5. Extended Isaiah Stewart
Signed Isaiah Stewart to a 4-year, $64 million contract extension.
The Detroit Pistons were incredibly active in the 2020 NBA Draft, taking three players in the first 19 picks. With No. 7 pick Killian Hayes looking like a bust relative to players taken after him and Saddiq Bey now in Atlanta, the Pistons haven’t gotten everything out of that promising class that they hoped to.
Even so, their one clear win was drafting Washington big man Isaiah Stewart with the 16th overall pick. The 6-foot-8 big man has developed into a bruising interior player, scoring and rebounding inside and playing tough defense. He has some range as well, hitting 32.8 percent of his 3-pointers on decent volume.
Detroit elected to keep him around, agreeing to a four-year, $64 million contract extension. It’s a reasonable deal for Stewart in a vacuum, but there is one very important contextual factor: the Pistons can’t stop adding big men.
Steward is a part of a frontcourt that also includes Jalen Duren, James Wiseman, Marvin Bagley III, Isaiah Livers and Bojan Bogdanovic. That’s three lottery big men who can’t shoot, and a pair of stretch-4s. Where does an iffy shooter who doesn’t have the pure size of Wiseman or Duren but lacks the skill and shooting of Livers and Bogdanovic fit into this team?
The Pistons decided to kick that question down the road, and hopefully, when the time comes to answer it they have either moved a big man or two, or Stewart still has positive value to be moved on his contract. It’s a reasonable gamble to make, even if the roster fit is tight.