As the Detroit Pistons wrap up another dismal season, it’s hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
The Pistons are dangerously close to tying the team’s all-time worst record from the 1979-1980 season, with just 16 wins. Four of the team’s 10 worst seasons ever have been in the last five seasons.
Just a brutal stretch of losing basketball. It’s hard to watch. It’s hard to care, even for the diehards.
Pistons general manager Troy Weaver has made some good moves -- he’s aggressive in pursuit of players he likes, and he loves wheeling and dealing on draft night. But some of that hasn’t translated on the court.
Weaver’s first draft class -- Killian Hayes, Saddiq Bey and Isaiah Stewart -- are average players, and are not likely to be part of a contending core. Last year’s class -- Jaden Ivey and Jalen Duren -- seemingly have more potential.
Of course, the crown jewel of the draft classes, Cade Cunningham, has dealt with multiple injuries, costing him most of an important developmental sophomore season.
Some of these things could end up working out. Who knows. The fact of the matter is -- they haven’t yet. Not even close. And that’s why it’s clearly time for a change.
The Pistons need new leadership on the court -- and head coach Dwane Casey is the most sensible scapegoat.
Casey, 65, is revered as one of the best basketball coaches in the NBA. He’s well-respected by players and knows more about basketball than probably 99.9% of humans. But not even Casey can steer this thing in the right direction.
It’s time for someone else to try.
Casey is 120-260 in his Pistons career -- that’s 380 games with a 31% win percentage. The team has been in a rebuilding phase for years under Casey, so the record isn’t all on his shoulders, but it’s definitely worth noting.
---> Pistons GM Troy Weaver ‘confident’ team is on path to success despite another woeful season
The Pistons opened the season, publicly setting the goal to compete -- players even talked about making the playoffs. Instead, a major injury to the team’s star player and underwhelming play from supporting cast have placed the Pistons in the NBA basement yet again.
The Pistons will have another great shot at the top pick -- which this year, would be incredibly lucky with Victor Wembanyama waiting in the weeds. But we can’t depend on the NBA lottery to be friendly to Detroit.
Whoever they pick in the draft this summer should be joining a Detroit team with a fresh perspective -- and new leadership.
Business as usual isn’t going to cut it anymore. The only remedy to complete fan apathy is a big change.