After re-signing Andre Drummond to a new contract last year, I'm sure that the 10th spot in the Eastern Conference is not what the Detroit Pistons had in mind. But it isn't all Drummond's fault either. The Pistons have a few players who they are trying to dedicate their future to, and it is not working out for Motor City. Let's break down what Detroit has going on, and what they should do this off-season.


Detroit boasts three players that are considered talented NBA players: Andre Drummond, Reggie Jackson, and Tobias Harris. The problem with Detroit is that none of these guys are willing to take a backseat and possibly put together something great in Detroit.

Unfortunately, Reggie Jackson was out around half the season, and although Drummond and Harris had decent seasons, it wasn't enough. But one player that isn't considered a star yet but could be, is Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.

Free agents

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope headlines the list of free agents from the Detroit Pistons, but also the list of free agents in general. He averaged 13.8 points, 2.5 assists, and 3.3 rebounds per game this season -- which isn't a terrible stat-line. Honestly, many people thought that by this point in career he would be better. With Andre Drummond coming into form and allowing the Pistons to space the floor more, Pistons fans expected a little bit more. Especially when you factor in that Reggie Jackson was off the floor for a good part of the season, meaning there were more points to go around for the rest of the starters.

Before I continue about KCP, here are some notable mentions of Detroit's other free agents. This list includes Beno Udrih, and Reggie Bullock. These two make almost no impact on the Pistons fate. Beno Udrih will take a paycut to stick around if necessary, as he does not have retirement in mind right now, but would like to join the Pistons front office when the time comes.

Expect him to stick around until that time comes.

Bullock, on the other hand, is a different story. Although he is restricted, don't be surprised to see him leave for a place with more playing time. Maybe to take his career to the next stage. Averaging only 15 minutes in Detroit might not be enough for him. But Detroit would be wise to keep this young talent - but with Stanley Johnson also in the rotation, keeping him may be tough.

Either way, these two free agents don't mean much in the grand scheme of things as this is not the type of space the Pistons needs to create.

Caldwell-Pope will be aggressively pursued this summer, probably to the point where the Pistons most likely won't be able to, or won't find the value in matching.

At the end of the day, the Detroit Pistons couldn't keep KCP even if he wasn't being pursued. They have absolutely no cap space due to signing Andre Drummond to a huge contract, and also maintaining Reggie Jackson. So what is the underlying problem here?

The large contracts.

Buy one, get one free

This off-season, I advise the Detroit Pistons to shop their wares. If they were smart, they would stick with Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and shop Drummond and Jackson. Drummond is an old-time center, not suited for today's NBA. We have seen the traditional center taking a backseat to big men who can shoot, and Andre Drummond is no exception. Perhaps, averaging not only a double-double for the season, but also a 20-20 for half of that season got him the extension he wanted; but I wouldn't hold on to him for too long. This season showed he is nothing out of the ordinary, and the Pistons should be actively trying to dump his contract.

On the topic of dumping contracts, I believe Jackson's time in Detroit could be up.

Unfortunately, he just hasn't been able to stay healthy, or provide the numbers his contract warrants even when he does play. This is perhaps a biased take on my part because I am a huge fan of Ish Smith. While Jackson was hurt Smith provided good numbers for the team. However Ish Smith never gets love from any team, so it isn't just Detroit. Having said all this, what is the big picture looking like for Detroit?

Bottom Line

The Pistons have interesting decisions to make this off-season. It will essentially decide the future of the franchise for the next half decade at the very least. They may have a tough time off-loading such large contracts, but I believe there is a market for them. Not only that, but at the very least they should make it clear what their vision is as of now.

In the end, Detroit is in a rebuilding phase either way. Trusting a young Andre Drummond and sculpting him into an elite NBA big, or trusting their unproven young shooting guard. The good news here is the position is virtually the same either way. Therefore, the decision basically comes down to who can hold the franchise together longer, or who the front office likes more. Arguably, there is no wrong decision here.