The Pistons‘ offseason decisions will be heavily influenced by what happens with the NBA’s salary cap, writes James L. Edwards III of The Athletic. Originally projected at $116MM, there have been rumors that the cap for next season could remain at $109MM. That would limit the flexibility for Detroit, which has just four players under contract beyond this year.
That number will likely grow when Tony Snell exercises his $12.178MM player option, Edwards notes, and second-year guards Bruce Brown and Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk are expected to be brought back for $1.6MM each, along with Khyri Thomas. That would leave the Pistons with a seven-man roster at roughly $76MM, giving the team nearly $30MM in cap room.
The top priority will be re-signing Christian Wood, who blossomed as a star after the trade of Andre Drummond. If a depressed market allows Detroit to keep Wood at a reasonable price — Edwards estimates around $12MM per year — the team could have enough left to make a serious run at Toronto guard Fred VanVleet. The downside, Edwards points out, is that the Pistons would have to fill out the roster with just a $4.8MM mid-level exception and minimum contracts.
There’s more from Detroit:
- Derrick Rose is likely to be moved sometime before next year’s trade deadline, Edwards adds in a mailbag column. It depends on Rose maintaining his health and high level of play after he turns 32 in October, but Edwards notes that the veteran guard is only under contract for one more year and Detroit doesn’t look like a playoff contender next season.
- There’s little chance the Pistons would consider an early termination of coach Dwane Casey, even though the organization is in a far different position than when he was hired two years ago, observes Omari Sankofa II of The Detroit Free Press. Casey seems to have accepted the challenge of a rebuild, just as he did in Toronto. He was also involved in the interview process that led to the hiring of new general manager Troy Weaver. “Dwane Casey is the rock of the organization,” senior advisor Arn Tellem said in a recent radio interview. “We were lucky to get him a couple of years ago when we went through this search. He’s a true leader of this organization.”
- Weaver penned a message to Pistons fans on the team’s website, discussing his decision to leave Oklahoma City and his long relationship with Tellem while acknowledging, “We have work to do to make the roster better.”