The Detroit Pistons have only played one preseason game but they are already under plenty of scrutiny from fans.
There have already been concerning injuries (how bad is Jalen Duren’s ankle?) to go along with questions about the rotation and depth chart.
Monty Williams thew more gas on that fire when he hinted that Jaden Ivey might not start, which may be a way to motivate his young guard to give more effort on the defensive end, or could be his real intention.
So Pistons’ fans have plenty to talk about, but there are other teams to keep an eye on during the preseason.
The Timberwolves have played two preseason games against the Mavericks and won both of them, but I am more interested in the contract status of Jaden McDaniels, who was held out of the second game with calf soreness.
McDaniels has yet to sign a rookie extension and could enter the season on an expiring deal that would make him a restricted free agent. He’s an up-and-coming power forward who can defend and shoot the 3-ball who would be a nice fit on the Pistons if the Timberwolves aren’t able to extend him.
They have a lot of cap space tied up at the top and Detroit may be able to steal him away as a potential replacement for Bojan Bogdanovic if he ends up getting traded.
Minnesota could also just keep McDaniels, who is a nice fit with Rudy Gobert, and look to move Karl-Anthony Towns, another big trade that might interest the Pistons, who could also get involved as a third team.
The Bulls are another team with a young power forward who has yet to sign an extension in Patrick Williams, who would be an interesting free-agent target for Detroit. They are also a team at a crossroads that might end up rebuilding in the near future if things don’t go well this season. If that happens, Zach LaVine and DeMar DeRozan could hit the trade market, and though the Pistons are unlikely to get involved for those particular players, any big deal potentially puts them in the driver’s seat as a third team. They also have role players like Alex Caruso and Torrey Craig who would be interesting for the Pistons if they were to become available.
Like the Bulls, the Raptors may look to blow things up if they aren’t in the hunt for the playoffs. Both teams still have competitive rosters, but they are not likely title contenders and may decide to get what they can for their stars. The name to watch here is Pascal Siakam, as he is on an expiring deal and has indicated that he will test the waters of free agency. If Toronto doesn’t see him as part of the long-term plans, they are almost certain to trade him at some point. It’s going to be risky for any team to trade for him without a guarantee that he will stay, so for that reason, the Pistons should probably just wait it out or sit it out altogether. But Toronto could go in a lot of directions this season and are a team to watch.