While the Detroit Pistons were not expected to compete for a spot in the playoffs this year, no one thought that they would be this bad.

Detroit’s most recent loss–a 133-107 beatdown at the hands of the Los Angeles Lakers–extended their losing streak to a franchise-record 15 games. They dropped each and every one of their games this November and have not won since October 29 where a 16-point win over the Chicago Bulls improved their win-loss record to 2-1.

Today, their 2-16 slate is the worst in the NBA and it looks like there is no end in sight for the Piston’s futility.

What makes their poor showing particularly frustrating is that this was supposed to be the season where they began making progress out of their rebuild.

The return of 2021 first overall draft pick Cade Cunningham from a shin injury that cut his season short last year was expected to give them a boost and his strong showing in the offseason with Team USA’s select team only built enthusiasm for his return campaign. Though Cunningham’s counting statistics have marginally improved, his efficiency has taken a nosedive this year and the jump in his numbers is far from expectations.

The blame should not fall solely on the 22-year-old guard though.

The decisions that Detroit’s general manager Troy Weaver have made over the past few years have been questionable at best and have made it difficult for Cunningham to maximize his potential. One of the most curious moves made by Weaver was the hiring of Monty Williams during the summer for a record sum to serve as this team’s head coach.

Williams steered the Phoenix Suns to the NBA Finals in 2021, but his overall resume is quite underwhelming. He barely registered a .500 record over his nine seasons as a head coach prior to joining the Pistons and has no proven track record in developing players.

The success that he found with the Suns was driven more by the veteran pieces on their roster rather than the improvement of their young prospects. This makes Williams an odd fit on a team like Detroit that is full of young players such as Cunningham, Jalen Duren, and Ausar Thompson who need to be molded.

Aside from their sideline personnel, the roster that Weaver has constructed leaves much to be desired as well. Cunningham often finds himself sharing the backcourt with Jaden Ivey and Killian Hayes who have a similar skillset as him and do not offer much in terms of shooting. This leaves their halfcourt offense cramped and restricts Cunningham’s best traits.

The absence of Bogdan Bogdanovic and Joe Harris due to injuries has definitely hurt this team, but if a team’s shortcomings are being blamed on missing two journeymen, the problem is clearly something much bigger.

Of course, the silver lining of yet another disastrous season for the Pistons is the prospect of another high lottery pick in next year’s NBA Draft. However, they will have to start winning sooner or later and once their ownership group decides that they are serious about turning the corner, assessing this team’s front office leadership must be a priority.

This Detroit team is not lacking in talent and it would be a shame to see this group’s potential go to waste because of a few things that are beyond their control.