Rod Beard, Terry Foster, John Niyo and Bob Wojnowski of The Detroit News offer their predictions for the Pistons' season.
Will the Pistons make the playoffs: Yes, the six-year drought will end.
Team MVP: Andre Drummond will prove he deserves a long-term maximum contract.
Player to watch: Stanley Johnson will compete for rookie of the year as he works his way into the starting lineup.
Surprise player: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope could have the best shooting season of his carer.
Will the Pistons make the playoffs? No. They are too young and still learning. Expect a poor start and a nice ending.
Team MVP: Reggie Jackson has to be. He is the man with the ball and will figure out how to make teammates better.
Player to watch: Andre Drummond has a new set of skills but has not perfected them.
Surprise player: Stanley Johnson is a rookie, but can play. There will be ups and downs but this guy gets it.
Will the Pistons make the playoffs? They played .500 basketball after that 5-23 start last fall, so it’s not a stretch to think they can win 40 games. And in the East, that’s probably good enough for a postseason berth.
Team MVP: The contract year isn’t a big factor, but the offseason work Andre Drummond put in should be. And so will a full year with a very good pick-and-roll point guard in Reggie Jackson. First Pistons All-Star since Allen Iverson in 2008-09.
Player to watch: All eyes will be on the rookie, Stanley Johnson, but the key for this team might be Ersan Ilyasova. If the Pistons get consistent production from him, stretching the floor at the four, they might do some damage offensively.
Surprise player: Marcus Morris seemed like a fallback deal after the free-agent misses in July, but he can fill a variety of needs for this team. And he’ll bring an edge that was missing if he’s getting decent minutes.
Will the Pistons make the playoffs? No. They’ll nudge ever closer to that coveted .500 mark but will fall short of the playoffs at 38-44. Stan Van Gundy is doing a decent job collecting pieces, but the defense has to improve markedly, and Reggie Jackson has to find that sweet spot between scoring and distributing. If Andre Drummond develops quicker, the Pistons could take a sizable leap.
Team MVP: Reggie Jackson has the ability to go on dizzying scoring binges
Player to watch: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope always seems to be on the verge of more, but hasn’t done it yet
Surprise player: Rookie Stanley Johnson just might make everyone forget the Pistons passed on Justise Winslow