Zeke Nnaji could be a free-agent option for the Detroit Pistons
McDaniels might be the ideal, but there is a player out there with similar attributes who might be easier to land in free agency.
McDaniels will be one of the most coveted young free agents on the market and the Timberwolves will do their best to keep him, so Detroit might have to look elsewhere unless they want to substantially overpay for his services.
One option would be Zeke Nnaji, who was mentioned to me by our friend @inktown123 yesterday.
Nnaji is currently on the Denver Nuggets, where he played in just 53 games last season after dealing with an injury and falling in and out of the rotation.
But this is a very athletic, 6-foot-9 power forward who has shot over 38 percent from long range in his short career, albeit on a low volume of attempts.
He’s only 22 years old, so fits the timeline, and it’s very possible that Detroit could steal him away as a restricted free agent next offseason, as the Nuggets will be up against the salary cap and the harsher penalties of the new CBA.
Denver currently has over $160 million tied up in Nikola Jokic, Jamal Murray, Michael Porter Jr., Aaron Gordon and Kenvativous Caldwell-Pope for the 2024-25 season and won’t be able to match certain offers for Nnaji without going into the luxury tax.
So if the Detroit Pistons want to just wait out his free agency, they could potentially have Nnaji by this time next year without having to give up anything but cap space to get him.
His qualifying offer is just over $6 million, so this is a guy who could fill a backup role at a position of need without breaking the bank.
Of course, Detroit could also try to trade for him before the deadline.