The Detroit Pistons have stated repeatedly that they hope and plan to compete for at least a play-in spot in the 2023-24 season.
Bojan Bogdanovic confirmed this in a recent report in which he said the team not only planned to keep him but to be “great next season.”
I am skeptical that the Pistons can suddenly go from one fo the worst teams in the NBA to great, but we’ve seen it in recent years with teams like the Cavaliers, who went from bottom feeder to playoff contender in one offseason and now are 5th seed in the Eastern Conference hoping to make a deep run.
The NBA is as wide-open as it’s been in recent memory, so the idea of going from the bottom to the middle is not out of the question, especially if the Detroit Pistons make the right trades or additions in free agency.
Even after signing Bogdanovic to an extension, the Pistons will have copious amounts of cap space this offseason and could sign as many as 3-4 players depending on what they do with their own guys.
Yes, they still need more star power, but just as important is adding quality role players instead of the types they’ve signed in recent years. Replacing guys like Kevin Knox, Nerlens Noel, Cory Joseph and Rodney McGruder (and to a lesser extent Hamidou Diallo) with players who can consistently impact games will go a long way to get the Detroit Pistons the improvement they desire.
Here are three free agents that could help get them there, starting with a low-cost bench player, a middle of the range guy and a player who will likely be on a starter’s salary.
Detroit Pistons: Lower tier free agent
Torrey Craig: Phoenix Suns (unrestricted)
Torrey Craig is the type of player that all good teams need, as he will do a little of everything, can defend multiple positions and is at the stage of his career where he knows his role and performs it well.
He’s a 6-foot-7 small forward who can guard on the perimeter or up as a four, and is knocking down just shy of 40 percent from 3-point range this season. He’s a tough, gritty player who competes at all times and would be great competition and inspiration for the young guys, as he’s not going to be content being a “mentor” or a “veteran leader.” Detroit has too many of those types of veterans already, so needs an upgrade of an older player who can actually still play and be an important part of a good team, which Craig has proven he can be with the Suns and Nuggets.
His next contact won’t break the bank and he’d be a valuable addition to the Detroit Pistons’ bench.