Pistons news: Cap expert tells Detroit to "be careful of Fool's Gold"

Detroit Pistons v Minnesota Timberwolves
Detroit Pistons v Minnesota Timberwolves / David Berding/GettyImages

No matter how you want to analyze the Detroit Pistons, the results are the same: They are a mess. 

They currently have no leadership, with a GM and coach waiting around to see if they will be fired by the new president of basketball operations who hasn’t even been interviewed yet. 

The roster has some young talent, but more questions than answers everywhere else. The young core and Simone Fontecchio were pretty good together, with a +9 net rating, but only played nine games for a total of 90 minutes this season. 

After a 4th straight year of epic losing, something has to change and it starts this summer, but which direction will the Pistons go? Will they keep all of their young talent, add a few free agents and be happy as a 25-win team as a sign of “improvement?” 

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Will they break up the core? How will they spend the $60 million in cap space they could have available? One NBA insider thinks the Detroit Pistons are in a precarious situation when it comes to cap space, which he calls, “Fool’s Gold.” 

Bobby Marks: Detroit Pistons have to be careful of “Fool’s Gold"

ESPN’s Bobby Marks knows plenty about the effects of losing after spending some miserable seasons as assistant GM of the Nets, who did plenty of it while he was there. 

He also knows about the lure of excess cap space, something that has burned the Nets many times in the recent past. 

So, the Pistons should listen when he says they need to be careful with all of that money. The Pistons will be tempted to go out and overpay for guys like Tobias Harris and Malik Monk, but is paying Harris $30 million a year going to have any meaningful impact? 

Is paying $20 million for Malik Monk or Buddy Hield, who has barely gotten off the bench for Philly in the playoffs, scoring two points total in three games, really going to change anything? 

According to Marks, the Pistons don’t have a selling point for free agents outside of money, so the only way they are going to get one is to overpay, which is a recipe for disaster. 

I tend to agree with Marks here, as adding two or three middling, overpaid free agents to this group isn’t going to change much unless you really believe that small sample size of 90 minutes is indicative of anything and that the Pistons only need to fill out their bench to be competitive. 

It’s a mess, and I don’t envy whoever the new president is, as they are inheriting a situation with no clear exit strategy or path to improvement that doesn’t involve tearing this down to the studs and starting over.