Tanking, as many people know is the act of purposely blowing the season in hopes of a high draft pick. It’s looked down upon by most and the league even put together safety measures to put an end to it. Fans of the Detroit Pistons are very familiar.
The lottery for example was put in place to keep the worst team from automatically gaining the first overall pick the next year. Still the high probability of getting the top pick entices teams to throw games and sell off veterans to contenders for future picks. This is one way to rebuild but it’s had mixed results, with teams often stunting the development of the players they have in order to try and land the next LeBron James.
I didn’t want to believe it at first, but it’s pretty clear now that the Detroit Pistons are going to be among them again.
Detroit Pistons: Trading Jerami Grant
Jerami Grant is a solid 3-and-D player who still has room to grow. He technically led the Pistons in scoring last season, although he didn’t play enough games to officially be named the scoring leader. He scored 19 points per game and had one of the best WS and VORP totals on the team.
However, the Detroit Pistons used “timeline” and future money as reasons to trade him away, garnering a package that eventually led to Jalen Duren.
The front office knows that Grant is going to play well and with him on the team there’s a chance the Pistons could actually be competitive next season, as they now have a positional hole where Grant once was.
Trading Grant may have been better for the future, but it made the Pistons worse in the short term and ensured they will be near the bottom of the Eastern Conference again.
The Kember Walker Situation
The Pistons haven’t done anything with Kemba Walker yet, but buying him out would be another sign of tanking. On one hand, he’s coming off injury and would probably prefer to play on a contender, but on the other, he could probably help the Pistons as a backup.
Kemba Walker is a former all star, and a scorer who averaged nearly 20 points a game just a season ago. If healthy, he would not only be a great mentor to the young players but is a guy who could put up 13-15 points off the bench.
Walker isn’t going to make the Pistons a contender, but he could make them better, so if they buy him out or trade him for nothing, it’s another good sign that winning games might not be the priority next season.
It’s possible the additions of Alec Burks and Nerlens Noel will offset these losses, but the Pistons are clearly going with the youth this season, which is great for the long-term, but not so much for the chances of avoiding another 20-win season.