Draft asset rankings show challenges for Detroit Pistons

NBA commissioner Adam Silver makes a speech during the 2023 NBA draft (Photo by Selcuk Acar/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
NBA commissioner Adam Silver makes a speech during the 2023 NBA draft (Photo by Selcuk Acar/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images) /

Earlier this week, Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report released rankings of NBA teams by draft assets over the next seven years. While the Detroit Pistons are better set up compared to the 30th-ranked Phoenix Suns, they pale in comparison to other bottom-tier teams.

The Detroit Pistons should have more draft assets

Pincus has Detroit almost directly in the middle of the league, in terms of draft assets, sitting at 13th. Detroit’s current draft loadout is as follows:

First Rounders: 2025 (contingent), 2026 (contingent), 2027 (contingent), 2028, 2029, 2030

Second Rounders: Seven guaranteed, two contingent

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Falling outside of the top 10 is not ideal for a Detroit team that won just 17 games last year. Detroit was the worst team in the league, and not having plentiful help incoming in terms of draft capital, makes the future more challenging. Detroit was sandwiched in between the Charlotte Hornets and Houston Rockets, respectively. I would say that Houston, similar to the Pistons, would be expected to be higher on this list as well, as they, too, have been at the bottom of the league over the last couple of years.

"“The Pistons start the stretch of teams who owe more than they have incoming…. Detroit probably should be higher on the list, given how bad the team has been the last few years.”"

The issue plaguing Detroit from being higher is the fact that they shipped out their 2024 first-rounder in the deal that brought Isaiah Stewart to Detroit via the 2020 draft, the contingencies attached to their 2025, 2026, and 2027, and lack of incoming first-round picks. That isn’t much ammunition for a GM to make deadline deals or continue to build through the draft. They likely had a chance to acquire a first-round pick if they dealt Bojan Bogdanovic last season, but Troy Weaver elected to keep Bojan, for the time being at least.

There is, however, some saving grace for Detroit. Quietly over the last few seasons, Troy Weaver and the front office have been stockpiling second-round picks, similar to other bottoming teams. Additionally, just because Detroit isn’t heavy in draft capital, doesn’t necessarily mean the future is dark. Detroit clearly is all in on their promising young core. The front office believes in the young players that have been acquired over the last three to four years, rendering less of a need for multiple first-round draft picks in the near future. Let’s hope they are right about that.

For what it’s worth, the top five organizations are (5) Brooklyn Nets, (4) Utah Jazz, (3) New York Knicks, (2) San Antonio Spurs, and (1) Oklahoma City Thunder.

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