The Detroit Pistons have been mentioned in myriad rumors as the NBA trade deadline approaches, some in which they are buyers and others where they are selling.
The Pistons are just 6-40 on the season, a catastrophic record that few saw coming after a summer propaganda campaign when were were told this was finally the year we'd see some payoff from all of the losing.
That hasn't happened and now the Pistons are closer to fighting for the worst record in NBA history than they are the play-in tournament.
That makes their trade deadline agenda tough to gauge, as they clearly need more talent, but may not have the assets to get it. They could just sell off their veteran expiring contracts, but there is some debate about whether keeping them would be more beneficial to the team, though there is no evidence of that being true.
So what should the Pistons prioritize at the NBA trade deadline?
Detroit Pistons at the trade deadline
Prioritize: Draft picks
The Detroit Pistons have been one of, if not the worst, team in the NBA over the last four seasons and are somehow down a first-round pick, which has hindered them from making the kind of trade they need.
Underperforming teams selling off stars generally want draft capital in return and the Pistons don't have it to give. Currently, they'd have to wait until draft day before they can move their 2024 pick, which makes the trade deadline challenging when it comes to making big moves.
Even on draft day, the Pistons can only move two picks plus swaps, so it would behoove them to garner as many first-round picks as they can at the deadline, which would at least put them in play for one of the big trade targets.
In other words, if the Pistons can net a first-round pick for either Bojan Bogdanovic or Alec Burks, they should probably do it, as they aren't even going to be in the conversation for a big trade until they have more draft assets to move.