When Stan Van Gundy took over the Pistons in 2014, he had a roster beset with problems. Chief among them was his shooting guard situation, where first-year man Kentavious Caldwell-Pope showed some promise but couldn’t shoot, and the other options — out-of-position and over-his-head Kyle Singler and free agent Rodney Stuckey — were not appealing. Van Gundy’s first signing, whom he aggressively pursued at the opening of free agency, was shooting guard Jodie Meeks, a potential starter who could help with the Pistons’ 3-point woes.
That fizzled. Meeks never started a game for Detroit, and he was traded to Orlando after the second of a four-year contract. The following summer, Van Gundy went hard after Spurs shooting guard Danny Green, and got close to bringing him to Detroit, but Green ultimately returned to San Antonio and it was back to Caldwell-Pope — a 3-and-D wing who was not so reliable on the 3s — for the Pistons.
But last summer, Van Gundy finally got his man: Avery Bradley. A three-year quest to fill the shooting guard spot was ended by the trade that sent Bradley, in a contract year that the Celtics did not want to touch, from Boston to Detroit.
The payoff has been immediate. The Pistons, as a whole, have been far above expectations through their first 10 games, with a 7-3 record that includes wins on the road over the Clippers and Warriors. They’ve done it thanks to an offense that has, finally, clicked the way Van Gundy imagined, with center Andre Drummond clogging up space in the paint, a top pick-and-roll point guard and shooters who can actually make shots on the wings.
When the Pistons acquired Bradley, Van Gundy said, "We started out the offseason saying that we wanted to do three things primarily, add three things to our team. We wanted to add as much character as we possibly could. We wanted to add 3-point shooting. And we wanted to get more people on the floor who could handle the ball and make plays.
With Avery Bradley, Pistons find shooting guard they've always needed
Sporting News | Nov 8