The Pistons didn’t have the “loud and exciting” free agency that some fans were anticipating, but they’ve added veteran depth to their young roster, according to James L. Edwards of The Athletic, who notes that former lottery picks like Marvin Bagley III, James Wiseman, and Killian Hayes project to be low enough on the depth chart that they’ll have to earn their minutes.
Edwards does believe that all three of Bagley, Wiseman, and Hayes are candidates to be traded before or during the 2023/24 season. While more established veterans like Bojan Bogdanovic or Alec Burks could theoretically be moved too, none of the public statements made by general manager Troy Weaver about the team’s roster suggests that’s in the cards at this point, Edwards writes.
Here’s more from around the Central:
- The Cavaliers‘ 2023 offseason hasn’t been as splashy as in 2022, when the club acquired Donovan Mitchell. However, the team has accomplished virtually everything it set out to do by lining up deals to add a starting-caliber wing (Max Strus), a frontcourt shooter (Georges Niang), and a reserve center (Damian Jones), says Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com. The club also re-signed its own top free agent, Caris LeVert, and will bring in a player Koby Altman has targeted in the past: Ty Jerome. Cleveland tried to sign Jerome to a two-way contract a year ago, per Fedor, but he joined Golden State instead.
- The Cavaliers announced minor some changes within their front office, having promoted Brendon Yu to be the team’s director of scouting. Yu previously held the position of Cleveland Charge general manager, a role that will be taken over by Liron Fanan, the first female G League GM in team history.
- Some of the top forwards on the free agent market – including Harrison Barnes and Kyle Kuzma – may have used the Pacers‘ interest as leverage to get better deals with their own teams, notes Dustin Dopirak of The Indianapolis Star. Still, even if it wasn’t Indiana’s Plan A in free agency, Bruce Brown and Obi Toppin represent solid additions who won’t necessarily compromise the team’s financial flexibility beyond 2023/24, as Dopirak details.
- Besides being able to play both forward spots and defend multiple positions, Torrey Craig will also bring some much-needed shooting to the Bulls, writes Darnell Mayberry of The Athletic. As Mayberry observes, Chicago has ranked dead last in the NBA in each of the two seasons. Craig, who agreed to a two-year deal with the team, made a career-best 39.5% of his attempts from beyond the arc last season.