5 Questions hanging over the Detroit Pistons
#4: Is Jaden Ivey still part of the core?
We may be making too much of Ivey coming off the bench for all but one preseason game, after all, he is only a second-year guy and coming off a strong rookie season.
But there are big questions about his defense, as well as his ultimate fit with Cade Cunningham and Ausar Thompson.
He’s also the Pistons’ best trade asset, as they don’t have draft picks to give up and their veteran guys aren’t going to net an impact player. A package based around Ivey would have more appeal and it might be the only way for Detroit to balance their roster this season.
I am definitely not out on Ivey, but if Hayes and Marcus Sasser can step up, Detroit may look to deal from their surplus of guards and Ivey has the most value.
#5: Who gets traded and when?
Detroit has six expiring contracts on the books this season and Bojan Bogdanovic only has a partially guaranteed year left on his, so it’s very likely we will see some trades this season.
The question is who goes and when. Would the Pistons try to cut a deal early in the season? This seems unlikely given their injuries and the fact that they haven’t even seen what this group can do together when they are all healthy.
It’s far more likely we’ll see some action at the trade deadline and it’s hard to imagine Bojan Bogdanovic and Alec Burks still being on this team past that. Monty Williams is right, Detroit needs veterans to flank their young talent, but they also can’t just let these players walk for nothing.
It’s a problem, as they want to win this season, but Bogdanovic, Burks and Harris are clearly not part of the long-term plans, so trading them is logical even though it will hurt their short-term goals depending on the return.
Troy Weaver has his work cut out for him, as he still doesn’t have a coherent roster and has limited avenues to get one this season, one in which he is finally under some pressure to put a real team on the court.