With us sitting in 8th position in the lottery, the chances of retaining our pick are finely balanced. All we need is a few customary late season wins or for a higher ranked team to land the right ping pong balls, and our 2014 1st round pick will be heading to Charlotte, courtesy of the heinous Ben Gordon for Corey Maggette trade.
Given how badly this season has gone already, I am readying myself for the worst case scenario (draft-wise). However, losing our 1st round pick this year might not be all bad. Here are a few potential positives:
1. The Charlotte trade is resolved
Conditions on the pick included in the Gordon-Maggette trade run through 2014 (top 8 protected), 2015 (top 1 protected) and 2016 (unprotected). Given the uncertainty of when the pick will be conveyed, we are restricted in trading future picks within that range. This restricts us in sweetening trade deals, which may be required to offload those who shall not be named. Then again, maybe not being able to trade future 1st rounders is a good thing, as it is preventing further bad trades from being made.
2. Less pressure to cut 2013/2014 rookies or Jorts
This season, we had four rookies (KCP, Siva, Mitchell and Datome) plus Jorts. I would like to see all five retained (just because). Presumably, Charlie V. and one or more of Stuckey and Billups will be departing at the end of the season. KCP is surely safe, but with one fewer incoming rookie in 2014/2015, this means one additional roster spot for Siva, Mitchell and Jorts. The prospect of losing Siva and/or Cathy is too ghastly to contemplate.
3. More playing time available for 2013/2014 rookies next season
With one fewer rookie 'mouth to feed', hopefully this means more time available for KCP, Siva, Mitchell, Gigi or Jorts next season.
4. The 2014 Draft might not be that great afterall
All the early talk was bout the upcoming draft being flush with franchise players, but this has since cooled. Will Wiggins ever reach his potential? Will Embid's back hold up? Will Parker return to college and can he defend anyone anyway? Will Randle's game translate to the pros? Is Aaron Gordon MKG with worse shooting? Is Doug McDermott Kyle Singler with fewer intangibles? Is Tyler Ennis a Canadian Scott Machado/Kendall Marshall? Sure, it would be great to luck into a top-3 pick, but will pick 8 be much of a game changer anyway?
5. More motivation to end the Joe Dumars GM era
In case we needed any more motivation, losing the pick might be the final straw for Joe D's tenure as President of Basketball Operations. It might also serve as a reminder for future generations of Pistons front offices not to repeat past mistakes.
Are there any more potential positives out there?