The Detroit Pistons will have several difficult roster decisions to make this offseason and are hoping to avoid the mistakes of the past.
They’ll have to decide whether to give extensions to Isaiah Stewart, James Wiseman and Killian Hayes or to let them enter next season on expiring deals.
Keeping the wrong guy, or giving him too much money, can be a mistake that hampers a team for years, but giving up too early on a player can be even worse, as the Pistons know all-too well.
Troy Weaver already knows about the former, as he gave Marvin Bagley III a three-year deal that now looks like a disaster, as he has once-again missed a ton of time and is a terrible fit with the rest of their roster.
He’s trying to avoid the second mistake, which is giving up on a guy too soon. He already traded away 2020 1st-round pick Saddiq Bey (time will tell if that was a good move) and could do the same with Killian Hayes this offseason.
Will those moves come back to bite him? It’s awful watching a former player blow up on another team, a position the Detroit Pistons have been in before. Here are seven guys the Pistons gave up on too soon, in no particular order.
7 players the Detroit Pistons gave up on too soon
#7: Ricky Pierce
Pierce only played 39 games for the Detroit Pistons after being drafted 18th in the 1982 NBA Draft before promptly being traded after his rookie season. Pierce went on to have a long and productive career that included an All-Star appearance for Milwaukee in a season in which he averaged over 22 points per game.
Pierce ended up playing for eight different teams in his career and got buckets for all of them except the Pistons after they ditched him early for two second-round picks.
#6: Arron Afflalo
The Detroit Pistons drafted Afflalo with the 27th pick in the 2007 NBA Draft but didn’t give him much of a chance. He only played two seasons with the team before being dumped to Denver in exchange for a second-round pick. Afflalo didn’t put up big numbers in those two years but did show the ability to play defense and hit the 3-ball.
The Pistons have basically been looking for their 3-and-D wing ever since, which is what Afflalo became as soon as he left Detroit. He got more minutes in Denver and made the most of them, and by his fifth year in the league he was averaging 15 points per game while knocking down 40 percent of his 3-point shots.
He eventually ended up in Orlando, where he hit his peak, averaging 18 points per game on 42 percent shooting from long range. It’s arguable that Afflalo would be even better now, but he’s definitely a guy the Pistons gave up on too soon.
With some exceptions, we won’t know who a player is going to be until he hits 25-years-old, which his the exact age Afflalo took off as a player.