Detroit Pistons: Harnessing Tom Gores’ urge to overspend in 2020

(Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
(Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images) /

The Detroit Pistons will have money to spend this offseason, but team executive Ed Stefanski needs to harness owner Tom Gores’ aspirations to make a splash- signing just to try and draw a crowd back to Little Caesars Arena.

Currently, the Detroit Pistons rank 26th in the NBA when it comes to total attendance.  When Tom Gores gave the go-ahead to acquire Blake Griffin two years ago, it was a desperation move and last ditched effort to make a playoff push.  Gores knew what he was doing, and it worked – for a year.

Bringing in Griffin created some buzz around Detroit, but in the modern NBA, pairing two high priced big-men together in the frontcourt who struggle to shoot with range doesn’t work.  Griffin did produce incredible numbers and just a year ago, in fact, a career-high 24 points per game. But Andre Drummond isn’t much of a shooter outside of seven feet.

It was all for not because Griffin had been significantly worn down as the year grew old trying to drag the likes of Drummond and Reggie Jackson to the playoffs that by the time the Pistons arrived, his body had broken down.  As you know, the Pistons were promptly swept by the Milwaukee Bucks.

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Since, the Detroit Pistons under Ed Stefanski’s guidance have overhauled their roster. Still, like last seasons’ playoff push, it will be all for not if team owner Tom Gores expects Stefanski to waste the money he freed up by moving Drummond and ridding themselves of the expiring Jackson contract just to spend it on mediocre talent.  Please, not another Ben Gordon, Charlie Villanueva scenario.

I don’t dislike Gores, but when it comes to the Pistons, it feels like they are just a hobby. Something to talk about with his rich friends in Los Angeles while circulating a rock glass in his hand as the ice-cubes rattle against the outer edge of the glass.

Perhaps it’s just an investment to fill out his portfolio. Gores likes to be front and center and willing to spend money, but now is the time to be conservative, pairing the up and coming lottery pick with Sekou Doumbouya and Christian Wood, eventually hoping the trio develops into something a top-tier free agent wants to join.

He’s hinted to possibly moving on from head coach Dwane Casey already.  I feel that would be a mistake at this point.  I know the Pistons haven’t performed the way we want them too. Still, he’s developing players like Wood, Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk, and working with the youngest player in the league, Doumbouya.

Gores needs to be patient with this rebuilding Detroit Pistons team; the organization needs to take their time and do this the right way.  Dwane Casey seems to have the perfect demeanor when it comes to building the confidence of the young up and comers. I feel he struggles with finding a perfect rotation but look at what he has at his disposal.  It’s difficult to compete night in and night out with this group.

Hopefully, the Detroit Pistons choose to re-sign Christian Wood along with Thon Maker and Svi, who are both restricted, free agents.  The Pistons need to save money this summer and plan to spend it in 2021 when a plethora of contracts across the league expire.

Ed Stefanski needs to convince Gores that spending money this summer on one-year deals is the best route.  Perhaps even considering bringing back Langston Galloway and Brandon Knight on cheap-ish one-year deals to mentor the younger Pistons players for another year.  I’d like to see Detroit try and upgrade Maker, possibly pairing someone like Derrick Favors, at the right price, with Wood in the frontcourt this summer.

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If Gores insists on trying to upgrade the roster this summer, at least sign players that will desirable as depth players to another organization at the trade deadline allowing the Pistons to land some draft capital heading into the 2021 draft.