4 Teams whose playoff fates could affect the Detroit Pistons

Feb 14, 2024; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker (1) dribbles
Feb 14, 2024; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker (1) dribbles / Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

For the 5th straight season, the Detroit Pistons will be spectators during the NBA playoffs. 

But given their need to make a big splash this offseason, they will be watching the results closely, as the outcome of the playoffs could determine which players are available this summer. Here are four teams whose playoff performances could change the dynamic of the offseason for the Detroit Pistons. 

2023-24 Season grades for the Detroit Pistons. dark. Related Story. 2023-24 Season grades for the Detroit Pistons

The Indiana Pacers and two bigs for the Pistons 

The Pacers will take on the Bucks in the first round, which was probably not the matchup they were hoping for. Indiana has two players in Obi Toppin and Jalen Smith who could both be free agents this summer. Toppin is a restricted free agent, so the Pacers will have the first chance to keep him, and they might, as he had a productive season, shooting over 40 percent from 3-point range and playing in all 82 games. Smith has a player option for next season that he could decline, and he too shot over 40 percent from long range.  

Both are players who might interest the Pistons in free agency, so it will be interesting to see how they perform in the playoffs. The Pacers already have rookie Jarace Walker at the position as well, so may decide to let one of them go depending on how the playoffs unfold. 

The New Orleans Pelicans and Brandon Ingram 

I’ve already talked about this one a lot, but the Pelicans need to beat the Kings to even get into the playoffs. Ingram was not good in the first game so it will be interesting to see how he does now that Zion Williamson has been ruled out and he’s the top guy. Ingram has thrived in these situations in the past, and if he steps up and gets them a win, the Pelicans might be more inclined to keep him around, especially if he goes on to to have a strong playoff performance with Zion on the bench. 

The Minnesota Timberwolves and Karl-Anthony Towns 

The Timberwolves, like the Pelicans, will be up against financial issues this summer and may have to send out one of their big salaries. If they lose in the first round, which is possible given that they are playing Phoenix, it might make this decision easier, as they could use KAT’s enormous cap hold to fill other needs. He’s had arguably his best season as a pro but is coming off an injury and has a ton of money owed to him. I love his fit with Cade but playing him with Duren would be a defensive disaster even if it could work offensively. This series with Phoenix is one to keep an eye on. Will Minny blow it up if they lose in the first round again? 

The Phoenix Suns pipe dream 

I’d rather the Timberwolves beat the Suns, Kevin Durant to demand a trade, and then Devin Booker to follow, asking to go to his hometown Pistons when the Suns have to blow it up, but this isn’t going to happen. The Suns just re-signed Grayson Allen, indicating their intention to spend what it takes to win, so this scenario is just a fantasy to help get me through the offseason.