Which draft/free agent combination would fit best with Cade Cunningham?

Suns center Deandre Ayton (22) controls the ball against Detroit Pistons center Isaiah Stewart (28) Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Suns center Deandre Ayton (22) controls the ball against Detroit Pistons center Isaiah Stewart (28) Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /
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Detroit Pistons, Cade Cunningham, Saddiq Bey
Cade Cunningham #2 of the Detroit Pistons speaks with Saddiq Bey (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images) /

The Detroit Pistons are just a handful of games away from entering their most important offseason in years.

They finally have a young star to build around in Cade Cunningham, will have another high pick in the 2022 NBA Draft and will have the cap space to add an impact free agent or several quality role players.

They have the option of trading Jerami Grant, possibly to a team like Portland for another lottery pick, to add even more young talent, or they could extend him to be part of the core moving forward.

Aside from Jerami Grant‘s future, the draft pick and possible free agent are the biggest decisions the Pistons have to make this offseason and all of them will be made with Cade Cunningham in mind.

Related Story. Cade Cunningham may be right about the 2022 NBA Draft. light

The 2022 free agent class isn’t deep with stars, and the ones that will be available will be hard to pry away from their current teams. Here are the top three guys and their likelihood of leaving:

Top-3 2022 NBA Free Agents

  • Zach LaVine: LaVine is a star in his prime and is versatile enough to fit in with any team. A backcourt of him and Cade would be one of the best in the NBA and make the Pistons into playoff contenders in the Eastern Conference. LaVine’s chances of leaving the Bulls are low. They can offer more years and money than anyone else and are in a position to compete now. If LaVine wants to leave there will be other suitors, including the Trail Blazers, who have the cap space to add two big contracts and could be eyeing LaVine and Jerami Grant to put with Damian Lillard. I still think LaVine stays with the Bulls, but he’d be my top choice if the Pistons could add anyone.
  • Deandre Ayton: Ayton has shown he can be the center on a contender. He is getting better as a scorer and rim protector, has learned the pick-and-roll from one of the greatest point guards of all time and would give Cade Cunningham a weapon to work with that he doesn’t currently have. He’d solve a lot of problems for the Detroit Pistons, and is more likely to leave the Suns after they didn’t offer him an extension last offseason. If the Pistons were to offer him the max this offseason and the Suns are unwilling to match, I could see him coming to Detroit, where he would have a big role right away and could join an up and coming team. I think the Pistons will pursue Ayton and it will come down to whether the Suns are too cheap to match.
  • Miles Bridges: Bridges has made a big leap this year and is the type of two-way wing that will fit on every team. For fans worried about position and fit, Bridges isn’t the obvious choice, as they already have Saddiq Bey who plays the same spot. But both players are versatile enough to play together and a team can’t have too many quality wings. Bridges is also a restricted free agent but the Hornets already have a lot of money tied up in the injured Gordon Hayward as well as Terry Rozier, and have LaMelo Ball’s max extension looming. Will they really pay another max to Bridges just to keep a team together that is currently the 9th seed in the East? If not, Bridges may have interest in returning to his home state to play for the Pistons, especially if they trade Jerami Grant.

The 2022 NBA Draft will obviously just come down to where the Pistons pick, as they could currently drop as low as 7th, but also have the highest odds to get a top-4 pick.

As of the writing of this, the Pistons have the third-worst record so have a 52.1% chance to stay in the top-4. So which combination of top free agents and draft picks would be the best fit with Cade Cunningham?

There are several dream scenarios.