The Detroit Pistons were surprisingly aggressive on NBA Draft night, trading two future first-round picks to the Sixers for the draft rights to Khyri Thomas. The team also kept it’s own second and selected No. 42 overall.
The Pistons brass had obviously targeted Thomas as their guy and according to a report if they didn’t make the trade with the Sixers, the Los Angeles Lakers were poised to draft him with the next pick.
Khyri Thomas would have certainly gone to Lakers at 39 (they're getting Philly's pick) but Philly picked him at 38!— Eric Pincus (@EricPincus) June 22, 2018
Eric Pincus is is extremely well connected to the Lakers, and I have no doubt his intel is accurate and if Detroit didn’t make the move they would have lost out on Thomas.
Was it worth two future seconds to trade for a pick in the low 30s? I’d argue yes. The 2018 NBA Draft was reportedly remarkably flat from the 20-40 range, with a lot of talented and intriguing point guards and wings.
Thomas has some elite skills — spot up shooting, finishing and perimeter defense — that the Pistons obviously hope can be further developed into a potential impact 3-and-D-type player.
It’s no surprise the cost of doing business for the pick was two future second rounders, and the Sixers, already loaded with draft picks, wouldn’t have been interested in Detroit’s pick this year at No. 42 (where they selected Brown).
Philadelphia likes to stockpile future assets (process, trust the) and future second round picks come in handy as ballast in potential transactions.
It’s also important to consider just what kind of cap hell the Pistons find themselves in. The team had no first-round pick, is already over the salary cap and is only $4 million to $5 million under the luxury tax line. It’s important to get cheap bodies when you can, and second-round picks are cheap, usually for at least a couple years and also non-guaranteed in case the player doesn’t work out.
I’m still worried about depth concerns at the small forward and point guard positions, but it seems the team thinks both Thomas and Brown have the chance to be multi-positional defenders (almost certainly) and perhaps even show enough to play the 1 or the 3 (I’m skeptical).
Positionless basketball is here, going to small ball and three-guard lineups isn’t going anywhere, and the Pistons think they have a couple plug-and-play opportunities to flesh out the end of their rotation or help cushion against injuries.
What do you think? Was the price right or was it too rich and will the Pistons be regretting it in the future?