Detroit Pistons: Local product may be the best 2023 free-agent option

Kyle Kuzma #33 of the Washington Wizards drives to the basket against Cade Cunningham #2 and Isaiah Stewart #28 of the Detroit Pistons. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)
Kyle Kuzma #33 of the Washington Wizards drives to the basket against Cade Cunningham #2 and Isaiah Stewart #28 of the Detroit Pistons. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) /

The Detroit Pistons need to add more talent to their roster in trades or free agency and should be able to do it next offseason.

Detroit will have a lot of money to spend in 2023 free agency, even after signing Bojan Bogdanovic to an extension, so they will almost certainly be players next offseason one way or another.

But if you’ve actually taken at look at the 2023 free-agent class, there aren’t a lot of players who are realistically available to the Detroit Pistons and also satisfy their biggest need, which is to improve at the forward position.

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The Pistons have gotten little from any of the forwards not named Bojan Bogdanovic and could use a boost of athleticism, defense and rebounding, and if the player could shoot, even better.

Even though he is not a perfect fit with the roster they have now, there is one potential 2023 free agent who has separated himself from the field. He was the only one that stood out early in the season and is even more so now.

Should the Detroit Pistons pursue Kyle Kuzma?

Kyle Kuzma is having the best season of his NBA career at 27-years-old, and is the type of younger veteran player the Detroit Pistons could target next offseason.

Kuzma fits the mold of the type of athletic forward they could use and is putting up career numbers, averaging over 20 points per game and adding 7.5 rebounds and 3.6 assists. He would give Detroit a boost of athleticism, defense and rebounding at the forward position, not to mention some more size.

Kuzma also comes from Flint, Michigan, so may be more likely to choose Detroit and play for the team he grew up cheering for as a kid.

His 3-point shooting numbers are nothing to get excited about, and you could argue that he shoots too many of them, but his effective field goal percentage is the second-highest of his career even though he is taking way more attempts.

The 6-foot-10 Kuzma isn’t an exact fit with the Detroit Pistons’ roster as currently constructed, as they already have several guys who can play power forward, but with Saddiq Bey being mentioned in trade talks, that could change by next season, especially if the Pistons decide to do something different with Marvin Bagley III, who should be a full-time center.

Kuzma is a much-better fit with Bojan Bogdanovic than any of the other Pistons’ forwards, though there would still be some questions about who is going to guard quicker players on the wing.

There are also questions about whether Kuzma will even be available. He has a player option for next season that he has to decide on by the end of June, 2023. Most believe he will opt out of it, especially after having a career year, as he is currently making around $13 million a season and can likely get more on the open market.

He’s not a perfect fit, but the idea of him playing with Cade Cunningham and Jaden Ivey has a lot of appeal, as he can run the floor and has the athleticism as a cutter to take advantage of their playmaking.

Kuzma is a guy who probably got himself a big raise this season, and will almost certainly be on the Detroit Pistons’ radar as a free agent next offseason if not before, as the Wizards could put him on the trade market if they continue to lose.

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