Pistons news: Devastating drop, the first worst and the busted tank

People walk past the 2023 NBA Draft Lottery board Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports
People walk past the 2023 NBA Draft Lottery board Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports /

Hello fellow fans of the Detroit Pistons. What can I say?

It’s a depressing day in Detroit, as the Pistons not only didn’t buck the odds and win the #1 pick, but dropped all the way to 5th, the worst-case scenario for them in the NBA Draft Lottery.

After putting fans through the hell of winning just 17 games (when you can name all of the teams they beat, it’s not a good sign), Detroit was rewarded with a pick in what many draft experts believe is the third tier of talent in the 2023 NBA Draft.

On one hand, it was totally expected, but it was still a devastating drop, as the Pistons will not only miss out on Victor Wembanyama, but all of the possibilities with getting the 2nd or 3rd pick.

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The Pistons currently remind me of the old joke where the doctor walks into see the patient after a run of tests and says, “I have some good news and bad news. The bad news is that you have an incurable disease, the good news is that we’re going to name it after you.”

After yet another drop in the lottery, it’s starting to feel like the good news for the Pistons is at least they have epic bad luck. You could go so far as to name the disease after them.

Detroit Pistons fall yet again in the NBA Draft Lottery

This marks the 7th time that the Detroit Pistons have dropped from their draft position in the NBA Draft Lottery. To put it into perspective, the San Antonio Spurs, the luckiest team on the face of the earth, have NEVER dropped in the lottery and have moved up a record seven times.

Dropping four spots represented the worst drop in Pistons’ franchise history.

The Pistons became the first team with the worst record in the NBA to drop all the way to the 5th pick, so look at us, making history again!

Detroit was doomed this season the second Cade Cunningham went down, but this result does shine a light on tanking as a strategy. As soon as Cade was hurt, their chances of doing anything were nil, but that doesn’t mean they had to pull all of their veterans, sign a bunch of non-NBA players (and actually give them minutes!) and put the fans through the abject misery of winning fewer than 20 games only to end up with the 5th pick anyway.

They could have played Bogdanovic and Burks after the All-Star break and ended up in exactly the same place. I don’t believe in Karma or cosmic justice, but it does seem kind of fitting that the team that tanked most egregiously was not rewarded.

Of course, the Spurs were tanking away too and just landed Victor Wembanyama, so there’s that.

I am not going to go into conspiracy theories about a “rigged” lottery (come on, that’s just silly), or the ethical argument that they didn’t “deserve” a higher pick, but something does seem to be wrong with the system when the worst team in the league walks away with the 5th pick.

You can blame the system, blame the tanking, blame Troy Weaver for not putting together a better team, but in the end, this was a miserable season that sucked the life and hope out of the fanbase.

We’ll be back, but this tanking nonsense has to end because fans aren’t going to stick around to be perpetually disappointed forever. Ah, who am I kidding, of course we will!

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