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News » Detroit needs size, skill

Detroit needs size, skill

Detroit needs size, skill
AUBURN HILLS -- The Detroit Pistons need to land a superstar talent this summer or at the very least, a difference-maker.

That's no secret.

But for them to return to being a true player in the hunt for an NBA title, they're going to have to field a much deeper team than the one we saw limp through a 39-43 season and a four-game sweep in the playoffs.

Detroit's quest for improvement began Thursday night at the NBA draft.

The Pistons didn't land a bona fide superstar or a player they can build the franchise around.

Who does when your highest pick is No. 15?

But they did add players who have certain skills that, as Detroit looks toward the future, are needed.

Austin Daye, a skinny-as-a-toothpick forward from Gonzaga, was scooped up by Detroit at No. 15 -- one spot before Detroit's other top target, Louisville's Earl Clark, was gobbled up by Phoenix.

Daye isn't going to come in and become a starter right away for Detroit.

But with his length and ability to shoot, the 6-foot-11, 192-pound forward could contribute off the bench.

"You see a lot of the forwards like that now, the Rashard Lewis, Hedo Turkoglu, guys that can play both (forward) positions, and be out on the floor and make shots," said Joe Dumars, Detroit's president of Basketball operations.

Detroit also drafted DaJuan Summers and Jonas Jerebko in the second round, two players who also can play multiple positions.

"All three of those guys can go between 3 (small forward) and 4 (power forward)," said Scott Perry, Detroit's vice president of Basketball operations. "We felt we needed to get more athletic, get more size and add more skill to our roster, and we got a couple guys that can shoot the Basketball, too."

Said Dumars: "That's what we're trying to do here. We're trying to increase our roster size and get back to being nine, 10 deep."

Depth is important, but at some point, Detroit needs to add a bona fide difference-maker to their roster.

That's where free agency and the $19 million in salary cap space the Pistons will have should come into play.

With only a handful of teams looking to spend money on free agents, Detroit will have a lot of options. And if Kwame Brown opts out and becomes a free agent, Detroit will have even greater financial flexibility.

Utah's Carlos Boozer has been the name linked with the Pistons most often, but Detroit might be reluctant to offer him a max contract considering he has played less than 51 or fewer games in three of the past five seasons. Last season, he appeared in only 37 games.

Another option is Chicago's Ben Gordon, although, adding him to a roster with Richard Hamilton and Rodney Stuckey could cause some of the problems Detroit experienced last season when Allen Iverson joined the team.

Utah's Paul Millsap might not be the sexiest choice from free agency, but he might be the best fit. He's not a superstar by anyone's definition, but he clearly is a difference-maker with a blue-collar-like approach to the game, who would inject some much-needed toughness into the Pistons' lineup.

If Boozer decides to not opt out this summer, Utah will be hard pressed to keep him and resign Millsap.

Regardless of who the Pistons bring from free agency or trade, that player can't return Detroit to a spot among the game's elite teams by himself.

It's going to take Detroit becoming a deeper, more talented team.

"When you see teams like Cleveland trade for Shaq and Orlando trade for Vince Carter, what it tells you is this: Even though those guys have superstars on their team, what they realize is just having one superstar is not good enough," Dumars said. "You have to have depth. You have to continue to build a deep roster."

Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website:
Added: June 30, 2009


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