Detroit Pistons Bench Depth Makes Them a 50-Win Team

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LOS ANGELES, USA - FEBRUARY 22: Jon Leuer.(30) of Phoenix Suns gestures during NBA basketball game between Los Angeles Clippers and Phoenix Sunsat Staples Center in Los Angeles, CA, United States on February 22, 2016. (Photo by Mintaha Neslihan Eroglu/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Last season, the Detroit Pistons came out of nowhere to sneak into the playoffs, only to be swept by the Cleveland Cavaliers. However, their squad took big steps forward, thanks to budding stars Reggie Jackson and Andre Drummond. Jackson became one of the more aggressive scoring point guards in the NBA, and his offensive production got people’s attention; Drummond got some well deserved praise and attention as well. He led the league in rebounds per game and became a strong finisher in the paint. Drummond’s recent production has made him a top five center, and the Pistons were able to secure his services going forward. The Pistons and Drummond agreed to a five-year, $130 million deal to keep him in Detroit for the long-term.

The Pistons also have versatile forward Tobias Harris, who they acquired in a mid-season deal with the Orlando Magic, forward Marcus Morris, and shooting guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. Detroit has a good foundation to build off, and the team added to that foundation this summer by putting together a deep and talented bench.

Detroit Pistons Bench Depth Makes Them a 50-Win Team

Acquiring Jackson’s backup, and a spark plug

This summer, the Pistons built a very formidable bench via three very good, under-the-radar moves. They brought in now-former Philadelphia 76ers point guard Ish Smith to back up Reggie Jackson, signing him to a three-year, $18 million deal. While the case can be made that Smith put up empty numbers in Philadelphia, he proved that he’s capable of filling producing offensively on a nightly basis; he also proved that he can find his teammates, averaging seven assists per game. The signing of Smith was a solid under-the-radar move, and he’ll provide a spark off the bench when Jackson comes off the floor.

Bringing in Boban

In addition to Smith, the Pistons also brought in San Antonio Spurs center Boban Marjanovic, who inked a three-year, $21 million deal. Marjanovic stands tall at 7’3”, is a two-way threat, and is capable of eating up any shot that an opponent attempts. He will, quite literally, be a huge asset for the Pistons in the paint. He can finish inside and is a solid free throw shooter for his size. Marjanovic gives the Pistons a well-rounded center to back up Andre Drummond.

Leuer will stretch the floor

In addition to Marjanovic, the Pistons brought in Phoenix Suns big man Jon Leuer on a four-year, $42 million deal, fortifying their front-line depth. Leuer can play out on the perimeter, which will open things up for Drummond inside. His shooting will also allow Tobias Harris to get more looks in the paint. Leuer provides a threat on the perimeter, and a big man with his skill set is a wanted commodity; he’ll be a welcomed addition to Detroit’s bench units, albeit at a hefty price.

The Pistons are destined to become a powerhouse

After a breakout 44-win season, the Pistons are ready to take the next step in their growth as a team. Reggie Jackson, Andre Drummond, and Tobias Harris are the focal points of their offense, and their team is built around those three players. With the additions of Ish Smith, Boban Marjanovic, and Jon Leuer, along with 2015 top ten pick Stanley Johnson, the Pistons have a formidable bench. This Pistons roster is built to win now. With Jackson, Drummond, Harris, and their shrewd free agent pickups, the Detroit Pistons are set up to compete in the Eastern Conference this year and potentially win 50 or more regular season games.

 

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