The Detroit Pistons made the first big move of the summer, trading Jerami Grant to the Portland Trail Blazers in exchange for a package based around a 2025 1st-round pick from Milwaukee.
It wasn’t exactly the return Pistons’ fans were hoping for, but Troy Weaver clearly made cap space a priority and now Detroit has more of it than any other team by far.
According to cap guru Keith Smith, the Detroit Pistons could have as much as $56 million in cap space to spend this summer.
That would mean saying goodbye to guys like Frank Jackson, Hamidou Diallo and Luka Garza, but none of them played a big role for the Pistons and aren’t part of the core.
The Detroit Pistons have plenty of options for how to spend this money, including going after max free agents or potentially taking on a big contract in exchange for assets from some team that wants to cap relief.
But there is a long shot option, which is to throw a huge bag at a superstar who could become a free agent this summer.
Detroit Pistons: The free-agent superstar
There have been endless reports that the Pistons will pursue Deandre Ayton, and if they do, that will use up a good chunk of their cap space, as his max will start out at over $30 million per season.
But there is another guy who could hit the market, three-time All-Star Bradley Beal, who will reportedly decline his player option for this season and become an unrestricted free agent.
Beal and his scoring would be a welcome addition to the Detroit Pistons, who were one of the worst offensive teams in the league last season. Beal would also be a great fit with Cade Cunningham, as the two have complementary skillsets that would benefit the other. This starting five would make the Pistons better now but still have plenty of room to get better:
- Cade Cunningham
- Bradley Beal
- Saddiq Bey
- Keegan Murray
- Isaiah Stewart
But as I said, this is a HUGE long shot for many reasons. The first is that Beal is far more likely to want to join a contender rather than a rebuilding team like the Detroit Pistons, and he will have plenty of suitors lined up to give him a massive deal.
The second is that the Detroit Pistons just traded away Jerami Grant partly because he “didn’t fit the timeline” and Beal is the same age. The difference is that Beal would be under contract for the next four years, so the Pistons would be getting the tail end of his prime, and Beal is better than Grant.
Also, adding Beal alone (probably with re-signing Bagley III and drafting Murray) wouldn’t necessarily propel the Pistons into contention, as they would still be very young and need way more depth to realistically compete in the Eastern Conference.
Long story short, Beal is very unlikely to be on the Detroit Pistons next season, but with that much cap space, just about everything is in play at this point. Stay tuned.