By Kevin Major @KevinMajor_Rant on June 22, 2014
The Detroit Pistons are coming off a disappointing 2013-14 campaign in which they finished 29-53. Detroit has responded by hiring Stan Van Gundy to be its head coach and president of basketball operations. Van Gundy and his staff have several important decisions to make this offseason in order to turn the franchise around. Here are the Pistons' top five offseason priorities.
The Pistons' first-round pick belongs to the Charlotte Hornets, so Detroit's first selection will come with the 38th pick in the draft. Look for the Pistons to target a versatile wing player with this selection. Cleanthony Early is a great option. Early is a good athlete who should make an immediate impact on the defensive end of the court.
Detroit spent the eighth pick in last year's draft on shooting guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. He struggled to produce during his rookie season. He averaged just 5.9 points per game and shot under 32 percent from three-point range. The Pistons need Caldwell-Pope to take a big step forward in his second season and carry more of a scoring load.
The Pistons will have plenty of cap room to work with this offseason. With money to spend, Detroit should pursue free agent small forward Luol Deng. Despite playing much of the year for an awful Cavaliers team, Deng averaged 16 points and just under six rebounds per game last season. He would provide the Pistons reliable scoring and solid defense.
Detroit's experiment of playing Josh Smith, Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond on the court at the same time failed miserably last season, especially defensively. When those three played together, the Pistons allowed 110.5 points per 100 possessions. Detroit should scrap the idea now and attempt to get something of value for Smith while they still can.
Greg Monroe is set to become a restricted free agent this offseason. Detroit should make re-signing the big-man its top priority. Monroe has his flaws: he is slow-footed defensively, a below-average passer and inconsistent with his mid-range shot. However, Monroe has shown a good low-post game and the ability to rebound at a high rate. Young, talented frontcourt players are hard to find. Detroit should lock-up Monroe for the future.
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