Detroit Pistons Off-Season Grades: Preseason Edition

Jerami Grant #9 of the Detroit Pistons. (Photo by Dave Reginek/Getty Images)
Jerami Grant #9 of the Detroit Pistons. (Photo by Dave Reginek/Getty Images) /
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The Detroit Pistons whirlwind of an off-season is behind us. Now that we’ve seen four preseason games to see the new players, it’s time to grade each and every move that general manager Troy Weaver made in his complete renovation of this Pistons team.

Considering the Detroit Pistons have had about two weeks together after a historically-long nine months off, and we’ve only seen four preseason basketball games, everything is subject to change, as we’ve only seen a glimpse of these moves in action.

Please keep in mind, the Pistons finally have a clear direction and are entering Year One of an apparent three-year rebuild.

But with the NBA opener right around the corner, let’s go through the great, the solid, and the questionable moves of the off-season:.

The Great:

Stopped paying Josh Smith: A+++++++

Pretty self explanatory why this is the best thing to happen to the Pistons in the last 5 years. An big blotch o nthe salary cap removed.

Signed Josh Jackson (2 years/$10M): A+

 On the surface, this is my absolute favorite move the Pistons made this summer. A low risk, high reward transaction we’ve been begging them to make. Through his impressive preseason performance, Jackson looks to be a steal. His defense and versatility are complete weapons, and his improved shooting will force teams to guard him on that end of the floor. He’s the former 4th overall pick from 2017 and he’s only 23.

Signed Jahlil Okafor (2 years/minimum): A+

Like Jackson, Jahlil Okafor is an incredibly low-risk, medium sized reward signing. The value of this deal is amazing, considering it’s two years for the minimum salary. Okafor is just 25 years old and is the former No. 3 overall pick of the 2016 NBA Draft. For a team that went into the off-season with zero centers on its roster, this was a really nice signing.

Drafted Killian Hayes (7th): A

Now THIS is really where the party starts.

Considering the Pistons are in Year One of a rebuild, with maybe two other young core pieces already on the team going into the draft, taking a 19-year-old point guard with tremendous upside was the best possible outcome. Especially, for a franchise who hasn’t had a cornerstone point guard since Chauncey Billups departed 12 years ago.

Related Story. Detroit Pistons: The Test – Russell Westbrook vs. Killian Hayes. light

Hayes had a really nice preseason. It was never about the numbers, but his turnovers were well under control, after the first game, and his passing abilities came as advertised.

Defensively, he’s been incredibly impressive. He’s shown a confidence that he belongs, and he’s shown some really nice flashes of what his future could look like.

Traded Ariza to Oklahoma City for Delon Wright: A

The Pistons essentially saved money this season and got a useful rotation piece in the form of Delon Wright. The Pistons had one shooting guard on the roster when they made this trade, and Wright is a favorite of coach Dwane Casey, having played for him in Toronto..

He’s defensively versatile, an improved shooter and a nice secondary ball handler to help the rookie. He’s shown some nice flashes with the ball in his hands during the preseason. He is also an expiring contract after 2021-22,  which makes him a decent trade chip next summer or next season.

Drafted Saddiq Bey (19th): A

Saddiq Bey could’ve been the pick at 16,and many mock drafts had him going there, so you know I love him at 19.

He had a really strong first game in the preseason, knocking down shots, making defensive plays, and showing us a little something off the dribble. He’s a prototypical 3&D wing who looks like he may have more in his bag.