FanPost

4 Pistons Offseason Scenarios (Draft / Free Agency)

Like many of you reading this, I am supposed to be working right now. Instead, I find myself checking the internet regularly for the latest WOJ bomb or trade rumor involving the Detroit Pistons, as we draw ever so closer to the draft. Lately, I have been reading every article I can get my hands on in hopes to learn more about what might happen on draft night. That being said, I can't help but run through the scenarios of how this off-season could shake out. I am a Pistons fan, a Lions fan, and if I watched baseball or hockey anymore, it would be the Tigers or the Red Wings. So let's just be clear that many of the things I include in this article will be written with Motor City Goggles on. I am also an eternal optimist so understand that I believe good things are possible and that a franchise who has been losing can turn things around and become a winner.

The way I see it, there are several scenarios as to how the 2022 NBA Draft and Free Agency Period could shake out and I want to look at the full spectrum of possible outcomes. By full spectrum, I mean How I felt after the Lions traded up for Jamison Williams (AWESOME), all the way to How I felt one season after the Pistons signed Ben Gordan and Charlie Villanueva (LIKE FECES). You get the picture. So let's explore the possible Options from the lowest of lows to my dream scenario.

Now to understand where I am coming from, I believe that the longevity and sustainability of the two deep roster is the ultimate goal at the end of this year. I also believe that three things are crucial in determining success of the two deep roster: Overall Talent, Team Fit, and Financial Consideration. The pistons have the picks, the trade assets, and the cap space to put it all together this year. Upon doing so, they will just need occasionally to tweak the line-up and let the players germinate. This year, the Pistons can assemble the core of the future. Now let's get into it.

THE WORST POSSIBLE SCENARIO

The worst possible scenario would consist of three things.

1) Destroying financial flexibility for the future (Money)

2) Giving up draft assets (Talent)

3) Adding players who are not a good fit. (Fit)

For me, this looks like Trading up to get Jaden Ivey by sending Jeremy Grant to Sacramento. Then signing some middle of the road free agents who are not very good but cost a lot like Knicks center Mitchell Robinson.

I personally don't think Ivey is a good fit. I don't think he can shoot very well. Cade is already better at driving and shoots ok, so the Pistons need someone who can shoot the rock with a good stroke and someone who can create offense. This is not Jaden Ivey. Furthermore, Giving up grant to move up one spot would be a huge mistake. It would be much more beneficial to re-sign grant than to give him up to move up one spot for a guy who doesn't even fit on this team.

In this scenario, if Grant is gone, and the suns decide to look elsewhere or Ayton doesn't come to Detroit, it would mean that the two deep looks something like this:

Starters:

PG Cade

SG Ivey

SF Bey

PF Bagley

CN Mitchell Robinson

Bench:

PG Killian

SG Hami

SF Livers

PF Olynyk

CN Beef Stew

This roster is not horrible, but I think they are capped out at around 33 wins. Don't get me wrong, they are not completely hopeless, and with player development, they could win up to ten more games, but that is a stretch.

THE MIDDLE OF THE ROAD SCENARIO

Some say the worst possible scenario would be for the Pistons to do nothing. I would have to disagree. At the end of last season, The Pistons were winning games and were competing night in and night out. So even if the Pistons did nothing, drafted whoever at #5, re-signed Jeremy Grant and signed or drafted a bargain option at Center, I think they would be decent.

Picture the Pistons drafting Mathurin, Sharpe, or Murray at #5. All of these players are guys we have seen linked to the Pistons and all of them are a good fit with the team. Drafting Murray and Keeping Grant might be an issue, and I don't foresee that happening, but there may be a versatile line-up in which they both could see the floor at the same time. Regardless, the Pistons would not cripple themselves financially, they would have one of three guys that are good fits for the team, and they would see an influx in Talent. Here is a possible two deep roster in this scenario:

Starters:

PG Cade

SG Mathurin/Sharpe

SF Bey

PF Grant/Murray

CN Draft or Free Agent Center

Bench:

PG Killian

SG Hami

SF Livers

PF Bagley/Olynyk

CN Beef Stew

This seems better than giving up assets and drafting a player who doesn't fit. Plus, I don't think this would cripple the organization as long as no bad contracts from horrible free agent signings are agreed upon. Troy is pretty competent so I don't see that happening. However, if it did, I would say this would cap off Detroit's win total at 37 wins. That is still a significant improvement and they would be lucky to hit that number.

THE MOST LIKELY SCENARIO

I believe this is the most likely scenario because it makes the most sense and it is not unrealistic. I often see trades scenarios where people are sending Corey Joseph and getting back a first rounder. Let's get real people, that is not a thing. In this scenario, the Pistons draft the player they like at #5. I believe it will be one of the three Murray / Mathurin / Sharpe. Then, trading Jeremy Grant to various teams outside of the lottery for a later pick in the draft. The Pistons would get another first rounder out of it, but that pick would be a dice roll and a clear drop off in talent. I trust Troy Weaver and his dice rolls seem to be more accurate than most, but I still would prefer the alternative. This would also mean that if Detroit wanted to improve their starting center, then they would need to do it through Free Agency. If this doesn't happen, then Detroit sends Grant in a sign and trade to Phoenix for DeAndre Ayton. They would have to use up their cap space, but this would be a significant improvement to the roster and I think Ayton is a good fit because he is an efficient scorer and a lob threat. With these moves, the two deep shapes up to look something like this.

Starters:

PG Cade

SG Mathurin/Sharpe

SF Bey

PF Bagley/Olynyk/Drafted Pick

CN Ayton / Free Agent Center.

Bench:

PG Killian

SG Hami

SF Livers

PF Bagley/Olynyk

CN Beef Stew

Now This is the most likely scenario and I would be very pleased if this is what the roster looked like after the off-season. However, we already know that Hami and Frank Jackson May or may not be back and that there will be some potential moves in the draft which we didn't see coming. I think it would help to add a free agent like Bryn Forbes, as they would need to bring in some shooting help. This could definitely impact the two deep and hopefully there are some pleasant surprises. However, looking at this roster, they could definitely win up to 43 games if their shooting gets better.

THE DREAM SCENARIO'

I hope Troy Weaver is paying attention because I am putting on my armchair GM hat. Seriously, it is nice to see a GM make a move on a guy that you liked from the beginning and every so often, that happens in the NBA or NFL draft. In watching Troy Weaver over the years, I have seen the amount of disinformation and gamesmanship and I must say that I am impressed. I do believe that we are seeing a lot of smokescreens being put out into the universe right now, in an effort to conceal the Pistons true intentions. Maybe part of me just hopes they are smoke screens, but I can't seem to figure out all the Jaden Ivey Hype. When I looked at the stat-line and saw the athleticism, it definitely stood out to me. However, I watched Iowa play Purdue in Big ten Championship to get a look at both Murray and Ivey. I must say that neither of them really took over that game. Yes, they scored a few points, but I was utterly disappointed in their ability to perform on the big stage when their teams needed them most. I also have looked at Mathurin, and Sharpe. I believe these are the other two guys on the Pistons Radar, or at least slated to go when they pick at #5. To me, Mathurin or Murray seem like the most NBA ready. I think Ivey is the SG version of Killian Hayes. He can put up some offense, but he can't shoot all that well and so Killian has a floater and Ivey has the lay-up as their go to moves. Yikes! I think Murray can't fake 23 pts per game in College. However, I don't know how well that will translate to the pros (see Adam Morrison). I think he has the highest floor, but how often do you pick #5 in the draft. So in conclusion, the Pistons should swing for the fences and that is why I hope they pick Shaeden Sharpe. At first glance, it seemed to me that this kid was just a High School Pre-Madonna. However, I began to watch his film and the kid can flat out play. His shooting form is very nice. His step back is there and he can create his own shot. Not only can the he drive to the hoop, but he can also fly there. His measurables are 6'6" with a 7' wingspan. Not to mention recently, he came out and made a statement: "I see myself as one of the greatest players to ever play basketball."

Can everyone please pause for a second and try to see what I see. Here is quote from the late great Kobe Bryant:

"The most important thing is you must put everybody on notice that you’re here and you are for real."

That is what Shaedon Sharpe Just did. He put everyone on Notice. I hope the Pistons were listening because I heard it loud and clear. We know that his confidence is there, but I believe everybody would agree that Shaedon Sharpe has a decent floor and the highest ceiling of any of these players. Potentially every player in the draft. I say this because he is an elite athlete, he has the measurables, he can do everything, he is young, and his film shows glimpses of what he is capable of under AAU coaches. Imagine him playing alongside and against NBA Players, and being coached by NBA coaches. He has the ceiling of an all star and potentially, if he works hard enough, a superstar. The only reason why he is not going to be the number one draft pick is because he sat out the last year and only played at a High School level. I seem to remember 3 guys to come right out of High School: Kevin Garnett, Kobe, and Lebron. If the Pistons miss on a guy with that kind of potential and he goes to another team and shines, it would be the crime of the century. It would be a Ocean's Eleven, Italian Job, Thomas Crown Affair Robbery of epic proportions. It would make Luke Kennard over Donavon Mitchell look like jay-walking. It would would make picking Darko Milicic look like a brilliant move. I digress.

Now keep in mind that this is a dream scenario. Let's Say OKC drafts Jaden Ivey at #2 or the Rockets draft him at #3, which are both rumored possibilities. And then, the Kings become The Kings. This would mean they have a chance at one of the big three. I believe Jabari goes #1, which leaves Chet or Banchero. Let's say Chet is still around because of his slight frame. Now the Kings are on the clock and they take Murray instead of Chet because of his frame.

In my dream scenario, one of the big three falls to the Pistons at #5 and I hope it is Chet Holmgren. He has the best combination of defensive / offensive potential.

Then the Pistons trade grant to the Blazers for #7 and draft Sharpe.

The next move I would be excited about is to see a sign and trade between Detroit and Phoenix. Now, with Grant gone, this might have to be Kelly Olynyk and a future first or something, but this is DeAndre Ayton so hopefully they find a way to get it done. Then, the Pistons would finish out the draft with some depth picks or just trade for future assets and pick Up Marcus Bingham as a UDFA.

In free agency, you re-sign Bagley, Keep Hami, Drop Frank Jackson, and Sign Bryn Forbes.

Starters:

PG Cade

SG Sharpe/Mathurin

SF Bey

PF Chet

CN Ayton

Bench:

PG Killian

SG Hami/Forbes

SF Livers

PF Bagley/Bingham

CN Beef Stew/Free Agent Center/Garza

As I said before, if the chips fall where I hope they fall, everything is in place to put the future roster together this year and then just tweak it and let it germinate. This line-up should have a ceiling of about 50 wins. I don't know if they would reach it next season but the present team hung in a lot of games down the stretch and the additions of Sharpe, Ayton, and Holmgren would make a powerful impact. This roster would put the Pistons over the play-offs hump in the short term and possibly put them in contention for a deep run in the play-offs, if not the NBA title in long term. Not to mention, you will have 5 starters / 4 of which are on friendly contracts for at least the next three years.

I hope you took notes on this one Troy! Thank you to all those who read this. Feel free to comment below.

FanPosts are user-created posts from the Detroit Bad Boys community and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of all fans or the staff at DBB. The DBB staff reserves the right at any time to edit the contents of FanPosts as they reasonably see fit.