Detroit Pistons off-season recap: Grades, Precision Tier, Changes, End of 2022-23 Target

nba off season! It seems like it never stops. Here’s the thing: I think we’ve reached a place where it’s basically over and we’re just spilling water until we get to training camp by the end of September. Sure, we might get a trade request from a disgruntled star player before he gets into the preseason, and that request can be approved by his current team. For the most part, it looks like we know where the free agents are and where the roster stands next season.

With that, I thought it was a good time to look at how the roster changed and what it means for all 30 NBA teams. We can examine what happened to them last season, how their four groups of players (lead guards, wings, forwards and bigs) changed this summer, whether or not the team got better or not with the new group. How to find success, and give them an overall grade for the summer. Plus, we’ll bring you a local or national expert to answer three important questions about this team.

How an off-season ends for each team depends on what their goals are for building their group of people. These are the positions available for the 30 teams:

  • rebuilding the franchise
  • Tired of rebuilding the franchise
  • Play-in tournament gives them life
  • playoff expected
  • on the verge of controversy
  • competitor
  • championship or bust

Today, we’re breaking Detroit Pistons (23-59 last season), which has been in the news a lot as a team that can move on.


Off-season Overall Grade: B+
Team Status: Tired of Rebuilding

What happened last season?

There was clarity. This may sound a bit obvious, but Cade Cunningham1 overall pick in 2021, proving he is the franchise player the Pistons were hoping would be a big move for Detroit. One of the hardest things is finding that guy, and top picks in the draft aren’t some silly concept to get them. It took a while for Cunningham to move on, but once it does, there’s no real doubt about the direction of this team. He didn’t finish in the top two in Rookie of the Year voting, but he had a great second half of the season, even though he still struggled at times to make his shot.

We’ve seen a lot of young people make good strides, which is what you’d expect in the era of Reconstruction. Saddiq Bay Shot making took a step back, but his overall game improved. However, he needs better shot selection. kelly olenik Missed half a season, but was acquired by GM Troy Weaver Marvin Bagley III There was a really nice medium-cost, high-reward potential on the trade time frame. pair her and isaiah stewart It was interesting together. The Pistons ended the year strong. After starting 12–45, which eventually included an eight-game losing streak, the Pistons went 11–14 in their last 25 games.


situational change

We may have some questions about which players are in specific groups, but I’m going to go with my overall impressions of where they were and where they will probably be next season. Expected depth not ordered in chart. Also, a lot of deals are done on Draft Night, where a player is drafted by a team for a trade directed by their trade partner. That’s why we’re doing catch-alls for players acquired on draft night, as drafted by their current team. It’s easy that way.

Be sure to check out David Aldridge’s team off-season rankings, which have the Pistons at No. 10.,

Detroit’s Lead Guard Changes

lead guard 2021-22 Players 2022-23 Players

1

Killian Hayes

Jaden Ivey

2

Corey Joseph

Killian Hayes

3

frank jackson

Corey Joseph

4

they know lee

they know lee

5

Carson Edwards

kemba walker

(Lead guards are considered the main initiators from the backcourt position.)

transactions: drafted Jaden Ivey With the fifth pick | Traded for Kemba Walker | Corey Joseph Exercise Player Option ($5.1 million)

Did Detroit improve here? We’re still waiting for the Walker purchase to happen, but this group is about what you feel about Ivey’s pro prospects. He is one of my favorite players in the draft, so I think this team has done a good job improving themselves. Cory Joseph is still a solid veteran of helping people like Ivey, and they know lee A good team is able to be in rotation. With Ivey Now On The Team, It Should Be A Make-Or-Break Year Killian Hayes,

Detroit’s Wings Change

wing 2021-22 Players 2022-23 Players

1

Cade Cunningham

Cade Cunningham

2

Saddiq Bay

Saddiq Bay

3

hamidou dialo

Alec Berksow

4

Rodney McGruder

hamidou dialo

5

Isaiah Livers

Isaiah Livers

6

braxton’s

kevin knox

7

x

Buddy Boehm

(Wings will do some playmaking, but they’re mostly there to do their work from the periphery in various scoring or 3-and-D roles.)

transactions: traded for Alec Berksow , Used team option is on hamidou dialo ($5.2 million) | Put signature on Buddy Boehm two-way | Signed Kevin Knox (two years, $6 million) | Put signature on Rodney McGruder (one year deal)

Did Detroit improve here? Definitely. They didn’t actually lose anything on the wings. Cunningham proved he’s a no-brainer as a franchise guy for the Pistons, so everything else just falls around him. Bey is the clear second best wing, so they managed to build another role around these two with the acquisition of Burke. he had too many good minutes for a bad one Knicks team, and he would be a nice addition off the bench for Detroit. I don’t like taking fliers on Knox, but it’s cheap, and they might know something we don’t know.

Detroit forward changes

ahead 2021-22 Players 2022-23 Players

1

straw grant

Marvin Bagley III

2

Marvin Bagley III

x

3

jamorco picket

x

(Big guys who aren’t quite pawns across the board, but aren’t playing big consistently enough to get the full-time “big” distinction.)

transactions: traded straw grant to Portland | Re-signed Marvin Bagley III (three years, $37.5 million)

Did Detroit improve here? The pistons really screwed up here, but that was by design. Some wonder if the deal is an overpayment for Bagley, but it won’t be huge enough to justify $12.5 million per season. Moving on from Grant gave him future draft assets, but mostly he shifted his roster toward getting bigger and having more wings.

Change in Detroit’s Biggs

Biggs 2021-22 Players 2022-23 Players

1

isaiah stewart

isaiah stewart

2

kelly olenik

kelly olenik

3

luca garza

nerlens noel

4

x

Jalen Duren

(Big guys; it’s pretty self-explanatory.)

transactions: traded for nerlens noel , drafted Jalen Duren With 13th pick | Reject team option is on luca garza

Did Detroit improve here? There’s some really good depth here. This season may have resulted in a less competitive Pistons team trying to move either Noel or Olinek to the deadline. But if the Pistons can compete, that’s pretty deep big guy rotation. He loves getting Durren on draft night, and he’s likely to be their big man of the future. But they have some well-experienced options before they get there.



Isaiah Stewart defends James Harden when he drives to the basket last season. (Rick Osantowski / USA Today)

Did the team get better?

I love Piston’s direction and off-season, even though this team is still very young. Ivey. ending with And There was such a great pull by Durren the Grim Weaver aka Troy Weaver in the draft. A lot of this banks on the idea that Cunningham will just step up every year, and he needs to make a shot at improving this team a lot. That might not be the case with Streaky Ivy right now. It would be nice to see Walker as a leader in the locker room and an assistant on the court, but that’s not going to happen. Knox signing was the only move that left me scratching my head, but they are hoping the 2018 lottery will work in their culture.

What does this mean for next season?

That’s the big question for the Pistons and their fans. As the Eastern Conference has become more and more crowded with good teams, the Pistons are getting a lot of buzz as a lesser team that can make a big leap. Maybe that’s what people see with this Pistons team and Atlanta Hawks from two years ago. That Hawks team stunned everyone and raced randomly to the Eastern Conference Finals. The Pistons doing this feels very extreme and optimistic, but is it any wonder they might be in the mix for play-in tournaments? Even with a few seasoned additions, I find it hard to believe that would happen. I don’t usually trust youth teams to know how to win consistently enough. The examples are mostly outliers. But some believe that pistons may be the next outlier.


Three Quick Questions With James Edwards III, Pistons Beat Reporter athletic

What is a reasonable expectation for Cade Cunningham in Year 2?

Cunningham must be flirting with an All-Star season. He doesn’t have to make it, but he should be one of the first names on the “he got duped” list. The Pistons’ future success will be determined by the heights the 2021 No. 1 pick can achieve. Additionally, if Detroit wants to surprise the league this season, it will be because Cunningham made that move. A lamello ball-eared 2 leap will put a lot of people at ease.

What’s the best lineup the Pistons can throw out there?

This is a tricky one. Detroit, for the first time in a while, has some versatility. Dwayne Casey can put together multiple lineups that make sense but have different strengths. I still believe this team needs to focus on their 3-point shooting. It has been bad for the last two seasons. With that, I’ll start the game with Cunningham-Ive-Livers-Be-Stewart. It’s a small lineup, but it’s about as good a vacancy/developmental lineup as you can throw at it. Lever, last year’s second-round pick, would shoot at least 36 percent of the 3 in the NBA every season. I believe that. I’m also in the camp that Stewart improved 3-point shooting to finish last season and is here to stay in the summer league. Some might say that Bagley should start at the top of the levers, and I get it. However, it’s probably the most balanced and spacious lineup Detroit can toss out there right now.

Which role player do you think is the biggest leap this season?

It’s Lever or Stewart, if not both. As mentioned above, Livers is going to be a deadeye shooter throughout his career. He has done it on every level so far. he was too very Defensively good in the summer league – knowing where to be, turns, etc. He’s a Dwayne Casey-type player. I would be stunned if he is not in rotation throughout the season. As for Stewart, he proved himself one of the big guys to make the better switch in the league last year. What he leaves in shape as a rim defender forces perimeter players into tough shots. At the other end of the floor, adding consecutive 3-balls will make it difficult for him to get off the floor. He’s not the best lob threat of the pistons, and he needs to improve as a finisher around the rim. But if he turns out to be a legitimate 3-point shooter in decent amounts—a hill I’m prepared to die on—that opens up a lot of avenues for better offensive output for the pistons overall.

Team position goal by the end of 2022-23: Play-in tournament team gives them life

(Top photo of Cade Cunningham: Rick Osantowski / USA Today)

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