Community Shootaround: Pistons’ Future

The team with the league’s worst record was the most active before the trade deadline.

The Pistons reshuffled their roster, though it’s fair to wonder just what all that activity accomplished. It started a few weeks earlier, swapping some backup forwards and draft capital with the Wizards mainly to shed Marvin Bagley Jr.‘s contract.

They also made three trades before Tuesday’s deadline, most notably giving up sharpshooters Bojan Bogdanovic and Alec Burks to the Knicks. Detroit general manager Troy Weaver failed to get a first-round pick in return, instead picking up two second-rounders, a young rotation wing in Quentin Grimes and more future cap space.

A trade with the Jazz netted forward Simone Fontecchio, who scored 20 points in his Pistons debut on Saturday. Outside of Grimes and Fontecchio – and perhaps Troy Brown Jr. – the players they added probably won’t be on next year’s roster.

The Pistons are projected to have $58-$64MM in salary cap space this offseason. The question is ‘What do they do with it?’

There have been rumblings of a reunion with Tobias Harris when the Sixers forward hits free agency but that doesn’t solve Detroit’s fundamental issue – it doesn’t have any superstars.

Cade Cunningham was supposed to be that type of player as the top pick in the 2021 draft. His sophomore season was a washout due to a shin injury. He has posted solid numbers this season but hasn’t played at an All-Star level.

Jaden Ivey and Jalen Duren, the 2022 first-round picks, have shown the ability to be quality starters but haven’t produced on a consistent basis.

A bigger question is whether Cunningham and Ivey can develop true chemistry. Both are more comfortable with the ball in their hands, with Cunningham playing a craftier, more deliberate style while Ivey thrives at a higher pace.

Owner Tom Gores continues to express confidence in Weaver, even though the GM’s four-year rebuilding project has been a colossal failure. Given the team’s activity at the trade deadline, it seems as if Weaver will continue in his role during the offseason.

That brings us to our topic of the day: What should the Pistons do this summer to turn their fortunes around? What players should they target in free agency and trades with their cap space? Should they be patient with the backcourt pairing of Cunningham and Ivey or trade one of them?

Please take to the comments section to weigh on this topic. We look forward to your input.

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