Taking a look at the Detroit Pistons after the Brandon Jennings Trade

Hello all, I am back. I’ve been trying to post more articles but every time I’m  in the middle of one my computer crashes. Let’s hope this one works. Earlier today, the Pistons completed a sign and trade to acquire Brandon Jennings. They gave him a three year deal worth $24M which is great value. The trade details were:

Pistons get: Brandon Jennings

Bucks get: Brandon Knight, Khris Middleton, and Viacheslav Kravtsov

I’m not going to go too far into this trade because I will do one of these for the Bucks as they are looking to get into the playoffs. But I’d like to say I think Brandon Jennings is an upgrade over Knight. I also don’t view Knight as a true point guard and if I were a HC I would even be uncomfortable putting him there. This draws concern because he is too undersized to play SG at 6’3 and 189 pounds. Knight has shown nice flashes and is a good scorer, I’m actually a fan of his and I think he can be a high quality scorer later on, but I don’t think he is a long term answer due to his small frame and the fact that he lacks PG skills, he’s also shown an incositent jump shot. Jennings on the other hand has more polished skill and has had more success playing the PG position. Jennings has had a history of jacking shots in Milwaukee, but he never had talent around him. In Detroit, they have some nice young players allowing him to facilitate the game better and due to the fact he has nice passing skills I expect a nice bump in his assist.  Jennings also has a nicer jumper. Yes, he is a career 39.4% shooter, but he forced to take a lot of difficult shots in efforts to keep his team competitive. In Detroit he has options to move the ball around and hit an open shot which he has proved he can do on several occasions most notably here:

Jennings worked with that screen and knocked down the open jumpers consistently. It’s also important to note Jennings is only 23 years old and already has 4 years of NBA experience (2 years of playoff experience). Jennings can improve a lot has a higher ceiling than Knight. Let’s see how Jenning will mesh with his teammates. Here is the projected starting lineup:

PG: Brandon Jennings

SG: Rodney Stuckey

SF: Josh Smith

PF: Greg Monroe

C: Andre Drummond

Already you can see a great inside out game forming between Jennings and the three frontcourt players. My only area of concern is how Stuckey and Jennings will cope. Stuckey plays a game similar to Monta Ellis’ and as excited as that was, and it did lead to a playoff berth, Jennings looked like he could have played much better in a different environment. Luckily, new pistons signee Chauncy Billups says he thinks Stuckey can become “a great player” and that he will guide him throughout the season. This is great news because Billups is one of the smartest players in the NBA and he can teach both young guards how to play with each other in the best way possible. Inside you have two young bigs in Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond. Monroe has looked really good so far, especially the past two seasons. Just 23 years old, he’s coming into his fourth NBA season after averaging 16 points and 9.6 rebounds.  He has been getting better year by year and showed great progress last year. He can be one of the best bigs in the NBA moving forward. Next to him is Andre Drummond, coming off his rookie season he averaged 7.9 points and 7.6 rebounds in just 20 minutes a game. These are great numbers in that time span and he got better each game.  He was one of the team’s most efficient players, he and Monroe could be a dominant force inside for years, as both have a nice complete game. The team’s biggest acquisition was Josh Smith. Smith is super athletic and talented who plays well on both sides of the court. He’s been labeled an all star snub in recent years. On defense, he’s a terrific shot blocker and uses his athleticism to stick with opponents and give them headaches. On offense, he has a nice mid range jumper and is nearly unstoppable when he gets into the paint. Plus he is a great dunker. He needs to limit the amount of three point shots and improve his shot selection however. With Jennings working with him, they could create a nice one two punch. He is also versatile, able to play both Small Forward and Power Forward effectively and he’s a solid rebounder. These starting group looks like they can easily play together and I expect a lot of inside and outside scoring. Now Jennings can work that screen with the bigs he has, as he did in his 55 point game. The team’s first round pick (8th overall), is Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. Caldwell-Pope, the SEC player of the year and is a great athlete like Josh Smith, which he uses to play good defense, an area where he has potential to improve upon. He has a great shot but he needs to use his athletic ability to get to the rim. He’s good at getting skills and uses his speed to finish in transition. He’s athletic but he has great instincts as a shooter. His only glaring weakness is ball handling, if he figures out how to get to the rim with he could be a valuable piece for years. Another move I really liked was bringing in Italian League MVP Luigi Datome. He is 25 years old and a great shooter. He is 6’9 and he averaged 16.4 PPG in 33 minutes while shooting 46.7% from the field, 39.4% from three, and 92.6% from the stripe. He plays small forward with all the tools to be successful. This was a low risk high reward move as he’s just making $3.5M over two years. From what I’ve seen of him, he seems like a smart player who is a good scorer. Here are some highlights:

Still my favorite signing was Chauncey Billups. At this point in his career he’s not a game changer but he’s a hell of a mentor and with all the young guys, especially at guard positions he will serve a great purpose. In Detroit, he’ll play for two years at $5M and retire a piston, where he won an NBA title and was named finals MVP. He’ll be moved back to his natural PG position (he was played as an off guard in LAC). He’s still a good player, while he averaged only 8.4 PPG last year as a starter, he had injury problems and he averaged 15 the year prior, although he only played 20 games until injury. In Detroit, his minutes will be reduced, so he most likely will stay healthy. It helps that Mr. Big Shot comes through in the clutch. The Pistons have some other valuable pieces, such as Kyle Singler who showed promise last year and was named to the All Rookie second team, Jonas Jerebeko is solid guy off the bench and is a hard worker that makes hustle plays. Charlie Villanueva is still somewhat serviceable, and though he may be over looked Peyton Siva is a favorite of mine as I liked him when he played at Louisville. Finally, they have Will Bynum, who has been a solid player. He’s a been a good sixth man for them, averaging 10 PPG in 18.8 MPG is impressive. Many people don’t know he once had 20 assist in one game. Concluding, I think Jennings really takes the team to a new level. They are in serious playoff contention. This team is young and talented, Joe Dumars has done a nice job.


One thought on “Taking a look at the Detroit Pistons after the Brandon Jennings Trade

  1. Pingback: Taking a look at the Bucks complete roster overahaul | Basketball and Football Blog

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