Title: Deep dive into Pistons cap situation reveals need for creativity to improve for next season
Date: June 28, 2017
Original Source: The Athletic
Synopsis: In my latest for The Athletic Detroit, I broke down the Pistons’ somewhat dire cap situation heading into free agency.
When free agency opens at the stroke of midnight on July 1, the Detroit Pistons will face no short list of tasks. A nice step forward in 2015-16 was abbreviated this past season, when the team fell backward in the standings and out of the playoffs once again where they’ve now finished seven times in the last eight years. This wasn’t supposed to be the path when Stan Van Gundy took over before the 2014-15 season and in trying to expedite the road to being competitive, the Pistons have limited their own flexibility with earlier mistakes.
As Stephen Shea laid out last week, the Pistons have more than a few needs to address. They need shooting, something Luke Kennard should help with but a rookie alone can’t be expected to lift a bottom-five shooting outfit out of the cellar. Even with Kennard’s presence, they could use additional ball-handling. They’re light on defense on the wing. A more mobile reserve center would be nice.
Hanging above everything is the restricted free agency of Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, one of the team’s best all-around players and one of the more attractive young names on the market. More on him shortly.
It’s a long shopping list, as you’d expect for a team coming off of a disappointing season. Again, though, the Pistons haven’t left themselves in the cleanest of salary cap situations, now requiring careful maneuvering from here. What follows is a high-level look at Detroit’s cap sheet and the options that may be available to them this summer.