Unlikely star named as free-agent possibility for the Detroit Pistons

Detroit Pistons Introduce First NBA Draft First Overall Pick Cade Cunningham
Detroit Pistons Introduce First NBA Draft First Overall Pick Cade Cunningham / Nic Antaya/GettyImages

It's unclear what the Detroit Pistons are going to do this offseason but it has to be something.

Whether they add an impact free agent or two, make a trade, shake up their core or clean house entirely, the Pistons cannot run it back with a team headed for the worst record in franchise history.

If Troy Weaver is still the one making the decisions, he'll be under pressure to build a competitive roster, which he has yet to do in his tenure in Detroit. With fewer than 80 wins in four seasons, the clock has to be ticking.

We've talked about some of the realistic free-agent possibilities and a few longshots, including Paul George of the LA Clippers. We listed George as an "Extreme Longshot" in a breakdown of Tier 1 free-agent possibilities for the Pistons.

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In a recent mailbag article, James Edwards III of The Athletic (Subscription) also talked about the possibility of Paul George in free agency. Here's some of what he had to say:

"George, while he’s getting up there in age, is still a very, very good basketball player and would not only fill a massive void for the Pistons, but would be a tremendous mentor for both Cunningham and Thompson. I also would take 55 games of George, who doesn’t usually string together long seasons due to injuries...Just to add fuel to the fire here, Detroit general manager Troy Weaver was pivotal in getting George to Oklahoma City back in 2017. So, there’s that."

Edwards III is speculating but could there be more to it?

Could the Detroit Pistons pursue Paul George in free agency?

Paul is an obvious fit for the Detroit Pistons and it does look as though he is going to opt out of his final year. As Edwards III noted, he has not gotten an extension offer from the Clippers.

But would he really consider Detroit as an option? I have my doubts. George did give props to Cade Cunningham after the Pistons played the Clippers (you can watch the whole clip here) and Cade had good things to say about PG, so who knows, there might be some mutual interest in playing together and their games do fit.

But would George want to come play for the worst team in the NBA at this point in his career? If he is just after money, the Pistons might be able to offer him more than anyone else (though my bet is on Philly), so Detroit would have to hope that the largest check is his primary motivation.

George has played 68 games so far this season in a virtual contract year, but you would have to wonder about his motivation if he was in Detroit.

I'd still rank this one as an extreme longshot, but he'd be a difference-maker who would be a positive influence on the Pistons in myriad ways. Giving him a max deal would be a desperate move given his age, but the Pistons are a desperate franchise in need of a major shift in tone.