Creating a plan for the Detroit Pistons on draft night

DAYTON, OH - MARCH 07: Obi Toppin #1 of the Dayton Flyers looks on during a game against the George Washington Colonials at UD Arena on March 7, 2020 in Dayton, Ohio. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
DAYTON, OH - MARCH 07: Obi Toppin #1 of the Dayton Flyers looks on during a game against the George Washington Colonials at UD Arena on March 7, 2020 in Dayton, Ohio. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

Though it still remains unknown when exactly the NBA Draft will occur, the Detroit Pistons could set themselves up for a great night.

With the cancellation of all sporting events across not just the United States but the world, the future remains pretty murky as to what exactly will happen next. For the Detroit Pistons, their next focus will become the NBA Draft.

March Madness, the NCAA’s premiere end-of-season tournament has often been used as a decent indicator of what players can and cannot preform under the bright lights. It’s always been used as a fun way to scout potential prospects.

That too however, has been cancelled.

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So now if you’re the Pistons you begin to look at where you could potentially make your selection. As it stands they have the fifth best odds at landing the number one overall pick.

This doesn’t mean too much other than they’re in all likelihood going to get the number one player on their draft board. Who that is however remains to be seen.

Detroit currently only possesses one draft pick this season, which is their first round pick. They don’t have a second round pick of their own until 2024.

With the Pistons currently beginning their rebuild, this is the epitome of unoptimal. They need to do everything that they can in order to acquire more draft capital.

So, how do they go about doing that?

In order to pull something like this off the Pistons will need to part ways with an asset that’s attractive enough to actually draw interest, but doesn’t hold significant weight in whatever success they do find on the court.

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This is where Tony Snell comes in.

After being acquired from the Milwaukee Bucks last summer before draft night, Snell became one of Detroit’s featured wings and provided productive minutes on a nightly basis.

He’s a reliable defender and is equally reliable shooting from the perimeter. His best game this season came against the New York Knicks, where he scored 24 points on 9 of 9 shooting, including hitting all 6 three-pointers he attempted.

In what was one of the stranger developments of the season, he also emerged as one of the Pistons best lob men, which no one saw coming.

At the end of the day, he’s valuable enough that teams would be interested in him. With Detroit clearly preferring to roll with an infusion of youth, sending Snell to either a contending or fringe playoff team would be beneficial for all parties involved.

So if you’re the Pistons you look at teams like the Sixers, who desperately need more floor spacers as they often find themselves struggling from the three-point line. Although they’re well over the salary cap, if a trade was completed, enough money could be coming off the books to make it work.

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You also look at teams like the Pelicans and the Magic. While New Orleans may be an odd fit, considering they’re one of the league’s best three-point shooting teams, Snell could make an impact alongside J.J. Redick.

With the Magic, they’re a team who’s struggled with obtaining an identity in recent years, and adding a perimeter threat could go a long way for them, considering they’re one of the worst three-point shooting teams in the league.

All three of these teams own their second round pick. While maybe these teams may not be the correct suitors, Snell could most certainly be the right piece to spark these conversations.

If they’re able to land the additional pick, a key option opens up for them. They wouldn’t be forced to select a point guard in the first round.

While it could likely still be the best option, they wouldn’t be pressured into it.

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This upcoming draft class is incredibly heavy with point guards. Quality prospects at the position will be available for all 60 picks.

So hypothetically no matter where Detroit makes their selection, they could look at a player like James Wiseman, Obi Toppin, or even Deni Avdija with legitimate interest.

If Snell were to be the one who was traded for the pick, some of his minutes would naturally be freed up and could be allocated to any of those players.

Then once you get into the second round you’ll still likely have a lot of players who may not be day one explosions, but they’d still be serviceable and they could develop as the season(s) move on.

This would include guys like Cassius Winston, Markus Howard, or Tre Jones. Three players who’ve proven that they can play in some of the biggest games in the country, who all directly benefit their teams.

This route creates flexibility in the Pistons rotations as well as a potential light at the end of the tunnel. Drafting and developing more than one player this year is most definitely the most optimal outcome for Detroit.

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Opening up your options could lead to success a lot sooner than anticipated.