Ranking 10 Detroit Pistons contracts from bargain to nightmare

Dec 23, 2023; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Brooklyn Nets center Nic Claxton (33) hangs on the rim
Dec 23, 2023; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Brooklyn Nets center Nic Claxton (33) hangs on the rim / Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
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Over the last four seasons, the Detroit Pistons have repeatedly talked about financial flexibility as one of the benefits of how they have handled their business and roster.

And the good news is that they have it, at least for now, as the Detroit Pistons don't have a single bad contract on their books.

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So for the purposes of this article, I will look at the present as well as the future and some hypotheticals that could end up being bargains or nightmares for the Pistons.

Detroit Pistons payroll: From bargain to potential nightmare

The Bargains

-Ausar Thompson
-Jaden Ivey
-Jalen Duren
-Marcus Sassser

All of these players are on rookie contracts and not yet eligible for extensions. They all play and produce, so by NBA standards, they are a bargain.

It would be nice for the Pistons to hit on a second-round pick so that they could get a true bargain (a producing player on a minimum deal) but for now, none of these players are hurting the Pistons' cap sheet.

The max contract extension for Cade Cunningham

Cade Cunningham is due for an extension this summer and it will likely be a huge one, as he is eligible for 25 percent of the cap and will probably get it.

I'd still rank this as a bargain, as Cade is a star in the making as we've seen from his play of late. The second contract for a not-yet superstar is always an act of faith as the team is paying for what the player will ultimately be, not necessarily what they currently are.

I'm ok with both, as Cunningham has shown enough this season to warrant a max deal. He's already very good and there is solid evidence he'll get even better. He's been borderline unguardable of late and just went head-to-head with Luka Doncic.

A starting salary of $38 million will soon be the baseline for a star in the NBA, and if you think Cade Cunningham is going to be one, then his next deal will be in line with that.

The next group is where things get trickier.