The Detroit Pistons need to save money this summer

Detroit Pistons owner Tom Gores. (Photo by Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images)
Detroit Pistons owner Tom Gores. (Photo by Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images) /

Money won’t be an issue for the Detroit Pistons this summer in free agency, but they should be cautious with it.

We don’t know exactly when free agency will begin for the NBA this year but we do know one thing for sure. The Detroit Pistons will have plenty of money to spend.

It’s expected that they’ll have around $40 million in cap space, and while some of that will go to whoever they select in the draft, that’s still leaves more than enough to do more or less whatever they’d like.

Trading Andre Drummond at the deadline in February helped inflate this number. By moving him, the possibility of him opting into his 2020-2021 player option worth $28.7 million is no longer of concern for Detroit.

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What this did was open up flexibility.

People often assume that having cap space exclusively means you’re looking to sign free agents, and that isn’t true. Those same people will resort to saying “well, no one is going to sign with the Pistons anyway” and to be totally honest, they’re not wrong.

But beyond just being able to sign players, having financial flexibility opens up more doors for you than just signing new players.

It gives Detroit the option to make a trade where they absorb an unfavorable contract in order to land an asset. Teams will be more likely to part ways with a valuable player if they’re able to get off a bad contract in the process. The Pistons are a team who could help facilitate this type of move.

Who that player could be, or if Detroit is even looking to do something like that remains to be seen. However, the door is wide open for something like that to happen.

When it comes to what the Pistons will be doing this summer, it’s safe to assume that they’re going to prioritize re-signing Christian Wood to a long term deal. Beyond that, bringing back Langston Galloway, Thon Maker, or John Henson could all be plausible options.

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However when it comes down to it, they shouldn’t be looking to spend anything more than what they have to. Securing a 15-man roster in the most cost efficient way possible is obviously the name of the game, but teams often get swept up in over-paying just because they can.

With the 2020 free agency class being more underwhelming than we’ve seen in years prior, there isn’t going to be much that’ll get fans excited.

When you look beyond that, it’s the 2021 class that people are focusing on.

As it stands, Detroit will have two current players under contract when the summer of 2021 rolls around, Blake Griffin and Sekou Doumbouya.

This of course is subject to change, as they’ll likely be extending player like Luke Kennard, Bruce Brown, Wood, etc. But the point is that they’re not tying themselves to any long term contracts that they’re not comfortable with.

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The 2021 class will be headlined by Giannis Antetokounmpo, LeBron James, Chris Paul, Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, and Jrue Holiday just to name a few.

No, the Pistons won’t have a shot at picking any of these players up, it’s just to show the type of talent that’s going to be available.

If they’re able to secure a quality draft pick in this upcoming draft, and in 2021 as well, they could set themselves up to be an attractive landing spot for some under the radar free agents.

A comparison would be how the Pelicans were able to land the services of J.J Redick after drafting Zion Williamson and acquiring the massive haul from the Lakers.

Slowly but surely they’re going to build themselves into a legitimate threat, and Detroit could do the same.

The Pistons current front office has given us no indication and no reason to believe that they’d overpay anyone, which is certainly relieving. They’ve made sharp and meticulous moves for a majority of their tenure, with a few hiccups here and there.

There’s arguably not one single player that the Pistons should go out of their way to sign this summer outside of the players that they currently posses. Maintaining this mindset could go a long way.

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Keeping yourself out of financial purgatory could open up future doors that you never knew existed.