Detroit Pistons: A wild and expensive way to net a 1st-round pick

Detroit Pistons forward Marvin Bagley III Credit: Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports
Detroit Pistons forward Marvin Bagley III Credit: Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports /
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Detroit Pistons, Marvin Bagley III
Marvin Bagley III #35 of the Detroit Pistons (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images) /

When Marvin Bagley III first arrived in The D, he brought some much needed excitement with him. For all of the flaws the big man had, his athleticism and potential were worth the meager cost for the Detroit Pistons to acquire him.

Bagley suited up just 18 times for the Pistons as the 21-22 season wore down, and he managed to give an enticing glimpse of the potential he’s been known for since the Kings took him with the 2nd overall pick in the 2018 draft. His athleticism was a welcome complement to the more controlled style of play we saw in Cade Cunningham, Saddiq Bey and Killian Hayes. Cunningham quickly developed a rapport with Bagley, lobbing passes high above the rim for the big man to go get in a way none of the other Pistons could.

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But Bagley’s three-year contract extension was a bit of a head scratcher considering no one else was really bidding, and it didn’t help when injuries caused him to miss the first 13 games of that new deal. His return the lineup was relatively short-lived, and a hand injury has him back on the shelf.

The Detroit Pistons are well on their way to another lost season and Bagley himself can say the same. His numbers are down across the board and those who chastised his re-signing have been running a season long victory lap. Even so, Bagley is still just 23-years-old and capable of being a solid contributor if he finds himself in good health before this contract runs out. He is going to surely need to prove himself or risk becoming a complete afterthought forevermore.

Is there another young underachiever out there somewhere who needs a fresh start, who might make Bagley look dependable? What if the Detroit Pistons could swap their problem for a more expensive one and pick up an asset along the way?