Detroit Pistons: Pistons are on the Atlanta and Memphis timeline

Ja Morant #12 of the Memphis Grizzlies shoots the ball against Saben Lee #38 of the Detroit Pistons (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images)
Ja Morant #12 of the Memphis Grizzlies shoots the ball against Saben Lee #38 of the Detroit Pistons (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images) /

The Detroit Pistons only won 20 games this season but the future is looking bright.

Troy Weaver had an impressive first season as GM, cleaning house and starting fresh with a roster that includes four rookies from the 2020 NBA Draft.

Saddiq Bey and Isaiah Stewart may not end up being superstars, but they are at least going to be solid starters in the league for a long time.

Killian Hayes didn’t get to play much but is poised for a breakout year in his second season and the Pistons still have veteran Jerami Grant anchoring both sides of the court.

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It’s easy to look at this team and say that it has a lot of what it needs already but is just missing a star as the final ingredient to making the playoffs next season.

The Detroit Pistons are hoping to find that guy in the NBA Draft, but even if they don’t, they are on the path to get back to the playoffs soon, just ask Memphis and Atlanta.

Detroit Pistons: Memphis and Atlanta give the Pistons a timeline

If you want to know which teams to watch to get an idea of when the Pistons will be good again, I recommend Memphis and Atlanta, two teams that were recently in the same spot as Detroit.

I think the Pistons can learn a lot from Memphis when it comes to building a roster, but also to get a timeline for when they can expect to compete again.

Memphis had been drafting solid role players for a few seasons before finally getting lucky to get the second pick in the draft with Ja Morant, the superstar who pushed them out of mediocrity and into contention. In the case of Memphis, they already had a decent young team before adding Morant.

Same with Atlanta, who had a couple of good role players but no stars when they drafted Trae Young, who is now blossoming into a superstar on the biggest stage. They are in the third year since drafting Young and now look like they’ll be a mainstay in the Eastern Conference playoffs.

If the Detroit Pistons follow a similar trajectory, they will sniff the play-in game next season and be either in or near the playoffs in the third.

Of course, this is contingent on them finding a star between now and then, but if they do, expect the Detroit Pistons to be near the playoffs next season in right in the mix the year after that.

Memphis and Atlanta have built their current roster the right way and hopefully the Pistons will be the next in line to make a leap from the cellar to the playoffs.

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