When it comes to draft picks, Detroit Pistons cupboard is bare

From left, Detroit Pistons general manager Troy Weaver, owner Tom Gores and draft picks. (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images)
From left, Detroit Pistons general manager Troy Weaver, owner Tom Gores and draft picks. (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images) /

While many NBA teams with poor records at least have stockpiles of draft picks, that is not the case with the Detroit Pistons. However, following the Bol Bol, their draft cupboard is pretty empty.

As of now, Pistons fans will not have to stay up very late the night of the NBA Draft. Barring a massive winning streak, Detroit should have a pick in the top six of the first round. And as for the second round, right now the they have none.

The trade for Bol Bol with the Denver Nuggets included a 2022 second-round draft pick of the Brooklyn Nets that the Pistons had from the DeAndre Jordan deal. Not a big deal, the pick will probably be in the 50s, but it was the only second-rounder the Pistons had for this upcoming draft.

The amount of draft picks Detroit has is actually very slim, not only now, but in the future.

According to RealGM, the Pistons do not have their own first or second round pick, outright, until 2028 (Yikes!).

While some clubs at the bottom of the standings, like Oklahoma City, love gathering first and second rounders, Pistons general manager seems more interesting in bringing in players to build for the future.

Two big reasons Detroit are so draft pick poor involve Luke Kennard and Christian Wood.

  1. The Kennard trade involved giving the Clippers four second-round draft picks (not sure one of Troy’s better moves).
  2. The Christian Wood sign-and-trade with Houston involved getting the No. 19 pick in the 2020 Draft (which became Saddiq Bey). In return, Detroit ended up agreeing to give the Rockets a future first-rounder. The Thunder now own its rights.

It is pretty well protected. Basically, until the Pistons become a playoff team, they get to keep their first round pick, However, once they enter the upper half of the standings, they won’t have a first rounder.

Weaver replenished the Pistons second rounders lost to the CLippers by getting four more from the Nets in return for taking on DeAndre Jordan’s contract. Here is a look at the second-round draft choices the Pistons have for the next five years, according to Fanspo:

  • 2022: None
  • 2023: Either Cleveland’s or Golden State’s
  • 2024: Sacramento and either Washington or Memphis’.
  • 2025: Golden State or Washington
  • 2026: None

Not a heck of a lot.

How does the dearth of draft picks affect Detroit Pistons going forward?

The lack of assets to offer in deals means a few things for Weaver and the Pistons:

  1. There are few draft picks able to be attached to any potential deal. Until the Thunder get the first-rounder they are owed, Detroit can not offer any of its future firsts in a trade.
  2. Detroit really will have to hit free agency hard. As of now, they only are going to get one highly-rated player per draft (and if they start winning, they do not even get that) so they need to use the cap space they get next season and hit it big in free agency. Unfortunately, next year’s free agent class is not considered good.

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3. The Pistons may be more likely to trade Jerami Grant if offered a bunch of draft picks, particularly if first-rounders.

Detroit is a team of young kids learning the game and, outside of Grant, veterans who are serviceable but who other teams would not give up much for.

WIth the signing of DeMarcus Cousins, the Nuggets were trying to find Bol Bol a home, but Detroit still had to give up a draft pick to get the deal done. Even in minor deals, it helps to have a stash of draft choices to draw on, even if they are low second-rounders.

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GM Troy Weaver likes to say he always uses all the clips in his holster when wheeling and dealing. The lack of draft choices gives him a few less clips to work with.