The Detroit Pistons are tied for the worst record in the league entering tonight's Superbowl of Misery against the Washington Wizards, which will be a new rock bottom for one of two franchises.
Injuries have certainly played a part in the Pistons' horrific start, but most of the players on the injured list are veterans on expiring deals, so it's not like they are part of the long-term plans anyway. Even if they were completely healthy, this is not likely a team that was going to contend for anything.
Which begs the question, what comes next? Detroit may have their young core in place, but have no long-term pieces around them, so Troy Weaver is going to have a lot of work to do to "restore" this roster and will again be nearly starting from scratch when it comes to role players.
Fans hoping that 2024 free agency will save the Pistons will probably be disappointed, as there aren't a lot of realistic options that fall into the "impact" category and most of the big names on the list will likely return to their current teams or stay far away from Detroit.
That leaves a big trade as the best route to improve the roster, but that too is plagued with challenges.
Who exactly are the Detroit Pistons going to trade?
Fans often scream for change in the form of trades, but fail to answer the obvious follow up question, which is what exactly are they going to trade?
The Pistons are not brimming with trade assets, as most of their veterans are currently or recently injured and they have no extra draft picks to toss in due to the one they owe the Knicks.
They could try to move a piece of their young core, but which one? Jaden Ivey hasn't played enough this season to really pique anyone's interest. Most fans would shudder at the idea of trading Cade Cunningham, Jalen Duren or Ausar Thompson, so who does that leave? Isaiah Stewart? Killian Hayes?
Trading those guys, even in a package, is not going to net a player who is going to radically change this franchise. You could argue that addition by subtraction might work, as they could find a player who is a better complement to Cade or at least open up more defined roles for players like Marcus Sasser.
I'm sure the Pistons could move Alec Burks and Bojan Bogdanovic at the deadline if they are healthy, but given their recent injuries and contract status, they aren't going to garner much on the trade market. So I'll ask again, what exactly is this team going to trade?
I'll wait for the answer while we look at the next problem.