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Step back? Pistons projected as missing playoffs next season

The Detroit News
Blake Griffin

The Detroit Pistons might not be done with all of their offseason moves. (Hello, Russell Westbrook?)

But as things stand now, they’re not good enough to make the playoffs next season, according to CBS Sports’ Brad Botkin.

Botkin predicted the playoff seedings for 2019-20 and he has the Pistons as the No. 9 seed in the East – or one spot out of the playoffs.

“Derrick Rose, who posted 18 points a game last year on 48-percent shooting, was one of the better value pickups, and Andre Drummond does what he does,” he says. “But the Pistons' fortunes will depend heavily on how healthy Blake Griffin can remain and how hard they can ride him. We've heard the Pistons are also interested in Westbrook, and if they can somehow make that happen, this could be a top-four team. As it stands, I don't think Griffin holds up, and I think a bit of a regression is in store for him even if he stays healthy. Beyond that, I don't have a lot of faith in anyone else on this roster. If they get Westbrook, or if Toronto goes into rebuild mode, the Pistons will get in. If not, they're out.”

The Pistons broke a two-season playoff drought this year after earning the No. 8 seed in the East with a 41-41 record, but they were swept in the first round by No. 1 seed Milwaukee.

Blake Griffin, 30, led the Pistons in points (24.5), assists (5.4) and minutes (35.0), and was second in rebounds (7.5) behind Andre Drummond’s 15.6.

Botkin’s top team in the East is Philadelphia and in the West it’s Denver, with projected wins of 60 and 58, respectively.