AUBURN HILLS — He wears No. 7, his name is Brandon and he’s going to be the Pistons point guard.
Despite all of that, Pistons fans won’t fail to notice that Brandon Jennings is now running the show instead of Brandon Knight.
Jennings was introduced to the Detroit media Tuesday, and made it clear that he thinks his talents will fit right into the new-look Pistons roster.
“This is going to my first time playing with a frontcourt like this — Andre Drummond, Greg Monroe and Josh Smith,” he said. “That gives you a great veteran and two of the best young big guys in the game. That makes my job a lot easier — we’re going to be bringing Lob City to Detroit.”
In Milwaukee, Jennings was known as a shoot-first, pass-later point guard. At times, he did that brilliantly — he scored 55 points in a game as a rookie — but he ended up being a volume shooter who scored because of the number of shots he took more than any particular efficiency.
Many players would have been offended about being called an inefficient player, but Jennings was quick to agree.
“When I look at the talent we’ve got in Detroit, I know I’m not going to have to take all the bad shots that I had to take with the Bucks,” he said. “I know I have to change my game. I think you are going to see a whole different player this season. Not just because of all the talent, but because of the great people that will be around me — guys who played at the highest level like Chanucey Billups, Rasheed Wallace, Joe Dumars and Mo Cheeks.”
If Jennings is ready to embrace the role of a distributor, Detroit’s only offensive weakness becomes the lack of a 3-point shooter who can stretch the floor. That role might have to be filled by the winner of a complicated battle at shooting guard. The Pistons could try one of their young gunners by playing Kyle Singler or Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, or they could hope that Billups has a few more big shots left in the tank.
Dumars, though, is focusing on the talent they’ve accumulated — he knows that Cheeks has training camp and the preseason to figure out the best mix of players.
“The reason we did this is that we looked at what we already had, and we saw that Brandon had the skill set to help us,” Dumars said. “He’s a really good fit, because he is a point guard with five years of pro experience — one in Italy and four in Milwaukee – and we feel like he can hit the ground running for us.”
By trading Knight, Khris Middleton and Slava Kravtsov to the Bucks for Jennings, the Pistons opened up two roster spots. They used the first one Monday to sign second-round pick Peyton Siva, the fifth point guard on the 14-man roster. Dumars expects to use the 15th spot on a backup for Drummond, but this is the the group that he’s planning to get them through the 2013-14 season.
“We feel that we’ve got a roster that can contend for a playoff spot right now,” he said. “We’ll probably look to add a big with the last spot, but we’re done making major moves unless something comes completely out of the blue. We’re very happy with what we’ve got.”