The Detroit Pistons are just over one year into a major rebuild that has seen Troy Weaver gut the entire roster, but in that short time, he is making moves that are giving league executives reason to believe.
Every year, the league sends the league’s GM an anonymous survey on various topics, and for the first time in a long time there are several positive signs for the Pistons in the results. Beyond the superstar mentions featuring Giannis Antetokounmpo, LeBron James and Steph Curry, there are questions focused on up-and-coming teams.
Detroit was mentioned as one of the teams with the most promising young core in the league. Now, don’t get too excited. They finished out of the top six and into the honorable mention category. The Hawks were runaway winners there with 50% of the vote followed by the Houston Rockets, Boston Celtics, Memphis Grizzlies, New Orleans Pelicans and Phoenix Suns. Detroit was mentioned along with the Hornets, Nuggets and Timberwovles as teams also receiving votes.
The biggest piece of that young core, Cade Cunningham, received a few shout-outs in the survey as well. Cunningham finished second in predicted Rookie of the Year voting behind Jalen Green in Houston.
He also finished second in which rookie will be the best player in five years, this time behind Cleveland’s Evan Mobley.
Asked who was the biggest steal compared to where he was selected in the NBA Draft, Detroit’s Luka Garza received at least one vote for being picked 52nd and at least seeming like he might be able to carve out a career in the NBA.
Lastly, Hamidou Diallo received at least one vote for being one of the most athletic players in the NBA after all the usual suspects — Zion Williamson, Antetokounmpo, Anthony Edwards, Zach LaVine and Ja Morant.
Last year, the Pistons appeared twice on the survey — once for Jerami Grant as one of the surprise moves of the offseason and Saddiq Bey as one of the biggest steals in the NBA Draft.