Roster Breakdown (Starters in Bold)
- PG - Brandon Knight, Will Bynum
- SG - Rodney Stuckey, Ben Gordon,
- SF - Tayshaun Prince, Austin Daye, Damien Wilkins
- PF - Charlie Villanueva, Jonas Jerebko, Jason Maxiell, Vernon Macklin
- C - Greg Monroe, Ben Wallace
I've lost track of Joe Dumars' plan. There is actually some talent on this roster, but the composition leaves a bit to be desired. In the past week or so, they've decided to bring back both Tayshaun Prince and Rodney Stuckey in curious moves that would seem to block their young guys (Knight and Daye) from flourishing. The Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva signings haven't worked out, but both are still capable of contributing in a positive way. The issue with Detroit is that they still don't have a go-to guy, and with Stuckey and Gordon both being combo guards of sorts, it's difficult to get a sense of the rotation, especially when there are widespread reports that they'll play Stuckey as the starting 2-guard. But in the midst of the mess, there's a beacon of shining light at the 5 with Greg Monroe. I'm a huge fan of his game, and while he's probably not a natural center, he is more than capable of playing there in today's NBA (think Al Horford in terms of that). He's a great passer, can block shots, and if he's healthy, he's immediately an above-average center in year number two. Also, look for Jonas Jerebko to pick up where he left off 2 years ago following his injury, as a young, talented Euro who will help them up front. I don't see a playoff possibility in Detroit, but if they stay healthy and don't outright quit on their coach for the second straight year, they won't be an unmitigated disaster.
Stuckey. For the money they gave him, they need him to be their best guard, and while there's been flashes, I've never seen enough to find him as a piece I wanted moving forward. I think playing Stuckey at the expense of developing Brandon Knight is a mistake, but if he's good, Detroit could be decent. I'd give the runner-up to Monroe, but I'm so high on him that I feel sure of what they'll get from the young big.
Predicted Finish12th in the East