The Detroit Pistons hit their ceiling, getting swept out of the first round of the playoffs by the Milwaukee Bucks. What do they need to do this offseason to take the next step?
The Pistons got a stunning, career-season from Blake Griffin and still struggled to lock down a playoff spot until the final days of the regular season. When Griffin went out of the lineup with a knee injury they looked unbelievably overmatched in the first two games of their series with the Bucks. Even when Griffin returned it was clear that they were in over their heads.
With a non-lottery first-round draft pick and a crowded cap sheet, what do the Pistons need to do to improve this offseason?
5. Make a point guard plan
It has seemed for a while that the Pistons would like to move on from Reggie Jackson. He’s a mediocre point guard, steady enough but not raising the team’s ceiling. The past two seasons they have barely outscored opponents with him on the floor and, at times, they’ve looked better with Ish Smith running the floor. Jackson has one more hefty year on his contract and Smith is a free agent. It would be tough to walk away from Smith given how much of a safety blanket he’s been but this is a position in obvious need of an upgrade.
The Pistons could try and bring back Smith, roll with the same rotation and look for something new with Jackson comes off the books next year. They could let Smith go and try and find an upside bargain like Isaiah Thomas or Jeremy Lin who could theoretically push Jackson to the bench. Or they could mostly stand pat and just try to limit Jackson’s role a bit by counting on Griffin to continue function as the point guard and prioritizing shooting and defense at point guard instead of Jackson’s ball-handling.
However, the Pistons go at point guard, it’s clear they aren’t going to take much of a leap until they can make a change.