While the move opened up roughly $50 million in cap space as the team enters the offseason, a new report indicates that the Pistons are still shopping for another pick or picks in the latter half of the first round.
The news comes from Jake Fischer at Bleacher Report who writes: “Indiana, Utah, Boston and Detroit have all been described as teams looking to acquire picks in the back half of the first round.”
There are a few ways Detroit could try and move their way back into the first round. They could sell low on an existing player like Killian Hayes, but that seems pretty unlikely. They could trade some future assets for a guaranteed pick in today’s draft.
Most likely, however, would be to sacrifice a bit of that cap space to take on a deal a team is looking to offload. In an offseason with so few teams with available cap space, there could be offers on the table as franchises look to maneuver and reshape their teams.
The Pursuit of Deandre Ayton
Fischer also briefly touches on the increasingly loud Ayton to Detroit rumors, and writes that a deal is no sure thing. For one, the Suns are at least posturing that it is willing to match any offer made to Ayton.
That makes sense as the team is angling for the best sign-and-trade deal. That best deal certainly wouldn’t come from Detroit who no longer has Jerami Grant to offer up in a trade.
But even before Grant was moved to Portland, Suns officials had started messaging to rival teams and other external league personnel that Phoenix won’t necessarily balk at matching any offer sheet for Ayton, sources told B/R. With no obvious sign-and-trade piece to send back to the Suns, it’s unclear whether Detroit will have an unencumbered pursuit of Ayton on the restricted free-agent market.
Weaver obviously made that Grant trade with a very clear idea of what his approach was going to be regarding free agency, trades and any chase of a big fish like Ayton. Soon we will find out if he is successful in his pursuit.