Possible trade-back team for the Detroit Pistons in the NBA Draft

Chicago Bulls v Detroit Pistons
Chicago Bulls v Detroit Pistons / Gregory Shamus/GettyImages

The NBA Draft Lottery is less than two weeks away, and the Detroit Pistons are once-again one of the frontrunners for the #1 pick. 

But in a draft filled with unknowns and skeptical star power, anything is on the table for the Pistons, including packaging the pick in a trade for a proven player. 

Another option would be to trade back, and there is a strong argument for it if the Pistons can’t find a star trade for their top-5 pick. Detroit may be as likely to find a good player outside of the top five as in it and pick up an asset to move back, but other teams know that too, so there may not be many looking to move up in a draft that is perceived as one flat tier in the first round. 

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A team to monitor is the Chicago Bulls, who may finally decide to rebuild this summer and could use a top-five pick to jumpstart the process. 

Detroit Pistons draft: Trading back with the Chicago Bulls 

Expecting the Chicago Bulls, who might be the most boring franchise in the NBA, to blow up their roster and rebuild is a fool’s gambit, as they have rarely made moves over the last several seasons and seem comfortable chasing the 9th seed forever. I could easily see the Bulls giving DeMar DeRozan a big extension and running it back with a team that won 39 games and got bounced from the play-in tournament. 

But if Chicago does finally rebuild, they do have some interesting pieces. The Bulls have a 77.6 percent shot at the 11th pick in the 2024 NBA Draft and the Pistons have a 47.9 percent chance at the 5th pick, so let’s assume for the sake of argument that those hold up. 

Unlike past drafts, teams in the top-five aren’t likely to get a big haul to move back, as the difference between the 5th and 11th pick isn’t perceived to be as large. 

Would moving up six spots in the draft be worth Alex Caruso? The Bulls may have missed their chance to get a big return for the All-Defensive guard, but would that be worth it for the Pistons? What if they could trade back, add Caruso and still get a player like Dalton Knecht with the 11th pick? 

There are certainly questions whether either team would be interested in a move like this, but to play both sides, the Bulls get a top-5 pick to start their rebuild and the Pistons get a 3-and-D guard who is a great fit and on a team-friendly deal while still staying in the lottery in a draft that is a complete crapshoot. The sticker is that Caruso only has one year left on his deal, so this might be an overpay for a one-year rental unless he were willing to stay on long term.  

The Detroit Pistons need to get creative and find ways to add useful, complementary players without overpaying in free agency or trading away all of their young talent.