Here's the good news. Um, Greg Monroe is pretty good. Beyond that, it gets more dicey.
I promise this is going to (eventually) be a lot more positive than the last part. To get to the positive, however, we need to get real for a second. This team doesn't have any strengths yet. Offense? Nope. Defense? Nope. Pace? Nuh-uh. Shot-blocking? Sorry. Three-point shooting? Try again. Rebounding? Doo doo. Passing? Negatory. Turnovers? Used to be. What is this team good at? I say this not to ruin your day, but to show just how far this team has to go in its transition before it can be competitive again. It is not a move or two away from gettin' serious in the playoffs, it is a move or two away from the roster solvency necessary for comprehensive rebuilding.
There are some nasty pieces on this team. I mean, Charlie Villanueva is still on the club (even though he didn't play much at all under Lawrence Frank). The team got out from under Ben Gordon's deal by taking on Corey Maggette, who shot so poorly with Charlotte last season -- 37 percent! -- that his trademark high free throw rate couldn't save his scoring efficiency. And if Maggette isn't scoring efficiently, there is no reason for him to be on the floor. Tayshaun Prince led the Pistons in field goal attempts last season. That's a problem.
So is there any reason for hope? Well, maybe.
The ninth pick in the draft is probably an appropriate time to gamble on the upside of someone like Drummond. It will probably take a while for Drummond to contribute at a meaningful level, but the 10-percent chance that he turns into a superstar was worth the price of the draft pick, especially for a team like the Pistons that needs game-changing talent to escape NBA purgatory. All that said, it would be really helpful if Drummond could contribute sooner rather than later. As great as Greg Monroe was last year, he demonstrated pretty clearly that he won't be a defensive anchor.