Now that Stan Van Gundy has officially taken over as head coach and president of basketball operations for the Detroit Pistons the changes are coming. Van Gundy will surely look to use the formula he has used before at previous stops, and he just might have the player to build around in Detroit.
There’s no doubt that Andre Drummond was an attraction that pulled SVG into the motor city. Not too long ago Van Gundy coached another young big man with unlimited potential, and a dominant game around the rim. Dwight Howard. The two players share many similarities in their games, and Drummond clearly resembles where Howard was at just 20 years old. He may even be ahead of Howard’s development. Van Gundy was able to take Howard and turn him into the centerpiece of a
Finals contender, something he will also try to do with Drummond.
Van Gundy knows he has the man in the middle set, for a long time. When extension time comes Drummond will be handsomely compensated for his work. Van Gundy will see to it that Drummond doesn’t go anywhere. Now SVG will look to surround the beastly young center with shooting. Van Gundy understands just how important floor spacing is in the NBA, and will look to open the floor even wider with Andre Drummond in the middle. Van Gundy would typically want four shooters around Drummond who could dominate one on one down low, and grab tons of offensive boards. So what’s the problem? The Pistons don’t have shooting. The best shooter on the team is clearly Rodney Stuckey, and he is a free agent that may not be retained. Van Gundy will clearly be looking in the draft and free agency for shooting help to try to implement the offense that has worked so well for him in the past.
Van Gundy bringing in this style of offense could also be the end of Greg Monroe. Multiple sources are reporting that the Pistons will not match the offer Monroe receives in free agency because he doesn’t really fit. This is Drummond’s team, and if Monroe does leave it will only open more space for him down low. Van Gundy has said this week he holds Monroe “In very high esteem” but high esteem doesn’t always warrant a max contract. Monroe simply isn’t a max guy, and he may fetch that on the open market.
So where does Josh Smith fit in to this new offense? Well, he doesn’t. Smith isn’t offensively skilled enough to be playing on the perimeter, even though he clearly has the confidence for it. He will need to stay out of Drummond’s way down low, but also shouldn’t be out on the perimeter chucking up threes. It’s really hard to say what Smith’s fit will be, but it’s a good bet he will be on the team with his massive contract making him extremely unlikely to be traded.
We know the offense Van Gundy likes to run, and while there are some pieces in place, Van Gundy will be getting his hands dirty turning this roster over. He wanted full control, now let’s watch him work.
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