Chances each key player will be back with the Pistons next season

Mar 24, 2024; Detroit, Michigan, USA;  New Orleans Pelicans guard CJ McCollum (3) dribbles on Jaden Ivey of the Detroit Pistons
Mar 24, 2024; Detroit, Michigan, USA; New Orleans Pelicans guard CJ McCollum (3) dribbles on Jaden Ivey of the Detroit Pistons / Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

The Detroit Pistons have many crucial decisions to make this offseason as they try to shake off the stink of this season and build something that resembles a competitive NBA team. 

We talked about the chances that the Pistons clean house when it comes to their front office, roster and coaching staff, and now we'll look at the key players. 

Let's assume for sanity's sake that Evan Fournier, Malachi Flynn and Troy Brown Jr. won't be back next season and I'd like to add James Wiseman to that list, but with him, I am not as sure. 

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Marcus Sasser and Quentin Grimes will be back, so for the purposes of this, we'll be looking at the six most important players for the Pistons and the percentage chances they will be back next season. 

Will the Detroit Pistons shake up this six-man core? 

Chances each key player will be back with the Pistons next season 

Cade Cunningham: 100% 

Cunningham will sign a rookie extension this summer that will keep him around for another five years or until he demands a trade, whichever comes first. It’s hard to imagine a scenario in which the Pistons would trade Cade, as getting back equal value would be nearly impossible. He’s not going anywhere, despite the wishes of a few trolls on Facebook. 

Ausar Thompson: 100% 

Even if Thompson never improves as a 3-point shooter, he will be a valuable player because of his defense, rebounding, playmaking and intangibles. If I had to name two players the Pistons should build around, it’s Ausar and Cade. 

Jalen Duren: 98% 

The Pistons do need a rim-protecting center, but trading a 20-year-old with Duren’s talent would be tough unless they were getting an All-Star forward back in return. I also think Duren’s value on the market is not as high as his value to the Pistons. He has to improve defensively, and I could see a small chance the Pistons move him in lieu of a center who can protect the rim or shoot, but the chances are low. 

Simone Fontecchio: 85% 

Fontecchio is a restricted free agent and the Pistons have already expressed interest in bringing him back. He played well and showed that he is a fit with the core, though I am starting to wonder about the validity of this toe “contusion.” Unless some other team swoops in with an offer the Pistons don’t want to match, he’ll be back in Detroit next season. Sorry, Simone. 

Isaiah Stewart: 80% 

Stewart had a nice season, improved as a shooter and showed that he is the Pistons’ most reliable defender as a big man. However, he can’t stay healthy and that is a problem. He’s only played 96 games the last two seasons combined. Several teams have called about Stewart, but once his new contract kicks in next season he will be seen as less of a value. If the Pistons need a sweetener in a deal, I could see them moving on from Stewart, but given his injuries and off-the-court problems this season, his value is not at an all-time high. 

Jaden Ivey: 65% 

It’s still hard for me to imagine the Detroit Pistons trading Jaden Ivey, but of these six players, he’s the worst fit with Cade Cunningham and has regressed in some areas this season. Trading away a second-year player with his upside is always a risk, and the Pistons do love Ivey’s attitude and work ethic, so my guess is that he is back next season unless the Pistons find a deal that they can’t pass up that requires them to include Ivey. I don’t think they’ll be shopping him necessarily, but if other teams call, they will listen, as the Pistons have to do something to shake up this core and cannot just run it back with the exact same group without some upgrades or changes.