The Detroit Pistons experienced the worst-case scenario at the NBA draft lottery, losing their top-8 protected pick to the Charlotte Hornets after the dastardly Cleveland Cavaliers leapfrogged all the way from No. 9 to first overall. It's the third time in four years the Cavaliers have secured the No. 1 pick.
(Maybe the third time's the charm and they won't be awful anymore? Nah, they'll just win it again in 2016. But I digress ...)
While fans of the team may be upset, jaded and annoyed, newly appointed team president and head coach Stan Van Gundy is doing his best to project a feeling of optimism. "Tonight’s results are disappointing, but not disastrous," he said in a statement released by the team. "We knew we would lose our pick this year or next.
"We have the 38th pick and we will continue our evaluation process and preparation for the upcoming draft. We’ll also explore other opportunities to use the draft to improve our team -– whether that’s moving up, moving down or staying at No. 38. We still have many assets and tools at our disposal to upgrade our roster, including the upcoming free agency period in July."
The Pistons have a lot of decisions to make this summer -- first and foremost, what to do with restricted free agent Greg Monroe, who's seeking a max contract. But if the Pistons hope to move up in the draft, it can't involve any type of sign-and-trade with Monroe, who, like all players not officially under contract, are ineligible to be moved on draft day.
Also out of the picture is packaging next year's first-round pick in a trade to move up in this year's draft, since NBA teams are prohibited from trading first-round picks in consecutive years. But anyone else on the roster? They're fair game. (Well, everyone not named "Andre.") In what's been universally hailed as the deepest NBA draft in years, it'll be very interesting to see if Van Gundy attempts to move up or focus his energies on free agency.
Now your thoughts.