No More Excuses. Time For The Pistons To Start Winning…NOW!
It's been quite an eventful last few days for the Detroit Pistons.
First, the team traded their leading scorer, Jerami Grant, to the Portland Trail Blazers for a protected (top 4) 1st round draft pick in 2025.
Then, in Thursday's NBA Draft, the team selected Purdue guard Jaden Ivey with their first round pick (5th overall selection).
Then, later on in the first round, the Pistons pulled a surprise that was widely hailed by critics. As part of a three-team deal with the Charlotte Hornets and the New York Knicks, Detroit sent the 2025 first round pick they got from Portland to the New York Knicks for former All-Star Kemba Walker. As well as the 13th overall draft pick on Thursday night, center Jalen Duren from the University of Memphis.
With the moves the Pistons have made that I just mentioned, IMO, playtime is over for owner Tom Gores, vice chairman Arn Tellum, general manager Troy Weaver (pictured above), and head coach Dwane Casey. It's time for the Pistons to win NOW!!! Here's why:
LOTS OF CAP SPACE
Even if they decide to buy out Walker (who's owed just over $9 million for next year, the last year on his current contract), the team will still have nearly $35 million in salary cap space for free agency this offseason. They need to use that cash to improve the team immediately. Rumors are rampant that Detroit will make a push to sign disgruntled restricted free agent DeAndre Ayton, currently with the Phoenix Suns.
ANOTHER YEAR OF DEVELOPMENT FOR DETROIT'S YOUNG PLAYERS
This covers young veterans Saddiq Bey, Killian Hayes, Isaiah Stewart, and last year's number 1 overall pick, Cade Cunningham. Weaver has decided to build the bulk of his roster through the draft. Getting another year of player evaluation of these youngsters can only help the franchise.
FANS ARE TIRED OF LOSING
The Pistons haven't won a playoff game since Game 4 of the 2008 Eastern Conference Finals. And have only been in the playoffs three times since then, getting swept by Cleveland twice and by Milwaukee once.
With all the moves the team has made recently, fans and media will expect more in 2022-23. And they should. Is it too much to ask for the team to make the Play-In Tournament (at the very least) next season? I don't think so.
Unlike many observers who are giddy over the recent transactions the Pistons have made. I am much more cautious about next season than most people. Let's see it on the court first before we anoint them as the next big threat in the Eastern Conference.
And before we build a statue for Troy Weaver, let's see if all (or most) of the acquisitions pan out or not. It's time to start winning....NOW! Patience is starting to run thin in the D regarding the Pistons.