Ranking the Detroit Pistons’ most valuable assets

Detroit Pistons Luke Kennard. (Photo by Brian Sevald/NBAE via Getty Images)
Detroit Pistons Luke Kennard. (Photo by Brian Sevald/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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Detroit Pistons
Detroit Pistons Luke Kennard. (Photo by Brian Sevald/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Now that the Detroit Pistons in all out rebuild mode, how do their assets rank against one another in longevity?

By dumping Andre Drummond for what felt like a lackluster return, the Detroit Pistons are signaling to the NBA and its fan base they are serious about a rebuild.

In the modern NBA, the paramount strategy for a successful rebuild is about collecting as many assets as possible and then hopefully turning those assets into stars. This is preferable to the Piston’s former strategy of being too mediocre to gather any assets at all.

Misguided critics of the Drummond trade cried out in consternation, “But we didn’t get any assets for Andre!”

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Well, the real asset was the cap space we freed up along the way. With Drummond’s contract off the books, the Pistons will have flexibility moving forward instead of fielding a roster that was not only one of the most expensive but did not perform up to the expectations of such a hefty price tag.

And simply having cap space is going to be very valuable in the coming years. The 2021 free-agent class is potentially boasting LeBron James, Chris Paul, Kawhi Leonard, Blake Griffin, Paul George, Gordon Hayward (all player options), Mike Conley, Kyle Lowry, Jrue Holiday, Rudy Gobert, Anthony Davis, Drummond, Steven Adams, and Giannis Antetokounmpo.

While the Pistons likely won’t be competitive enough to attract a veteran free agent, they could be a landing spot for a team desperate to clear cap space.

Of course, what’s better than cap-space is a tangible asset, like a young player on a rookie contract or a first-round draft pick.

Without Drummond, the Pistons are more likely to be a downright bad team rather than a mediocre one, which will help them acquire one of the most valuable assets in the NBA: lottery picks.

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While the upcoming Pistons seasons are likely to be ugly and filled with plenty of losses, they’ll at least have direction and vision, unlike the past 10 seasons.

With actual draft picks, young players with upside, and stable ownership the Pistons are also better prepared for a rebuild than at any point during the Greg Monroe and Drummond era.

Properly valuing those picks and players is going to be key to whether the Pistons can engineer a successful rebuild or meander back to contending for a first round sweep.

So how should the Pistons value those assets moving forward? What should be prioritized? Well, you’re in luck, dear reader, I’ve separated these assets into handy tiers.