Detroit Pistons draft: The 31st pick could be a big asset

Leonard Miller #11 of G League Ignite (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Leonard Miller #11 of G League Ignite (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images) /

The Detroit Pistons are hoping the 2023 NBA Draft Lottery will help change the course of a team that has been one of the NBA’s worst over the last four seasons.

The Pistons have a 14 percent chance at the number one pick and the opportunity to add Victor Wembanyama to a team that already has some promising young talent in Cade Cunningham, Jaden Ivy and Jalen Duren.

Wembanyama would slot perfectly into that group (or any other really) as a super-sized stretch four who can block shots alongside one of Detroit’s young centers.

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Any dream offseason scenario involves bucking the odds and getting the #1 pick, but the Pistons also have the 31st pick overall, which could end up being a valuable asset.

Detroit Pistons draft: Packaging the 31st pick in a trade

The 31st pick is the most valuable in the second round, especially in the 2023 NBA Draft, as there are a lot of similar prospects bunched in that tier. There could still be very intriguing talent (guys like Leonard Miller or Rayan Rupert) available at 31, which gives the Pistons the chance to land an impact talent or gives them an asset that could be packaged in a trade.

If the Detroit Pistons do try to make a move for a player, that pick is a nice sweetener in a package (Marvin Bagley III anyone?), especially for a team looking to add more young talent to their pipeline.

Detroit Pistons draft: Using the 31st pick to trade up in the 2023 NBA Draft

The Pistons could also use this pick to improve their own draft position if there is a prospect in the 20’s that they really love.

It usually takes multiple second rounders or an established (cheap) player to move into the late first round, so Detroit may be able to use the 31st pick along with a future 2nd-rounder to move up a few spots to get a prospect that is high on their big board who has dropped.

One of the teams that has multiple picks in the 1st round (Indiana, Utah, Brooklyn) might be willing to move back a few spots to pick up an asset, allowing Detroit to get another first-round pick.

We often joke about 2nd-round picks being fair worthless, as they come and go and teams trade them constantly, but the 31st pick is high enough that it does have some value, whether as part of a package for a player or to potentially move up in the draft.

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