Edson: Drafting Teens Means Wings, Pistons Are Works In Progress

Time to head to the mailbag to answer some questions as we head into the last week of June.

Question: What did you think of the Pistons and Red Wings drafts last week?

Answer: My take is that both drafts show that the teams are several years away from contending. I think the Pistons have more pieces at their disposal to return to the playoffs. With Blake Griffin and Andre Drummond, the Pistons have a 3-4 year window. The Red Wings had an impressive first draft under new general manager Steve Yzerman. But both the Pistons and Red Wings drafted a bunch of teenagers, so we won’t know just how good these drafts were for a couple of years.

Question: Do you get frustrated watching the Tigers on TV like I do?

Answer: I do… on several levels. We knew going into the season that this was going to be a rebuilding year. But the lack of fundamental baseball skills is really frustrating to watch. On top of that, with the announcers just brushing aside that kind of play, they are quickly losing credibility. We’re watching the game on TV, for goodness sakes. We can see the mistakes.

Question: Which Detroit team has the best chance of being a contender right now?

Answer: I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I think our best bet is the Lions. The key to being a contender is a solid defense and I think the Lions are putting together something special on that side of the ball. On offense, as long as Detroit has Matt Stafford, it has a chance to be good. If Stafford gets hurt, the Lions are sunk. It’s that simple.

Answer: Same as the Pistons and Red Wings. Their first pick in 2019 was an 18-year-old outfielder just freshly out of high school. He’ll take a few years to ripen. In fact, he’ll probably be ready to play about the time our touted young pitching arms are taking over in Detroit.

Question: So you’re saying Detroit sports fans have to continue to be patient?

Answer: Exactly. I would suggest heading to the golf course or taking in a good movie on the weekends when the Tigers are playing. But I will say this: I think by the time we get to 2022 – a mere three years from now – I think our teams could all be playoff contenders. Of course, that “mere” three years will seem life a “lifetime” to fans.

Nick Edson is a retired Hall of Fame columnist and sportswriter. He worked 25 years at the Traverse City Record-Eagle, 18 as sports editor. He is a two-time president of the Associated Press Sports Editors Association and a member of the Michigan Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame.