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2013 Pistons Offseason

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I am on board with bringing Drummond off the bench. I would love to see him start also because I think there is something to be said for that but I hate the idea of Smith at small forward more than the idea of Drummond coming off the bench.

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With Jennings in the fold, I think there is a little more incentive to find another veteran wing to see if the Pistons can challenge the upper echelon teams in the East not named Miami. It does not have to be somebody that good; just a role player so we do not have to count on Stuckey, Singler, and two rookies as our wing players.

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I'm sure the Pistons are hoping for Drummond to develop a vastly better offensive game than Ben while retaining his defensive qualities. Practice, coaching, and maturity should enable Drummond to hit at least 60% of his FTs over the next couple years.

Without a doubt...but was just questioning the contention that if for whatever reason Drummond can't figure it out he'll somehow be forced to find work in Europe or something. I do think it's a pipe dream that Drummond can become a 60+% FT shooter. Players just don't make that kind of improvement and some of the really bad ones get worse over time....Shaq, Big Ben, Howard. It doesn't look good. That said it's not impossible. Maybe we should find out who worked with Chris Webber or Karl Malone. Here's an excerpt from an article on FT shooting that's worth a read if you're extreeeeeemely bored.

Can Players Improve Their Free Throw Shooting?

To me, this is by far the most important of these questions. It also happens to be the most difficult to answer with any sort of certainty from the data.

First, it's worth noting that there is a slight aging curve to free throw percentage. Players tend to improve by about 0.7 percent per season up through age 27 or so. The peak for free throw percentage is an extended one, as players don't really drop off consistently until age 32. Even then, the decline phase for free throw shooting is gradual. The other skills tend to give out long before free throw shooting, as illustrated by Bob Cousy's shooting in the movie Blue Chips.

Of course, when people talk about players improving their free throw shooting, that's not really what they mean. They're wondering instead why notoriously poor shooters like Dwight Howard and Shaquille O'Neal are unable to get in the gym and practice to improve their accuracy at the line. Consider me skeptical that such development is really possible for most players. Flipping around the perspective, most NBA players spend hours per week honing their shot at the line. Yet nearly all of them continue to shoot more or less the same percentage. It is possible that, beyond a certain point, additional practice simply no longer has any benefit.

To answer the question of whether practice helps at the line, I looked for pairs of seasons where the same player shot at least 100 free throws both years, then used statistics to evaluate how often the change in their percentage was larger than would be expected from random chance alone. As it turns out, players do seem intrinsically different at the line on a fairly regular basis--but this is true in both directions.

We would expect, based on the normal distribution, that 2.5 percent of players would either improve or decline by at least two standard deviations from one year to the next. In fact, nearly three times as many players made such a big jump (7.2 percent). But more than twice as many (5.5 percent) saw their shooting decay at the line. Free throw shooting, for whatever reason, is more random than chance would suggest.

There are more players taking sizeable leaps forward than backward, which suggests that practice is paying off for some players. However, the difference between the two groups is relatively small. We're talking about 90 players over the last three decades--about three per year. This is not something that is happening on a routine basis.

On the plus side, the players who made these improvements did tend to maintain them. The average player who improved by a statistically significant amount went from shooting 68.7 percent to 78.7 percent (precisely a 10-percent improvement) and shot 76.0 percent in year three.

A couple of superstar power forwards serve as the poster children for improving at the line. Chris Webber made the second-biggest leap in standardized terms, going from 45.4 percent during the lockout-shortened 1998-99 season (when free throw shooting was down around the league) to 75.1 percent in 1999-00. Webber had never previously made more than 60 percent of his free throws, but he only dropped below 70 percent once during the next seven seasons.

Karl Malone actually shows up on the list of most improved shooters in consecutive years. He went from making 48.1 percent of his free throws as a rookie to 70.0 percent in year three and only dipped below 70 once thereafter in his 19-year career, which he finished as the league's all-time leader in free throws.

The experience of Webber and Malone should serve to inspire players working tirelessly in the gym. At the same time, a handful of examples do not set reasonable expectations. In general, history tells us that players are who they are at the free throw line, which is worth remembering the next time you complain about missed free throws.

This free article is an example of the kind of content available to Basketball Prospectus Premium subscribers. See our Premium page for more details and to subscribe.

Kevin Pelton is an author of Basketball Prospectus. You can contact Kevin by clicking here or click here to see Kevin's other articles.

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.... Here's an excerpt from an article on FT shooting that's worth a read if you're extreeeeeemely bored.

One aspect this study didn't look into, and that is the guy who can shoot them in practice but not the game. e.g - didn't Rodman shoot FT quite well in practice? The answer for those guys, whatever it is, may be something other than practice. Haven't heard whether AD can shoot them better in the gym or not.

Edited by Gehringer_2

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Someone already posted the analysis, if you get much less than 45% at the line the opposition is foolish to let you touch the ball. So he is reduced to a one way player.

It's easy in theory to "prevent" someone like Drummond from touching the ball, but very hard to accomplish. Drummond gets most of his touches, on offensive rebounds, alley oops, fast breaks, etc. In other words he is already extremely close to a dunk or a put back so fouling him is pointless It's not like they are running iso's for the guy. I think he is far from a one way player IMO.

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It's easy in theory to "prevent" someone like Drummond from touching the ball, but very hard to accomplish. Drummond gets most of his touches, on offensive rebounds, alley oops, fast breaks, etc. In other words he is already extremely close to a dunk or a put back so fouling him is pointless It's not like they are running iso's for the guy. I think he is far from a one way player IMO.

Still, he has to learn to hit 50% of his FTs to really come close to reaching his potential. You don't want to have to sit your franchise player in the 4th quarter

Hopefully Smith bounces back to the 60s too, so we don't have to be too worried about him and Monroe out there.

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It might be Kratsov if the Bucks cut him loose. I've read elsewhere that it's a possibility.

The rules have changed on things like this. A team can no longer reacquire a player they traded during that season.

Now you have to wait a year from the date of the trade or until July 1st after his contract is over, whichever comes first. So if Milwaukee cuts Slava, Detroit couldn't sign him until July 1st, 2014.

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The new/adjusted salary situation. I just distributed Jennings salary evenly over 3 years until I see otherwise.

kPCf9RA.png

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Lets look at the players the Pistons signed and their RAPM rating from last year. RAPM stands for a Regularized Adjusted Plus-Minus. A players RAPM number suggest how many points that player improves his team in 48 minutes over your average NBA player. LeBron was #1 last year with a RAPM of 10.1. Meaning if you swap James for an average player, your team would lose 10.1 points per 48 minutes. A player gets an offensive number, a defensive number, and then those two combine to make his RAPM number. So James had 8.5/1.6/10.1

Each players ratings that the Pistons signed:

[table=width: 500, class: grid, align: center]

[tr]

[td]Player[/td]

[td=align: center]Offense[/td]

[td=align: center]Defense[/td]

[td=align: center]RAPM[/td]

[/tr]

[tr]

[td]Josh Smith[/td]

[td=align: center]0.0[/td]

[td=align: center]3.3[/td]

[td=align: center]3.4[/td]

[/tr]

[tr]

[td]Will Bynum[/td]

[td=align: center]-0.3[/td]

[td=align: center]-3.4[/td]

[td=align: center]-3.8[/td]

[/tr]

[tr]

[td]Chauncey Billups[/td]

[td=align: center]2.2[/td]

[td=align: center]-2.8[/td]

[td=align: center]-0.6[/td]

[/tr]

[tr]

[td]Brandon Jennings[/td]

[td=align: center]0.6[/td]

[td=align: center]-3.2[/td]

[td=align: center]-2.5[/td]

[/tr]

[/table]

For comparison the rankings for the Pistons last year:

[table=width: 500, class: grid, align: center]

[tr]

[td]Will Bynum[/td]

[td=align: center]-0.3[/td]

[td=align: center]-3.4[/td]

[td=align: center]-3.8[/td]

[/tr]

[tr]

[td]Jose Calderon[/td]

[td=align: center]2.7[/td]

[td=align: center]-3.1[/td]

[td=align: center]-0.4[/td]

[/tr]

[tr]

[td]Austin Daye[/td]

[td=align: center]-1.1[/td]

[td=align: center]-0.5[/td]

[td=align: center]-1.6[/td]

[/tr][tr]

[td]Andre Drummond[/td]

[td=align: center]0.6[/td]

[td=align: center]1.3[/td]

[td=align: center]1.9[/td]

[/tr][tr]

[td]Kim English[/td]

[td=align: center]-1.6[/td]

[td=align: center]-2.6[/td]

[td=align: center]-4.2[/td]

[/tr][tr]

[td]Jonas Jerebko[/td]

[td=align: center]-0.2[/td]

[td=align: center]-1.2[/td]

[td=align: center]-1.3[/td]

[/tr]

[tr]

[td]Brandon Knight[/td]

[td=align: center]-1.2[/td]

[td=align: center]-0.4[/td]

[td=align: center]-1.6[/td]

[/tr]

[tr]

[td]Slava[/td]

[td=align: center]-0.9[/td]

[td=align: center]-1.4[/td]

[td=align: center]-2.3[/td]

[/tr]

[tr]

[td]Jason Maxiell[/td]

[td=align: center]-3.3[/td]

[td=align: center]2.4[/td]

[td=align: center]-0.9[/td]

[/tr]

[tr]

[td]Khris Middleton[/td]

[td=align: center]-0.1[/td]

[td=align: center]-2.3[/td]

[td=align: center]-2.4[/td]

[/tr]

[tr]

[td]Greg Monroe[/td]

[td=align: center]0.7[/td]

[td=align: center]1.8[/td]

[td=align: center]2.5[/td]

[/tr]

[tr]

[td]Tayshaun Prince[/td]

[td=align: center]-0.3[/td]

[td=align: center]-0.6[/td]

[td=align: center]-0.8[/td]

[/tr]

[tr]

[td]Kyle Singler[/td]

[td=align: center]-1.6[/td]

[td=align: center]-0.6[/td]

[td=align: center]-2.2[/td]

[/tr]

[tr]

[td]Rodney Stuckey[/td]

[td=align: center]0.9[/td]

[td=align: center]-2.1[/td]

[td=align: center]-1.2[/td]

[/tr]

[tr]

[td]Charlie Villanueva[/td]

[td=align: center]0.2[/td]

[td=align: center]-1.3[/td]

[td=align: center]-1.2[/td]

[/tr]

[/table]

Easy to see why they were so bad last year when only two players are above average.

FWIW, Smith was ranked #35 last year. Monroe #47 and Drummond was #58. Jennings was ranked #311.

They only give numbers to the first decimal spot. I imagine that is why some of the totals are off.

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That is an interesting statistic, one might want to go further with it and break down RAPM per team/minutes breakdown. Determine if this statistic can be tied to actual team performance (wins/loss). From the eye test the stats look like they approximate each player pretty well.

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Lets look at the players the Pistons signed and their RAPM rating from last year. RAPM stands for a Regularized Adjusted Plus-Minus. A players RAPM number suggest how many points that player improves his team in 48 minutes over your average NBA player. LeBron was #1 last year with a RAPM of 10.1. Meaning if you swap James for an average player, your team would lose 10.1 points per 48 minutes. A player gets an offensive number, a defensive number, and then those two combine to make his RAPM number. So James had 8.5/1.6/10.1

Each players ratings that the Pistons signed:

[table=width: 500, class: grid, align: center]

[tr]

[td]Player[/td]

[td=align: center]Offense[/td]

[td=align: center]Defense[/td]

[td=align: center]RAPM[/td]

[/tr]

[tr]

[td]Josh Smith[/td]

[td=align: center]0.0[/td]

[td=align: center]3.3[/td]

[td=align: center]3.4[/td]

[/tr]

[tr]

[td]Will Bynum[/td]

[td=align: center]-0.3[/td]

[td=align: center]-3.4[/td]

[td=align: center]-3.8[/td]

[/tr]

[tr]

[td]Chauncey Billups[/td]

[td=align: center]2.2[/td]

[td=align: center]-2.8[/td]

[td=align: center]-0.6[/td]

[/tr]

[tr]

[td]Brandon Jennings[/td]

[td=align: center]0.6[/td]

[td=align: center]-3.2[/td]

[td=align: center]-2.5[/td]

[/tr]

[/table]

For comparison the rankings for the Pistons last year:

[table=width: 500, class: grid, align: center]

[tr]

[td]Will Bynum[/td]

[td=align: center]-0.3[/td]

[td=align: center]-3.4[/td]

[td=align: center]-3.8[/td]

[/tr]

[tr]

[td]Jose Calderon[/td]

[td=align: center]2.7[/td]

[td=align: center]-3.1[/td]

[td=align: center]-0.4[/td]

[/tr]

[tr]

[td]Austin Daye[/td]

[td=align: center]-1.1[/td]

[td=align: center]-0.5[/td]

[td=align: center]-1.6[/td]

[/tr][tr]

[td]Andre Drummond[/td]

[td=align: center]0.6[/td]

[td=align: center]1.3[/td]

[td=align: center]1.9[/td]

[/tr][tr]

[td]Kim English[/td]

[td=align: center]-1.6[/td]

[td=align: center]-2.6[/td]

[td=align: center]-4.2[/td]

[/tr][tr]

[td]Jonas Jerebko[/td]

[td=align: center]-0.2[/td]

[td=align: center]-1.2[/td]

[td=align: center]-1.3[/td]

[/tr]

[tr]

[td]Brandon Knight[/td]

[td=align: center]-1.2[/td]

[td=align: center]-0.4[/td]

[td=align: center]-1.6[/td]

[/tr]

[tr]

[td]Slava[/td]

[td=align: center]-0.9[/td]

[td=align: center]-1.4[/td]

[td=align: center]-2.3[/td]

[/tr]

[tr]

[td]Jason Maxiell[/td]

[td=align: center]-3.3[/td]

[td=align: center]2.4[/td]

[td=align: center]-0.9[/td]

[/tr]

[tr]

[td]Khris Middleton[/td]

[td=align: center]-0.1[/td]

[td=align: center]-2.3[/td]

[td=align: center]-2.4[/td]

[/tr]

[tr]

[td]Greg Monroe[/td]

[td=align: center]0.7[/td]

[td=align: center]1.8[/td]

[td=align: center]2.5[/td]

[/tr]

[tr]

[td]Tayshaun Prince[/td]

[td=align: center]-0.3[/td]

[td=align: center]-0.6[/td]

[td=align: center]-0.8[/td]

[/tr]

[tr]

[td]Kyle Singler[/td]

[td=align: center]-1.6[/td]

[td=align: center]-0.6[/td]

[td=align: center]-2.2[/td]

[/tr]

[tr]

[td]Rodney Stuckey[/td]

[td=align: center]0.9[/td]

[td=align: center]-2.1[/td]

[td=align: center]-1.2[/td]

[/tr]

[tr]

[td]Charlie Villanueva[/td]

[td=align: center]0.2[/td]

[td=align: center]-1.3[/td]

[td=align: center]-1.2[/td]

[/tr]

[/table]

Easy to see why they were so bad last year when only two players are above average.

FWIW, Smith was ranked #35 last year. Monroe #47 and Drummond was #58. Jennings was ranked #311.

They only give numbers to the first decimal spot. I imagine that is why some of the totals are off.

I'm surprised at Monroe's defensive value.

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I'm surprised at Monroe's defensive value.

He's tall, he rebounds and he has quick hands. That adds up more than people like to admit. Rebounding especially can replace other faults on the defensive end.

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I'm surprised at Monroe's defensive value.

My guess is RAPM overvalues defensive rebounding. Here is a list of the top 30 defensive players.

Rank	Name	Defense per 100
1 Dwight Howard 6.3
2 Tim Duncan 6.3
3 Larry Sanders 6.1
4 Kevin Garnett 5.9
5 Marc Gasol 5.6
6 Omer Asik 5.4
7 Joakim Noah 4.9
8 Chris Andersen 4.5
9 Tyson Chandler 4.4
10 Roy Hibbert 4.3
11 Andris Biedrins 4
12 Andrew Bogut 3.9
13 Al-Farouq Aminu 3.6
14 Amir Johnson 3.6
15 Nene Hilario 3.6
16 Jermaine O'Neal 3.5
17 Serge Ibaka 3.5
18 Tiago Splitter 3.5
19 Tony Allen 3.5
20 Emeka Okafor 3.4
21 Greg Stiemsma 3.4
22 Lamar Odom 3.4
23 Paul Millsap 3.4
24 Andre Iguodala 3.3
25 Josh Smith 3.3
26 Kendrick Perkins 3.3
27 Gerald Wallace 3.2
28 DeAndre Jordan 3.1
29 Derrick Favors 3.1
30 Paul George 3.1

25 of them are centers and/or PF's? Most are legit, but Odom, Johnson, Biedrins, O'Neal?

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Odom is actually a very good defender, but point made.

Like Win Shares, this stat seems to highly value defensive oriented, low usage big men. Asik,Amir JOhnson, Birdman,Splitter etc.

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For comparison, the top 30 by defensive win shares.

Rk               Player DWS  
1 Paul George 6.3
2 Marc Gasol 5.4
3 Kevin Durant 5.3
4 Tim Duncan 4.9
5 Roy Hibbert 4.9
6 Dwight Howard 4.8
7 Mike Conley 4.7
8 LeBron James 4.7
9 Joakim Noah 4.7
10 Zach Randolph 4.7
11 David West 4.7
12 Josh Smith 4.5
13 Carlos Boozer 4.3
14 Tony Allen 4.1
15 Al Horford 4.1
16 Serge Ibaka 4.1
17 Rudy Gay 3.9
18 Blake Griffin 3.9
19 Russell Westbrook 3.9
20 Kevin Garnett 3.8
21 George Hill 3.8
22 David Lee 3.7
23 Emeka Okafor 3.7
24 Paul Pierce 3.7
25 Larry Sanders 3.7
26 Thaddeus Young 3.7
27 Lance Stephenson 3.6
28 Omer Asik 3.5
29 Reggie Evans 3.5
30 Tiago Splitter 3.5

Monroe was ranked #42 with 3.2.

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Interesting to see Rudy Gay in there at #17 in DWS. I knew he was athletic but didn't realize he was that consistently solid on the defensive end.

I like Monroe, but I still think that Joe's signing of Smith (#12 on that list) puts us in a position where trading Monroe for Gay actually makes a lot of sense. We'd have to toss in Stuckey and Jerebko to make the money work and maybe we'd get back a future 1st for taking Gay's contract and giving them much better contracts in return as well as a young big man. It gets us out of worrying about Monroe leaving at the end of the season and the lineup makes way more sense with Jennings, KCP, Gay, Smith, and Drummond starting. That is an insanely athletic starting 5 with amazing defensive potential. A side benefit would be removing the ambiguity surrounding the roles of Stuckey and Jerebko .

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Interesting to see Rudy Gay in there at #17 in DWS. I knew he was athletic but didn't realize he was that consistently solid on the defensive end.

I like Monroe, but I still think that Joe's signing of Smith (#12 on that list) puts us in a position where trading Monroe for Gay actually makes a lot of sense. We'd have to toss in Stuckey and Jerebko to make the money work and maybe we'd get back a future 1st for taking Gay's contract and giving them much better contracts in return as well as a young big man. It gets us out of worrying about Monroe leaving at the end of the season and the lineup makes way more sense with Jennings, KCP, Gay, Smith, and Drummond starting. That is an insanely athletic starting 5 with amazing defensive potential. A side benefit would be removing the ambiguity surrounding the roles of Stuckey and Jerebko .

I dislike that trade for the same reason I dislike the Rondo trade idea. In one summer you went from a core all under the age of 23 to a team built around two 28 year olds. Because of their age the championship window basically is open now and remains open for what? 3-4 years? Drummond is 2-3 years away from really contributing in a major way to a championship run. By time he is ready Gay/Rondo and Smith are in their 30's and on the decline.

This is why I'm such a huge fan of building a team that is all around the same age.

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This is why I'm such a huge fan of building a team that is all around the same age.

So then we'll get Demarcus Cousins at 22 years old instead.

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