The Detroit Pistons should do their due diligence with Brandon Ingram

The Detroit Pistons will have plenty of money to spend this summer, what are the odds that they can sign someone who would immediately jump start their rebuild?

The time has officially come for the Detroit Pistons to begin their rebuild. In order to successfully navigate this strenuous process, their front office is going to have to take some risks.

The first one they took was trading Andre Drummond, who had been the franchise’s best player over the last decade for a return that left a lot of fans puzzled. While the physical assets that the Pistons received may not have been what was expected, they still came away with something.

Trading Drummond automatically alleviates $28 million in cap space that potentially could have been absorbed by his opt-in for the 2020-2021 season, if he chose to do so.

This will leave Detroit with enough money to sign almost any free agent they feel is within the realm of possibility, along with whatever player(s) they select in the draft. Fans should expect the Pistons to go after several rotation players.

But what if they didn’t? What if Detroit tried to go all in on a player who could immediately turn the organization into something drastically different?

Related Story: Evaluating the Pistons interest in future free agent Fred VanVleet

While many have speculated that this could be Fred VanVleet of the Toronto Raptors, another name that isn’t mentioned as much is Brandon Ingram.

One could argue that the reason he isn’t talked about as a hot commodity on the market is because it’s widely assumed that he’ll remain with the New Orleans Pelicans.

Considering he’s a restricted free agent, one can imagine that there’s seemingly no offer that the Pelicans wouldn’t match. Allowing Ingram to walk would be a cataclysmic happening to a franchise who also finds themselves in a rebuild.

This is also the case for VanVleet in Toronto. If Detroit decides to purse him, the only way they could land him is by over-paying.

Even with all that being said, it shouldn’t deter the Pistons from at least checking the temperature on the situation. If they’re able to make a selection in the draft that immediately impacts their team, then they’ll become a more attractive destination.

Also: 2020 NBA Draft profile: LaMelo Ball

With a healthy Blake Griffin, Derrick Rose, Luke Kennard, and re-tooled Sekou Doumbouya in the rotation, regardless of any outcomes this summer Detroit is going to be in solid shape.

Whether or not it turns the team into an attractive enough destination to land one of the top players on the market remains to be seen, but in all likelihood it’s not going to change anything.

This season Ingram received the first All-Star nod of his short career. In his first year with the Pelicans, he’s putting up remarkable numbers. He’s averaging 24.9 points per game along with 6.4 rebounds and 4.2 assists, on 47.3% shooting including 40.0% from three-point range.

At this point, the race for the Most Improved Player of the Year award appears to be a foregone conclusion. Ingram is a match up nightmare and on most nights cannot be stopped.

He’s provides such a fierce scoring output that naturally any team would like to add, but Detroit especially needs it desperately. Without any shot creators, the team is completely stagnant on offense, as we’ve seen in recent weeks.

At the end of the day, the only plausible scenario in which Ingram ever becomes a Piston is through the virtue of a sign and trade. This allows both teams to benefit, and New Orleans wouldn’t be losing one of their stars for nothing.

What that looks like remains to be seen, but it would undoubtedly result in Detroit losing some draft capital. This may not seem optimal due to the rebuild, but given the sheer talent that Ingram brings to the table, the odds are that the Pistons would be better off with him in contrast to anyone they draft.

It would comes down to how many picks Detroit is losing. Along with that, fans would potentially see the departure of players like Svi Mykhailiuk, Markieff Morris (if he chooses to opt-in to his second year) and potentially Bruce Brown.

It’s a complete and total long shot, and truthfully nothing more than a dream. This scenario would feel all too surreal. The Pelicans could also arguably find a better sign and trade partner for Ingram than the Pistons.

Next: Re-drafting Luke Kennard in the 2017 NBA Draft

In any event, it is most definitely worth Detroit’s front office checking in on the situaiton this summer.

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