BACKCOURT: Over four years, Jennings has scored at a really impressive rate. He's averaged 17.0 ppg and flirted with 20 a night two seasons ago. Jennings isn't a great shooter (39 percent and 35 percent from three-point range), and he's not a great distributor (5.7 apg over his career). Jennings won't need to score at the rate he did in Milwaukee and maybe Cheeks, a borderline Hall of Fame point guard, can make him a better floor leader.
Billups will probably start alongside Jennings, at least in the beginning. He admitted when he signed with the Pistons that he didn't enjoy playing two guard while with the Los Angeles Clippers, so who knows how that will work. One can't imagine he takes the starting point position from Jennings. As much as Billups doesn't want to be a nostalgia trip, the Pistons don't want him impeding Caldwell-Pope's development. With Detroit being a playoff contender, it will need Billups in the lineup and at 37 with some injury issues in recent years, that may not be likely.
BENCH: The Pistons have great guard play in their second unit with Stuckey, Bynum and Caldwell-Pope.
Up front, Detroit is a little thin.
Singler started 74 games as a rookie last season and averaged a respectable 8.8 ppg. He shot 35 percent from three-point range.
Datome could be an interesting piece. The Italian played well in the European Championships and, at 25, is ready for the NBA. Competing for Europe in the EuroBasket during the summer should help him prepare for the grind of the NBA.
Villanueva is a free agent after the season. He's been a disappointment in Detroit, but he can shoot and will see minutes due to the lack of frontline depth.
COACHING: Cheeks has been very ordinary as a head coach. He's never got past the first round of the playoffs in three appearances. His most notable memory as a coach was probably helping a 13-year-old girl with the National Anthem when she forgot the words.
But Cheeks spent time under Scott Brooks with the Thunder the last few seasons. The Thunder made it to the NBA Finals and the expectations are lower than when Cheeks helmed the Portland Trail Blazers and Philadelphia 76ers.
His hiring of Wallace was inspired. Yes, Wallace could be a little mercurial as a player, but no one ever questioned his knowledge of the game. Wallace can give Monroe and Drummond an edge.
OUTLOOK: With five teams penciled in the postseason in the Eastern Conference, Detroit could easily contend for one of the three remaining spots. They have enough talent in their starting lineup and off the bench at the wing slots to make the playoffs.
Detroit has the potential to be a special team defensively, especially up front. Smith is a good defender, and Monroe is adequate. Drummond could be a difference-maker at the center spot and as a rim protector.
Call me an optimist, but the Pistons look like a playoff team. They won't break past Miami, Indiana, New York, Chicago or Brooklyn, but Detroit could be the best of the remaining lot.