Ellington put pen to paper on a single-season contract for $2.6 million. Former third overall pick Jahlil Okafor also signed as a free agent for the Pistons on a two-year deal worth $4.0 million.
Also of note is that the Pistons signed/drafted four rookies from the 2020 NBA Draft: Killian Hayes (seventh), Isiah Stewart (16th), Saddiq Bey (19th), and Saben Lee (38th). Deividas Sirvydis, their draft pick from 2019, also signed for Detroit on a three-year contract worth $4.2 million.
The most recent player Detroit traded for is Cory Joseph. The Pistons acquired the 29-year-old guard from the Sacramento Kings in exchange for Delon Wright. As part of the deal, Sacramento also sent a 2021 second-round pick and a 2024 second-round pick to the Pistons.
Joseph is set to earn $12 million next season in what is going to be a contract year for him. Unless he signs an extension with the Pistons, Joseph is going to be a free agent in the summer of 2022.
As for Wright, he arrived in Detroit back in November 2020 as part of a three-team trade deal. After a noteworthy first half of the season, Wright attracted the interest of a few teams prior to the trade deadline. Ultimately, it was the Kings who made the move on the 28-year-old combo guard.
Throughout its rich history, the Detroit Pistons have won three NBA championships. Among those three title-winning squads, the one that stands out the most is Detroit's 1988-89 roster.
The Pistons won their first championship in franchise history in 1989 behind the leadership of Hall of Fame point guard Isiah Thomas. Known as the "Bad Boys Pistons," Thomas was joined by Bill Laimbeer, Joe Dumars, Rick Mahorn, Adrian Dantley, and Dennis Rodman. Other prominent players on that squad included Mark Aguirre, Vinnie Johnson, John Salley, and James Edwards.
Coached by Chuck Daly, the Pistons won a league-best 63 wins that season en route to winning the Central Division title. The Pistons defeated the Boston Celtics and the Milwaukee Bucks in the first and second rounds of the playoffs, respectively, with both series ending in clean sweeps in favor of Detroit. The Pistons then memorably defeated Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls in the Eastern Conference Finals, 4-2, before winning the NBA championship against the Los Angeles Lakers in the Finals via a historic sweep.
The Pistons are operating with a total cap of $114.7 million for the 2020-21 season. While this figure is still above the league-mandated salary cap, Detroit's front office deserves credit for navigating their cap situation relatively well particularly prior to the mid-season trade deadline. The is still over the cap by $5.6 million, but this is a relatively small variance compared to most of the other teams in the league.
Offseason free-agent signing Jerami Grant now holds the honor of being the most handsomely-paid Piston this season with his 2020-21 salary at $19.1 million. Cory Joseph ($12.6 million in salaries), who arrived in a mid-season deal from the Sacramento Kings in exchange for Delon Wright, is the only other Piston earning above $10 million.
Mason Plumlee ($8 million), Dennis Smith Jr. ($5.7 million), and rookie Killian Hayes ($5.3 million) round out the top 5 earners.
With how the Pistons have overhauled their roster during the season, the 6th man role fluctuated quite a bit in 2020-21. Killian Hayes, Detroit's point guard of the future, has also been out of the lineup for a significant period due to injury, so he has also been unable to totally find his groove in his debut campaign.
Once everything is up to speed, however, 23-year-old swingman Josh Jackson will probably take over the role as the team's Sixth Man. Head coach Dwane Casey appears to have a ton of confidence in Jackson, which bodes well for his chances of securing a high-impact role for the Pistons the rest of the way.
With the Pistons currently focused on developing youth, their starting five with two highly-promising rookies in Killian Hayes (PG) and Saddiq Bey (SF), but Hayes’ injury allowed Delon Wright to start over 30 times in 2020-21. They are joined in the starting unit by a couple of veterans in Wayne Ellington (SG) and Mason Plumlee (C). The star player on the Pistons squad right now is Most Improved Player candidate Jerami Grant who takes up the starting PF post.