The daily tank: Detroit Pistons 2020 NBA Draft odds on Feb. 21

Detroit Pistons Reggie Jackson (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)
Detroit Pistons Reggie Jackson (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images) /

The Detroit Pistons lost their fifth game in a row at the hands of the NBA’s-best Bucks. Their 2020 NBA Draft odds improved but the simulations were mixed.

Not a lot has changed since the All-Star break but on the first day of games afterwards there were significant developments as the Detroit Pistons lost their fifth game in a row.

One change is that the team bought out Reggie Jackson, allowing him to join the Los Angeles Clippers and pursuit a championship. That significantly handicaps the Pistons ability to stay competitive in games moving forward, as seen in a 126-106 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks, who let off the gas after building a 70-41 halftime lead.

Reinforcements will be on the way with the usage of 10-day contracts, the first is Detroit native Derrick Walton Jr. In the meantime, the Pistons have one of the toughest schedules remaining and will likely fall more in the standings.

Thursday’s games presented a gift as the Hawks earned a win against the Miami Heat (35-20) behind Trae Young‘s 50 points. Detroit (19-39) pulled within 2.5 games of the Hawks, currently third in the Tankathon standings.

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The Kings nearly tanked a game away in dramatic fashion but did beat the Memphis Grizzlies. Sacramento, winners of six in its last 10, is currently tied for 10th in the Tankathon standings.

The daily tank

As it stands, the Pistons are in sixth in the Tankathon standings with odds of 37.2% for a top-4 pick and 9% for the top pick. Without further ado, let’s simulate the results.

Out of the 10 simulations, seven times the Pistons stayed at six or dropped to seventh or eighth. The average draft position was 5.5 — benefitted by a pair of second overall picks and winning the lottery on the 10th simulation.

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Aside from the typical top-3 of James Wiseman, Anthony Edwards and LaMelo Ball, the next three consist of Onyeka Okongwu, Tyrese Haliburton and Deni Avdija. The Pistons could conceivably have their pick of any point guard they want, or could look to add a wing, big or hybrid.

It’s hard to say what direction the Pistons should go in as the stripped-down roster doesn’t have any surefire stars to build around. But that’s a separate debate.

Friday’s games should have Pistons fans’ attention with the Cavs and Wizards meeting. Cleveland is currently in second — three games ahead. The Knicks and Timberwolves are both a half-game ahead of the Pistons in a tie for fourth. New York hosts the Pacers and the Wolves host the Celtics in what should be losses, but who knows in the NBA.

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