The Detroit Pistons should look to their division rival Milwaukee Bucks as a model.
The Detroit Pistons are finally starting to turn things around.
The rebuild is going faster than expected, largely because new GM Troy Weaver hit a home run in free agency with Jerami Grant and another in the draft with Saddiq Bey.
The Killian Hayes injury put a bit of a dark cloud on the season, but otherwise, it’s been fun to watch a competitive Pistons team getting contributions from some of its young players.
The Milwaukee Bucks are one of the NBA’s powerhouse franchises at the minute, but it wasn’t long ago that they were pretty much the Detroit Pistons, a bad team trying to rebuild.
If the Detroit Pistons want to get back to that level, they should be paying attention to how the Bucks did it.
Detroit Pistons: The Milwaukee Bucks have shown Detroit how to do it.
Take some chances in the NBA Draft
Let’s face it, the main reason the Milwaukee Bucks are where they are is that they took a chance on two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo in the draft.
He was the mystery man of the 2013 draft and many mocked Milwaukee for taking him with the 13th pick. How’d that turn out?
There definitely isn’t a Giannis in every draft but when presented the opportunity, the Pistons should draft for upside over fit. In other words, no more drafting guys like Luke Kennard in the lottery.
He’s a nice player but was never going to be a star. The Pistons have to stop doing this. Sekou Doumbouya was a good start, as he has a high ceiling. Same with Killian Hayes. Even though Tyrese Haliburton looks better at the moment, I am happy Detroit went with the guy whose ceiling is a star in this league.
This isn’t always going to work, ask Milwaukee, who tried to get another unicorn steal in the draft with Thon Maker.
The draft is a crapshoot either way, so when the Pistons have top picks they need to shoot for superstars. They will strike out most of the time either way, so they may as well take a chance, as it is one of the only ways for a team like Detroit to get a superstar.
Mid-market teams can have superstars
When Giannis re-signed with Milwaukee it gave every mid-market team in the NBA hope.
If a guy can win in a small market while getting paid and winning MVPs, it will hopefully weaken the argument that these things are only possible on the coasts.
Also, can we quit acting like Detroit is an expansion team? I keep hearing the words “poverty franchise” being used by fans, huh?
This is a team that has won multiple titles, has a proud history and dominated the East for most of my life. Show some pride!
Jerami Grant has shown that free agents will choose Detroit if it is sold to them the right way. It’s a cool, up and coming city with an amazing culture and Detroit needs to act like it.
The Pistons can not only get a superstar but keep one. If Milwaukee can do it, so can the D.
One of the reasons Giannis did stay is that he likes his coach, GM and owner. If you are constantly firing coaches and GMs and have an owner with no history of winning (ouch), it is harder to attract and keep top players.
I hope this is the beginning of a culture change in Detroit, who has had about 700 different coaches in the last ten years (seriously, try to name them all, I dare you), and very little stability in the front office.
This is why i liked the Dwane Casey hire and I like that he is holding his ground about making players earn minutes. Saddiq Bey is doing just that, and this is how you change the culture of a losing team.
The Milwaukee Bucks got lucky, but they put themselves in a position to get some good luck and maximized it once they did.
The Detroit Pistons should be watching, as they can follow a similar path.