Detroit Pistons: Reasons for optimism in the 2021 NBA Draft

As the spring begins and we slowly creep closer to this year’s NBA Draft, there is arguably more excitement around the Detroit Pistons than in recent years.

Isaiah Stewart and Saddiq Bey have both been impressive this season, exceeding expectations and transitioning well to the NBA’s pace. This year, however, brings a new draft class, filled with tons of talent, and several potential franchise cornerstones for the Detroit Pistons near the very top of the draft.

As for many teams that hover around the top of the lottery for consecutive years, Detroit will need to draft for talent, not need.

While there are a plethora of wings on Detroit’s roster, and several big men, there aren’t any long-term pieces that are contractually solidified for the foreseeable future, outside of Jerami Grant, who’s in the first of a three year-deal.

This not only gives Detroit a lot of trade ammunition going into the summer, but it also enables them to pick the most talented player, without having to worry about long-term fits alongside specific players who may be on the roster right now.

There are choices for Detroit Pistons draft picks

While Cade Cunninghman is the consensus top pick for whoever is fortunate to receive the pick (hopefully us), Jalen Green, and Jalen Suggs both have the potential to be franchise caliber guards, and could be key pieces to igniting the next chapter in Detroit’s rebuild.

Something that is also important to note is the versatility within this year’s prospects. Jalen Green is 6-5, with loads of athleticism, and is skilled enough to fill either position in the backcourt, although his ceiling may be highest playing shooting guard.

In the G-League, Green averaged nearly 18 points, 2.8 assists, and 4 rebounds, while shooting 46.1 percent from the field. At eighteen years old, he still has room to fill out, but there is immense talent, and tons of room for growth on top of an already advanced skill set.

Suggs is currently in the middle of a historic season with Gonzaga, orchestrating an offense that has gone undefeated, while averaging 13.9 points, 5.3 rebounds, 4.4 rebounds, on 49.1 shooting from the field. These numbers are incredibly impressive when considering how efficient Gonzaga has been, and how many weapons they’ve had all year.

Suggs has all the makings of a franchise-changing point guard, and will immediately bring athleticism, toughness, a high basketball IQ, and most importantly, a winning mentality.

Outside of these two, this year’s draft class is still filled with a ton of talent, and guys who have a chance to both contribute immediately, and in the future. With a few assets on the roster, a GM who has already proven to have an eye for talent, and a chance to end up near the top of the lottery, there is plenty to be excited about for this year’s draft.