Another day, another bunch of offseason rumors linked to your Detroit Pistons. We are now less than three days away from the beginning of the NBA’s Free Agency period, which begins at 6 p.m. on Thursday night. Here at Detroit Bad Boys, we’ve got you covered with all the latest transactional buzz related to the Pistons.
Armed with a projected $40.6 million in cap space, pending some upcoming trades that might or might not grow, it remains to be seen how Troy Weaver and staff intend to allocate their funds. Detroit has seemingly been linked to each of the major restricted free agents, however, the latest major move saw the Pistons using a bunch of that cap space to absorb the contracts of quality veterans Nerlens Noel and Alec Burks. The rumor is that both will stay in Detroit, but it is also extremely easy to conceive one or both on the move if the right deal came along.
While the likelihood is Detroit doesn’t engage in a major free agency splash, Weaver is certainly capable of shocking us all with an unexpected maneuver or two. Below, I have compiled a list featuring all the latest news and rumors surrounding potential offseason targets for Detroit.
Marvin Bagley III set to test restricted free agency on July 1
Per a source, this was a procedural move for Detroit. The Pistons may still choose to renounce Bagley’s $28.3M cap hold to create cap space. This decision also likely signals that Bagley and Detroit will reach an agreement on a new contract early in the free agency process.
Upon arriving in Detroit post trade deadline, Bagley was a bright spot for the Pistons. He formed a dynamic pick and roll combination with Cade Cunningham, averaging 14.6 points and 6.8 rebounds in primarily a reserve role.
While it appears a deal could be likely, It remains to be seen how much Detroit plan to offer the 23-year-old in retainment of his services.
The Detroit Pistons have tendered a $7.2M qualifying offer to make Marvin Bagley III a restricted free agent on July 1, a league source tells @spotrac.— Keith Smith (@KeithSmithNBA) June 28, 2022
Pistons remain interested in Bridges, but not willing to offer a max contract
It’s not secret that Miles Bridges and his representation are seeking a max contract extension of five years at $173 million. Following a breakout season, Bridges is rightfully looking to cash in on his elevated status around the league. On the most recent episode of Jake Fischer’s podcast; Please Don’t Aggregate This, Fischer provided the following update:
If things don’t work out in Charlotte, which it does sound like they [Charlotte] will match, I think the Pistons make the most sense from everything I’ve heard.
Fischer later added:
I don’t know if they [Detroit] are going to bring that big offer right now.
Considering Charlotte is entering restricted free agency with the mindset of avoiding a max-offer to Bridges, Detroit being less likely to extend a max deal of their own plays into the hands of Michael Jordan and his management group. If Detroit are truly interested in Bridges, they may need to rely on the Flint native forcing his way back to the homeland.
Detroit has shown interest in Victor Oladipo
A minor piece at the end of a long Jake Fischer roundup indicates that the Pistons were one of the teams potentially interested in impending free agent Victor Oladipo of the Miami Heat. It makes sense as a veteran presence, and he could be a quality mentor to Jaden Ivey, who has a lot of the same elements in his offensive game. However, the signing of Alec Burks from the Knicks might have fulfilled Weaver’s desire for a veteran guard, and he has the advantage of being able to shoot 3s, could mean the team has moved on from Oladipo.
Detroit have shown interest in Nets guard, Cam Thomas
Supposedly the Detroit Pistons have inquired about Brooklyn Nets shooting guard, Cam Thomas. While it appears the offer was quickly refuted, with the departure of Frank Jackson, Thomas would provide Detroit with an instant offense combo guard.
The 2021 lottery pick had an up and down rookie season but, showed plenty of potential to be an elite shot creator, scoring 20+ points in 10 games. Considering Thomas has at least two years remaining on his rookie deal, Detroit would need to acquire the soon-to-be 21-year-old via trade.
The rumored chatter appears to be purely an inquiry, with little conversation from the Brooklyn front office. I wouldn’t be surprising expect to hear Thomas linked to the Motor City in future.
Deandre Ayton to Detroit still in play
Aside from a 24-hour blip where the Brooklyn Nets were listed by DraftKings as second favorites to land Ayton, Detroit has been the most-likely suitor to pry the former No. 1 overall selection from the desert. However, following a successful draft haul, Ayton’s offerings as a rim-running big appear to be no longer a top priority for the Pistons.
Detroit seems to still be on the table but, they don’t seem to be as promising as an option with the [Jalen] Duren trade occurring.
Fischer would later commented that Ayton’s market for a max contract appears to be deteriorating, While it’s hard to rule out anything with Troy Weaver at the controls, it’s hard to imagine Detroit would consider tying up maximum salary at the center position, when they have two young big’s in; Isaiah Stewart and Jalen Duren.
Malik Monk expected to re-sign with the Lakers
Less than 24 hours after being linked to the Pistons, The Athletic’s Jovan Buha released a feature piece with the Laker’s young guard. In the piece Buha asked Monk about his upcoming free agency, to which the 24-year-old responded:
“They [Lakers] might not be able to pay me as much as I want,” Monk said. “But I could be here and be way more comfortable as a Laker than going to any other team and they’re paying me $5 million more. So it’s just me trying to figure out what team would really want me.”
While it appears Monk’s heart lies in Los Angeles, the cap-strapped Lakers can only offer Monk their taxpayer midlevel exception, which is worth approximately $6.3 million. Buha later cited that:
he [Monk] could command a multi-year deal worth $10 to $12 million annually on the open market, according to multiple league sources.
Though Monk is publicly saying all the ‘right’ things, it will be interesting to see if he truly values comfortability over money. The Kentucky product is still yet ink a significant contract extension since the Hornets let him walk in the summer of 2021.
Dennis Schroder linked to the Motor City, again
For the second time in as many weeks, Detroit has been mentioned as a potential suitor for veteran point guard, Dennis Schroder. The 28-year-old is coming off back-to-back disappointing seasons where he spent time with the Los Angeles Lakers, Boston Celtics and Houston Rockets.
In recent years, Schroder appears to have lost some of his athletic burst, hindering his ability to get into the paint and finish at the rim. Considering he’s a career 33.8% shooter from distance, the decline in athleticism significantly hurts his value as a winning piece.
The Pistons, Hornets, Jazz, Rockets & Knicks are expected to show interest in unrestricted free agent point guard Dennis Schröder, per league source.— Ross (@LegionHoopsRoss) June 28, 2022
However, it’s worth noting that Oklahoma City ties between Schroder and Troy Weaver. Weaver was the Vice President of Basketball Operations when Schroder played arguably the best basketball of his career with the Thunder between 2018-2020.