A way-too-early projection of 15-man Detroit Pistons roster

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Detroit Pistons general manager Troy Weaver has stated ‘only a couple’ roster spots are actually open on their roster for next season. So, despite what the calendar says,  we might be able to take a reasonable shot at who will be on the Pistons for the 2021-2022 season.

The NBA Draft is still a couple of months away, free agency is even further down the road, and the Detroit Pistons have five players who are free agents. However, making a way-too-early projection of the team’s roster may actually be pretty reasonable to achieve.

The Pistons have a lot of young building blocks they have no intention of moving on from. They also have made a major commitment (i.e. paying a lot of money) to several veterans. So much of the roster is etched in stone.

Our projections are based on what GM Troy Weaver and coach Dwane Casey have said publicly, the team salary cap situation, individual contracts, and some plain old common sense.

For the purposes of this story, a few assumptions will be made in constructing the roster.

  • It is all rainbows and unicorns for Detroit in the draft. The lottery finally goes their way. For the first time since 1970, the Pistons get the No. 1 overall draft pick.
  • Continuing on the positive side, we will go on the assumption that all Pistons players who are now restricted or total free agents want to return (Why wouldn’t they?).
  • The Pistons will not tear apart their roster for the second year in a row. No crazy four-team trade where Detroit gives up Jerami Grant and four No. 1s and end up with Steph Curry or something.

(Do not worry, this site will have plenty of proposed massive trades in the future, but, this time, going to play it straight)

We are only going to project the official 15-man NBA roster. With the Pistons currently holding three second-round draft picks, it is a safe bet that both two-way contracts will go to currently unknown draftees, who will spend most of the year in the G-League with the new Motor City Cruise.

The roster is divided up into three categories: Starters, bench and developmental/deep bench players. That is the way fans will see the team play, so that is what we are going with.

Remember that this is not like hockey with complete line changes. Deep bench players can be on the court with starters, depending on matchups.

It will be interesting to see how many of these players actually are on the 2021-2022 Pistons. Maybe more accurate than you expect?

(all stats courtesy of basketball-reference.com and contract details via Spotrac.com)

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