NBA trade rumor adds wrinkle to offseason for the Detroit Pistons

Detroit Pistons v Cleveland Cavaliers
Detroit Pistons v Cleveland Cavaliers / Jason Miller/GettyImages

The Detroit Pistons are near the end of the worst season in team history and you get a sense that big change is coming.

What that will look like is anyone's guess, as there has been widespread speculation about the futures of the front office and coaching staff, but so far nothing concrete has emerged about what the Pistons will do.

Regardless of who is making the decisions, the Pistons have to upgrade their roster this summer. One thing you have to say for Troy Weaver is that the Pistons have a clean cap sheet with no bad long-term contracts on the books, but financial flexibility only matters if you use it, which he did not do in similar circumstances last summer.

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Part of Weaver's plan (if there is one) seems to be to stay flexible, wait for a star to become available and pounce if the opportunity arises, which it may this summer.

Latest NBA trade rumor could present an opportunity for the Detroit Pistons

According to insider Marc Stein (subscription), the Cleveland Cavaliers may be forced to trade Donovan Mitchell if the superstar guard declines to sign an extension to stay:

"Mitchell will be entering the final guaranteed year of his current contract next season if theres no extension, leading to a growing belief among rival teams that the Cavaliers will be forced to trade Mitchell in coming months if they cannot come to terms with him an extension."

If Mitchell does hit the trade market, there will be plenty of interested teams, including the New York Knicks, Miami Heat and Philadelphia 76ers, but the Detroit Pistons should be among them.

Detroit could put together a competitive trade package. There may be a team that could offer more than young players and a top-5 pick, but Detroit should at least inquire.

The tricky part is that Mitchell only has one more guaranteed year left on his deal and then a player option that he'll likely decline to take another huge, long-term contract. If he's not willing to extend to stay in Cleveland, it's hard to imagine him wanting to sign on to stay in Detroit long-term. They'd have to have some assurance that he'd be open to that before making a deal, though at this point, the Pistons may be desperate enough to do it anyway and just hope they can win him over.

But this is the type of deal the Pistons have to throw their hat in the ring for, otherwise, why are they hoarding all of this cap space? The Pistons may not even have what it takes to trade for Mitchell, so this could all be moot, but if he becomes available, they have to at least try.