Detroit Pistons 2024 NBA offseason preview: Oh, where to begin

Detroit Pistons coach Monty Williams watches against the Chicago Bulls in the second half of an NBA basketball game in Detroit, Thursday, April 11, 2024. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
Very little happened to Monty Williams and Pistons. (AP Photo/Paul Sagna)

Season 2023-24: 14-68

Season highlights: Malachi Flynn He did his best Tony Delk impersonation and scored 50 points in the loss to atlanta hawks On April 3.

Has it really started? after Handing over to Monty Williams $78.5 million To become the franchise’s next head coach, the Pistons’ rebuilding process was expected to improve significantly. After all, the organization was entering its third year Kid Cunningham era, and last year’s 2022 draft yielded good results for the explosive scoring guard Jaden Ivy and Manchild Centre Galen Duren. With Cunningham now healthy after a 12-game campaign, these Pistons are sure to turn heads.

They turned heads, losing 28 straight games and finding themselves at 3-29 as they entered the 2024 calendar year.

Williams has failed to assert himself as a coach who can transition from a winning situation in Phoenix to a rebuilding team, highlighted by the inconsistent playing time he provided to both Ivey and the rookie wing. Osar Thompson. Instead, Williams relied on the former No. 7 overall pick Killian HayesPreferring his defensive style in the match. Hayes was waived after playing 42 games and has yet to join a new team.

Trades followed at the deadline, like the Pistons It acquired 28-year-old Italian sniper Simone Fontecchio As a means of replacement Bojan Bogdanovic And Alec Burkes, who were shipped to New York. The Pistons must enter negotiations with the 6-foot-8 winger this summer, as he is a restricted free agent.

It goes without saying that the Pistons missed the playoffs and will now look to put together a team that won’t rank as the worst in the league next season. They are guaranteed a top-five pick in this year’s draft, but while that may seem like an immediate way to upgrade their roster, this current draft class doesn’t necessarily inspire a lot of confidence.

As such, general manager Troy Weaver cannot rely on a draft pick to save the franchise. He will need to make smart moves in free agency, be aggressive in the trade market, and find a way for Williams and his team to find common ground, in order to better build that relationship. It won’t be easy.

The Pistons are in no position to be satisfied. They ranked 29th in the league in holding the ball, 29th in three-point shooting, and 25th in defensive efficiency. They need a high-scoring winger who can stretch the field and act as a link between Cunningham, Ivey and Doreen, without sacrificing topside. If such a player is not available, high-quality shooting will be taken at the moment, but in multiple positions.

The Pistons have the only active front office opening in the NBA, and this process will set the tone for a great season to come Detroit. For now, ownership has announced that general manager Troy Weaver will remain in the role while the franchise searches for a new president of basketball operations. League staff expects the Pistons to target top-tier executives for the position, dreaming of big names like before the Warriors Sources said the architect was Bob Myers. To expand this group, and ensure the Pistons have a strong candidate for that role, it would be in Detroit’s best interest to wait until the first rounds of the playoffs are over and observe the repercussions that could come from the opposing team’s postseason shortcomings. Depending on what level of executive the Pistons can bring in to work with head coach Monty Williams, the new president is expected to have the authority to remove Weaver from his duties, sources said.

The Pistons could be closing in on $70 million in cap space this summer, as well as their prime prospect for the No. 1 pick in this year’s draft. If there was a team looking to move a top-five pick, it would be Detroit, which is already loaded with lottery picks from recent rebuilding seasons and is approaching a draft that scouts haven’t considered to include a plethora of elite talent. But that dynamic will also make it difficult for any team that selects at the top of this draft to find a trade partner willing to pay a premium to select in that slot. It’s impossible to predict what situations or direction the Pistons will go from there until this new president comes along. But it seems fair to say that the general consensus among NBA talent evaluators is that even with all the misery and loss in Detroit last year, Cade Cunningham proved enough to still be given a punchline to lead the team into playoff contention — as Paolo Banchero in OrlandoLikes Therese Halliburton in Indiana And even like Jalen Green And Alberin Shingon in Houston. -Jake Fisher

It’s hard for any team headed to the top of this category to fall in the middle Victor WembanyamaLast year’s draft class and Cooper Flagg’s class in 2025. The Pistons have invested in young guard talent with Cade Cunningham and last year’s No. 5 pick, Ausar Thompson, and they desperately need some perimeter shooting. Alex Sarr provides that length and versatility as a pick-and-pop big, and Frenchman Zaccharie Risacher is one of the best three-point shooters in this draft class at 6-9 and shooting nearly 40% from deep. -Kristin Beck

Projected draft picks (pre-lottery): No. 1 and No. 51

The Pistons are not short of cash. They will undoubtedly decline the team option Evan FournierSalary is $19 million and he could end up with a good $70 million in available money. They have a Fontecchio contract to deal with, and they need to make a call A wise man. But despite this, they will have plenty of opportunities to go after big fish if they wish.

However, the Pistons are unlikely to attract names like Paul George or Klay Thompson. Instead, the team should use the newer, tougher penalties to give expensive teams a way to eliminate potentially expensive tax bills. The presentation is simple. Detroit will make expensive deals, and their compensation would be a future first-round pick to do so. The longer the contract, the more options you have in return.

Major free agents

Simone Fontecchio (RFA)

James Wiseman (RFA)

The easy answer would be to say, “Come back better,” but for the Pistons, in particular, that’s a bit of a no-brainer. However, as Flagg approaches next season’s draft, the Pistons should try to work from two angles. Instead of evaluating a team’s success by wins, evaluate it by the performance of young players, even if they don’t necessarily make a big jump in the standings. If Cunningham, Ivey, Duren, Thompson and whoever they pick this summer make big gains — while putting the team in Flagg’s way — well, it will all be for the best.

After a 14-win, 28-game losing streak in the NBA, it’s clear that change is overdue. Williams 0.5 seconds Offensive scheme does not workHe is not the right person for this rebuilding team. Getting rid of him could be a challenge as Weaver is still (somehow) employed, as well as the financial obligation attached to Williams. However, change must happen in order for the team to progress.

Williams did a terrible job of managing the development of their young players, and it didn’t get better as the season went on. Fantasy managers will always remember that Hayes started 31 of his 42 games with the franchise over Ivey and Marcus Sasser. Another tank run could prompt Cunningham to look elsewhere when his rookie deal expires. The clock is ticking on D. – Dan Titus

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