Detroit Pistons: A real top-10 pick or bait for LeBron James?

Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (6) controls the ball in front of Detroit Pistons guard Jaden Ivey (23) Mandatory Credit: David Reginek-USA TODAY Sports
Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (6) controls the ball in front of Detroit Pistons guard Jaden Ivey (23) Mandatory Credit: David Reginek-USA TODAY Sports /

The Detroit Pistons are hoping that the 2023 NBA Draft will bring them a talent that will help make the franchise relevant again.

Victor Wembanyama is the big prize and looks like a guy who could change the fortunes of one of the franchises at the bottom of the league. Adding Wembanyama and the right free agents could get Detroit right back in the mix in the Eastern Conference.

But even the worst teams only have a 14 percent chance of getting the number one pick, so it is going to take a whole lot of luck for the Pistons. While Wembanyama is the dream in terms of talent, there is another player on the horizon who is also going to change the course of a franchise.

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Bronny James, son of NBA superstar LeBron James, could join the NBA in the 2024 Draft, and whatever team ends up choosing him could end up reaping the financial rewards.

Detroit Pistons: LeBron and Bronny James may come as a package

ESPN draft guru Jonathan Givony recently had Bronny James as a top-10 pick in the 2024 NBA Draft, though a whole lot can change between now and then:

A lot of people laughed at this ranking, as Bronny has mostly been viewed as a possible role player, not a first round pick and certainly not a top-10 pick. But he has put in the work, and is considered one of the top defenders in his class, so it is very possible he ends up meeting or exceeding this projection by next season, especially when you consider that drafting him may get you LeBron.

LeBron James, the NBA’s all-time leading scorer, has repeatedly said that he wants to play with his son and arranged his contract so that he can do just that, as he will have a player option for 2024-25 and will be able to join whatever team drafts his son.

I am sure he is hoping it’s the Lakers so that he can cash a $57 million payday, but LeBron is already a billionaire, so it’s not like he cares about salary, which is only a small portion of his earnings. He could take the minimum to join the team that drafts Bronny, which gives a whole lot of motivation for teams to do just that. In fact, when you think about the financial windfall that will follow, drafting Bronny #1 makes sense.

According to Forbes, having both LeBron and Bronny could DOUBLE the valuation of a franchise, while also bringing a ton of attention, TV games and endless merchandise opportunities. This could change the economy of a city, which is nothing to sneeze at, even if you don’t think Bronny is worthy of a top pick.

LeBron’s presence will also attract free agents that are always lining up to play with him, though he will be 40-years-old at that point. Considering how good LeBron still is, it’s not unthinkable that he’ll still be a top-10 or 15 player at age 40, so getting him is not only going to make some team huge bank, but probably make them better.

The Detroit Pistons have been trying to rebuild through the draft, and have avoided splashy moves so far, but if they were drafting in the late lottery or just outside of it in 2024, it would be tempting to grab Bronny James and reap the benefits.

Some team is going to do it, which will make the 2024 NBA Draft one of the weirdest in memory, as more teams will be thinking about a 40-year-old than any of the guys being drafted.

Next. 2023 NBA Mock Draft: Worst-case scenario for Detroit. dark