The Pistons have been in rebuild mode since the departure of their former all-stars Andre Drummond and Blake Griffin. Last season was their third losing season in a row, only winning 23 games and suffering 59 losses. Thankfully, the suffering may soon come to an end with the emergence of Cade Cunningham.
The Pistons main focal point last season was developing their young core, mainly their 2021 first overall pick Cade Cunningham. Cade showed he has the potential to be a top scorer in the league averaging 17.4 points a game last season. He also received praise from several NBA veterans throughout the year, emphasizing his maturity and acknowledging his skills.
2020 1st round picks Isaiah Stewart and Saddiq Bey made significant strides this year as well. Casual NBA fans may only know Isaiah as the man who tried to fight the entire Laker’s team but he should known for his rebounding, averaging 8.7 boards per game last season. Isaiah is a hard working big man who can guard multiple positions but needs to improve on his perimeter shooting if he wants to become a threat in the pick and roll.
Saddiq showed he is not afraid to let the 3 pointer fly, attempting 610 threes last season (9th in NBA). The corner 3 specialist needs to improve on his offensive decision making but has the potential to become an elite NBA wing.
After 3 seasons of rebuilding, the Piston’s now face another off-season to build a winning team. The Detroit front-office should be focused on winning the draft and surrounding Cade with more talent.
Pistons draft needs
The Pistons have the 5th and 46th picks in the upcoming 2022 NBA draft. The top 3 players taken right away will be Chet Holmgren, Paolo Banchero, and Jabari Smith. The Pistons will likely have to trade up if they want one of those three players but there is still significant talent outside the top 3.
The Pistons should be looking to take the best available player for their 5th pick, which will likely be Keegan Murray or Shaedon Sharpe
Keegan Murray had a spectacular sophomore season with the Iowa Hawkeyes, averaging 23.5 points, 8.7 rebounds, and 1.5 assists. Murray is also a deadly 3 point shooter, averaging 39.8% from deep last season. Keegan is an athletic 6’8 SF/PF that can spread the floor and can defend well at his position. He would be an excellent fit next Saddiq Bey in the starting lineup.
Shaedon is an explosive SG, standing at 6’6 with nearly a 7 foot wingspan. Sharpe did not play for Kentucky last season making him the biggest wildcard in the draft, with no experience at the college/pro level. Shaedon has the frame, size, and length of the modern NBA SG, he is a high risk- high reward pick.
The Piston’s future
With Jerami Grant’s contract expiring at the end of the 22-23 season, Detroit needs to decide if they are going to resign their Star forward. With the arrival of Cade, it seems like Jerami will likely be traded this off-season or will not be re-signed to make room for all-star talent. Jerami is without a doubt a great player but does not have the offensive skill set to be the go-to guy.
The Pistons will have significant cap space to sign an all-star free agent after the 22-23 season or they can trade Grant to teams that need a slashing PF. (Click here for Malcom Brogdon for Jerami Grant Trade example)
The Piston’s have set the base to get back to winning championships like the “Bad Boys” days. If the Piston’s can keep surrounding Cade with young talent, the sky is the limit for the Pistons.