The Detroit Pistons are currently the second-worst team in the NBA, so it might sound strange when I say that they will make the playoffs next season.
The Pistons have been scrappy and competitive this season, but let’s face it, they are still bad, so it’s a pretty big leap of faith to say that they’ll be a playoff team that quickly.
Troy Weaver has done a fantastic job in his first season, trading for and signing some productive veterans and having one of the Pistons’ best modern drafts by grabbing Killian Hayes, Isaiah Stewart and Saddiq Bey.
The Pistons’ trio of rookies have been amongst the best of their class, with Bey and Stewart likely to make he All-Rookie team and Hayes showing some flashes of what he can do since returning from injury.
They are headed for a hopeful top-five pick in the NBA Draft and had a starting lineup in the last game whose oldest player was 22-years-old, which doesn’t exactly scream “playoff team.”
But there are some logical reasons why the Detroit Pistons will “do something big” next season, and I for one think they can make the playoffs. Here’s why.
Detroit Pistons: Dwane Casey has history
Pistons’ fans have mostly rallied around Dwane Casey this season, as he has done a great job of developing the young players while instilling good habits and a competitive attitude.
But Casey wasn’t just brought here to mentor and develop young players, he has a track record of winning.
If you look at his time in Toronto, it wasn’t until the third season that Casey was able to put his stamp on the team and take them to an unexpected Atlantic Division title after missing the playoffs two years in a row.
He did it with a team that had a nice combination of young, ascending players and smart veterans who knew their roles.
If the Pistons can add the right combination of veterans and another injection of young talent they will have a young, hungry team that has a chip on its shoulder and will be ready to win after a season of losing.
He’ll have a full offseason (more on that in a second) to coach up his guys and game plan around their talent. Casey’s run of success in Toronto started in year three and there is a good chance he will do it again in Detroit.