The Detroit Pistons have played well through their first three games, and though it is still ridiculously early in the season, there is reason for hope.
Detroit has built their roster through the draft and will continue to, as they aren’t a big free-agent destination, though that could change when they start winning games consistently.
With Cade Cunningham, Jaden Ivey, Jalen Duren, Ausar Thompson and Isaiah Stewart you have the present and future core of the team, and draft picks Killian Hayes and Marcus Sasser have been chipping in as well.
With so much young talent on the team, and a 2024 NBA Draft that is already being called weak, this would be a great season for the Detroit Pistons to finally convey the first-round draft pick they owe the Knicks that originated from the trade for the draft rights to Isaiah Stewart.
Not having a first-round draft pick in 2024 would be an indication that this team has finally turned things around.
What are the protections on the Pistons’ first-round pick?
The Detroit Pistons owe the Knicks a first-round pick, but it still has strong protections, so it will only convey if the Pistons are actually decent. Here are the protections through 2027:
- 2024: 1-18 Own; 19-30 to NYK
- 2025:1-13 Own; 14-30 to NYK if not already settled
- 2026: 1-11 Own; 12-30 to NYK if not already settled
- 2027 : 1-9 Own; 10-30 to NYK if not already settled
The Pistons keep their 2024 pick if it falls in the top 18 of the draft, which means they would likely have to make the play-in tournament or be close for the Knicks to get their pick. Like I said, with so much young talent and a weak draft, this would be a great year for Detroit to make that leap and send the 19th or 20th pick to the Knicks.
After that, the protections are lighter, so New York is hoping the Pistons stink this year and then finish just outside of the lottery in 2025, so that their pick will be higher and from a better pool of talent.
It’s far too early in the season to predict if the Pistons will keep their pick or not, but it’s likely to carry over for at least one more season. Let’s hope it doesn’t, as it would mean Detroit made the leap we were hoping for.