Detroit Pistons star Blake Griffin underwent knee surgery, ending his season. What does this meant he franchise does for the rest of 2019-20.
After missing more than half the season so far, Detroit Pistons power forward Blake Griffin has undergone knee surgery. This means that the Pistons season, already wrecked by injury, has just gotten worse. So what should the franchise do with the remainder of the season?
The answer to this is simple, continue to develop the youth of the team. Now that there is no pressure of playoffs hanging over their heads, the young group needs to spend the rest of the season learning in situations they would not normally be in.
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An example of this is the match up of Sekou Doumbouya against LeBron James in the recent contest versus the Los Angeles Lakers. Doumbouya would have learnt more in that one game than an entire season on the bench. He did foul out, but the experience will be invaluable for his career.
Thon Maker is in the final year of his rookie contract and has not developed as expected. If the Pistons want to know if he can be more than he is right now, they need to start playing him. Maker has only averaged 4.5 points and 2.6 rebounds per game for his career.
Maker’s Pistons numbers are 4.5 points and 2.7 rebounds per game. However, this season Maker is averaging 3.7 points and 1.9 rebounds per game. If the Pistons can guarantee Maker a portion of time per game, they can see if he is worth signing on for another contract period.
When Luke Kennard comes back from injury, the Pistons need to run most of the offense through him. Finding out how far this incredible shooter can take his game is going to set him in good stead.
Before his injury, Kennard was having his best season, shooting just under 40 percent from deep this season. He is also starting to make plays on offense as well, averaging 4.1 assists which is the highest number of his career, including college.
The Pistons also need to properly evaluate their two-way players.Jordan Bone is a 6’3″ guard who has only played three games for the Pistons, averaging 1.3 points in two minutes per game. While playing for the G-League affiliate the Grand Rapids Drive, Bone has been much more effective.
He is averaging 18.2 points, 7.7 assists and 3.7 rebounds per game. The Pistons need a break, they need to find a diamond in the rough like Kendrick Nunn of the Miami Heat. Unless they play Bone, how can they know what they have in him.
The Pistons also have Langston Galloway and Tim Frazier in the final year of their contracts. Galloway is averaging 25.7 minutes per game and is already a big part of the Pistons rotation at the moment.
Frazier has been starting games for the Pistons in place of Bruce Brown. The Pistons will need to see more than just two games where he scores double figures to re-sign him. He does have eight games on the season where he has five or more assists but he needs more complete performances where he puts scoring and passing together.
The Detroit Pistons still have their first round draft pick next year. It could be a top ten pick which may net the Pistons another young player for the future. They do have $102 million in committed salary next season and they should re-sign Christian Wood and potentially Reggie Jackson.
This means they will need to evaluate the players they have on roster to decide if they sign them next season. They will need to see the kernels of hope in their younger players to hopefully put around Griffin and Andre Drummond in an effort to move back into the playoffs.