Detroit Pistons have lots of room to sign free agents, but should they bother?

Cade Cunningham #2 of the Detroit Pistons is guarded by Miles Bridges #0 of the Charlotte Hornets (Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images)
Cade Cunningham #2 of the Detroit Pistons is guarded by Miles Bridges #0 of the Charlotte Hornets (Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images) /
3 of 3
Miles Bridges, Detroit Pistons
Feb 10, 2020; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Charlotte Hornets forward Miles Bridges (0) shoots as Detroit Pistons guard Reggie Jackson (1) defends at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bronson-USA TODAY Sports /

Does the pride of Michigan return?

The names are much bigger but that is for a reason. Being a restricted free agent means a player’s current team can keep them merely by matching an offer sheet. If they are a major part of the team, most will match almost no matter what.

So, the job of the team going after the RFA is to make the offer so big, there is no way the current team can match, or put in the contract a ‘poison pill’ that would cause the other team’s salary structure to go out of whack.

Here are some of the bigger, and younger, names who could interest the Pistons:

  • Miles Bridges: The return of the Prodigal Son? The Flint native and former Michigan standout is averaging almost 20 points a game for Charlotte and is about to turn just 24. Would he fit in with Detroit? Like a glove. Are the Hornets going to fight like heck to keep Bridges? Absolutely.
  • Deandre Ayton: The Suns apparently do not want to give the gifted 7-foot center a max contract, which he finds insulting. Maybe Detroit will give him a huge offer that is not insulting. It would certainly solve the Pistons problems in the middle, combined with Isaiah Stewart, for a long time. He has already proven he can help a team to the NBA finals. But, when push comes to shove, will Phoenix actually let him walk?
  • Collin Sexton: He is out for the year with an injury, and the way the Cavaliers are playing without him, the chances of them matching a big offer, if the Pistons want to make one, seem slim. A scoring point guard, Sexton would be an interesting backcourt-mate to Cade Cunningham.He provides speed that has been missing from the backcourt this season.

Related Story. Hamidou Diallo can now be traded, but would Detroit Pistons want to?. light

There are other interesting names, like Anfernee Simons, Mo Bamba, Lonnie Walker IV and Eric Paschall, but they are complimentary players, and Detroit would have to, most likely, way overpay to get them.

The cap space can also be used in trades, and we know Troy Weaver loves to trade.

Possible Detroit Pistons off-season trade targets

  • Picks, picks, picks: Do not forget that Weaver came to Detroit from Oklahoma City. Thunder GM Sam Presti is a master of using cap space to add draft picks. Last summer, OKC had stockpiled 25 first-rounders and 25 second-rounders. In return for a toxic contract, or two, Weaver could use the cap space to add to the Pistons draft choices. He sort of did this kind of deal with the DeAndre Jordan trade, where Detroit got four second-rounders for a guy they immediately released.
  • Ben Simmons: You know we must go down this path. Simmons is a three-time All-Star and he is not playing for the 76ers because … who knows. But the bottom line is, he has a big contract and very few teams will have the cap space to simply absorb it. Detroit is one of those teams that can. Simmons and Cunningham starting, with Killian Hayes off the bench, would be a defensive juggernaut of a back court.

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

Having a lot of cap space is better than having very little. However, the Pistons must be prudent where the money goes. Before they sign a free agent, they need to examine that player(s) closely, or it could set back the rebuild for years.