2020 NBA Draft: Detroit Pistons should open their wallet

Detroit Pistons owner Tom Gores. (Photo by Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images)
Detroit Pistons owner Tom Gores. (Photo by Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images) /
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Detroit Pistons
DETROIT, MI – JUNE 20: Dwane Casey (L) poses with Tom Gores (C) owner of the Detroit Pistons and Ed Stefanski (R) senior adviser at Little Caesars Arena on June 20, 2018 in Detroit, Michigan. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /

Loading up on draft choices the easy way

The Philadelphia 76ers have been big on selling away second-rounders, as their former general manager Sam Hinkie stockpiled them. At one point he had 25 second-round picks owed the Sixers.

In 2017, according to Liberty Ballers, the Sixers sold the 39th pick in the draft to the Clippers for $3.2 million and for $1.9 million shipped No. 46 to the Milwaukee Bucks (who then took Sterling Brown with that pick).

Near the end of the draft, the price went down steeply. The Sixers two years ago received $200,00 for the 58th selection.

One would assume the price, if anything, has only gone up in the past three years.

In the 2020 draft ( surprise!), the 76ers have the most draft picks with five (Nos. 21, 34, 36, 49, 58).

As the draft moves along on November 18, let’s say that there is a player the Pistons scouts really like and has lasted on the draft board longer then they expected. Weaver, Stefanski and the other basketball operations staff decide they can get this player at No. 34, and go to Gores about paying Philadelphia for that pick.

If 39th cost $3.2 million three years ago, No. 34 would most likely now be in the $4.5 million range. That is a lot of money, but plenty of good players have drifted down to the second round (the Pistons’ took Khris Middleton at 39 in 2012 and in 1986 with the third pick in the second round Detroit got Hall of Famer Dennis Rodman).

Not wanting to leave the draft with just one player, Gores OKs the move. For good measure , Gores throws in $300,000 extra for the 58th pick, allowing the Pistons to take a chance on a low-risk, high-ceiling player (FYI: Spurs great Manu Ginobli was drafted 57th).

A weak second-round draft swap can be thrown in so Sixers’ owner Josh Harris does not look completely money-hungry (Knowing the Right to Ricky Sanchez crew in Philly, that will fail miserably).

One important fact to keep in mind is that all first-round picks contracts are guaranteed for its first two years, while no second-rounders are guaranteed (meaning you can cut a second-rounder with no salary cap hit).

. Obviously, there is a BIG difference between the getting selected 30th and 31st.

The Pistons could also take advantage of some team’s salary cap and/or roster problems and buy their way into the first round.

The Celtics have three first-round selections. Boston is already loaded up with young players as its roster this past season had nine rookies or first-year players. They most likely do not have room to add three more rookies, particularly rookies with guaranteed contracts, particularly with Jayson Tatum soon to be handed a max contract.

Detroit, and  Gores’ bank account, could relieve the Celtics of some of their problems.

First-rounders are expensive, if only because fans will be upset a club gave up a first-round pick simply for money, so it had better be a lot of money the team is getting in return.

Boston has the last selection in the first round, No. 30, but to get a player who one spot later would be on a non-guaranteed contract would not be smart.

It would be the No. 26 pick the Celtics have that should interest the Pistons. Using the $4.5 million for No. 34 as the baseline, Boston’s pick eight spots higher should be priced around $6 million. A future second-round pick can be thrown in to provide cover for Boston with its fans.

Detroit currently has one draft pick, but if the purse-strings were opened, they could have four selections, including two first-rounders.

It would take about $10 million to pull this all off but it could be money that Gores actually gets back. Such an influx of young talent might excite the fans, have them believe the future of the Pistons is bright.

That shot of positivism would mean increased ticket sales which leads to more concessions sales and parking revenue. Television ratings also would be up, which also helps the bottom line.

Next. Luke Kennard’s potential still turning heads at Detroit Pistons’ group workouts. dark

Gores is involved in private equity so he knows sometimes the best time time to invest is during an economic downturn.

This is the perfect time to put money down on the Pistons future.