The Detroit Pistons are at the bottom of the Eastern Conference and there is no immediate fix.
They have no choice but to wait out injuries to key veterans and hope their return and a full roster are enough to make them competitive.
There are some possible trades out there, but until the Pistons are healthy they are short on assets, and even then it might not be enough to land a star.
Like last offseason, the Detroit Pistons should have plenty of cap space next summer, as they have seven players on expiring contracts and Bojan Bogdanovic can be bought out for $2 million if they don’t end up trading him before this year’s deadline.
Weaver has done little with the cap space he’s had the last three summers, as they have only Joe Harris, Monte Morris and a slew of second-round picks to show for it.
I’m not sure we can expect anything to change in 2024 free agency, as there are some big names, but can the Detroit Pistons land one?
2024 NBA free agency: The no chance seven
The top of 2024 free agency is loaded with star names, but it’s highly unlikely any of them would consider coming to Detroit:
- LeBron James
- Paul George
- Kawhi Leonard
- Klay Thompson
- James Harden
- Jrue Holiday
- DeMar DeRozan
The first four guys are likely to re-up with their current teams, the Pistons want nothing to do with Harden, Holiday has a huge player option and has no reason to leave the Celtics and DeMar DeRozan is at the stage of his career where he’ll want to join a contender a chase a ring.
The probable free-agent targets for the Detroit Pistons
There are three guys who are possible fits with the Pistons:
- Tobias Harris
- Pascal Siakam
- OG Anunoby
Both Harris and Siakam are unrestricted free agents, so if Detroit wants either of them, they will have to open the vault. Harris is pushing 32 and may have no interest in a reunion in Detroit even if the money is right. Siakam is on the right side of 30 (barely) but may not be the greatest fit with Cade Cunningham, which has to be a consideration.
Of the three OG Anunoby is the closest to fitting the Pistons’ timeline and would be a very interesting fit next to Ausar Thompson. That’s a whole lot of stops, and Anunoby can also knock down 3-point shots. He’s shooting just under 40 percent on seven attempts per game, so would not only give Detroit another elite defender, but a secondary scoring option.
Anunoby is going to fetch a massive deal if he forgoes his player option and enters free agency, and Detroit won’t be the only team with interest. He’s probably their best shot at landing an impact free agent, but it’s going to take a bag and there will be competition.
There is also a very good chance he never reaches free agency, as the Raptors will trade him if they think they can’t re-sign him and the team that gets him will almost certainly want to keep him long term.
This is a situation worth monitoring.
Some quality role players
After these first 10 guys, there is a steep drop off, but still some quality role players:
- Buddy Hield
- Bruce Brown
- Gordon Hayward
- Gary Trent Jr.
You can probably take Bruce Brown off this list, as he is playing well for the Pacers who are currently the 3rd seed in the Eastern Conference. He has a team option for next season, so he’s under team control if they want to keep him.
I’ve always liked Hayward, but he is getting up there and the Pistons can’t take on more injury-prone guys. Hield would be a nice get to boost the shooting (and possibly replace Alec Burks) and Trent Jr. isn’t a great fit and is off to a poor start this season.
The former Pistons
- Luke Kennard
- Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
I don’t think Pistons Twitter (X) could handle a Kennard reunion, it might cause a tear in the space-time continuum. I’d love KCP back, and who knows, he could decline his player option to continue to play for the best team in the NBA with the best player in the world on it (sarcasm alert) to come to the Pistons. Sure.
As you can see, the options are limited, especially when it comes to players who would definitely make an impact. Not only that, but the Pistons will have a lot of roster spots to fill, so may not be able to pour most of their resources into one guy.
Give me OG Anunoby and Buddy Hield and let’s roll, but those guys are still long shots, so Troy Weaver is going to have to explore every option if he wants to build a winning roster around his young core.