As the 2015 offseason approaches, Stan Van Gundy and the Detroit Pistons have some big decisions to make. Seven players that were on the roster at the end of the 2015 season are impending free agents with the option of leaving town. Who stays? Who goes? We take a look.
The Big Two
Of the seven, the two with the biggest impact on Detroit’s future are Greg Monroe and Reggie Jackson.
Monroe has been one of the few consistent cogs with the Pistons since he was drafted in 2010. But as free agency has drawn closer and closer, it appears the 5-year power forward may be on his way out. Despite Van Gundy repeatedly saying throughout the season that the team hopes to re-sign Monroe, the report from Frank Isola of the New York Daily News that surfaced in April has left many to believe Monroe may be planning on moving on from his days as a Piston.
On the flip side, Jackson and Van Gundy have both been fairly adamant about wanting to keep the young point guard in Detroit. Upon learning about his trade to the Pistons in February, Jackson was reportedly moved to tears. While there is a possibility that he could head to a team in desperate need of a PG like the New York Knicks or the Los Angeles Lakers, Van Gundy has been firm in his stance that Jackson is the Pistons’ point guard of the future, and they would not have traded for him had that not been the case.
The Rest of the Pack
The other five impending free agents: Tayshaun Prince, Joel Anthony, John Lucas III, Shawne Williams and Cartier Martin.
Of those five, four are unrestricted free agents, with Martin holding a player option for which he has yet to decide if he’s going to pick up.
Van Gundy has stated publicly his desire to bring back both Anthony and Prince, although Anthony may be more likely to return, as Prince has gone on the record saying he prefers to play for a contender as his careers heads into its home stretch.
Both Lucas and Williams are the most likely of the five to not return to Detroit next year. Lucas played well in his time for Detroit but in all reality, the reason he even had a roster spot in the first place was due to Brandon Jennings going down with a torn Achilles.
Williams, meanwhile, was picked for the last couple months of the season after being waived by the New Orleans Pelicans with the hopes that he could contribute some minutes at the stretch four position. In the 19 games with the Pistons, Williams severely disappointed, shooting just 14% from 3-point range.
There are plenty of free agents this summer that Van Gundy and Pistons’ management can look at to try and remodel this lineup to make a playoff push in 2016. But for now, Detroit’s first priority will be the NBA Draft and deciding how to handle the big dogs in Monroe and Jackson.