Detroit Pistons Draft: For once, trading down in the draft makes no sense

Piston Powered

Aside from writing for Piston Powered, I also drive for a food delivery service. Considering my unwavering sports fandom, I opt to listen to 97.1 The Ticket instead of music on my long drives. Unfortunately, they spend a majority of their airtime talking about the Detroit Lions, and Detroit Pistons’ content is often lacking.

A frequent topic of discussion surrounding Lions’ football is if Detroit should trade out of their 2021 seventh overall pick in search of even more draft capital. And for the Lions’ situation, it makes a lot of sense. In the NBA, a top ten pick is one of the most valuable assets a franchise can have, and teams that trade out of them are often ostracized on Twitter for years.

Anyone who thinks the Detroit Pistons should trade down to get even more picks hasn’t been paying attention. In year’s past it might have made sense, but now, the Pistons have a trio of young players to build around, and an ascending star in Jerami Grant, so they could be on the verge of something special. 

Short of being offered an established franchise player with many years left on their contract, the Detroit Pistons should not even consider trading their pick. Unless they are offered Anthony Davis, LeBron James, or Damian Lillard-type player the Pistons would be astoundingly stupid to trade the pick.

Detroit Pistons: The 2021 NBA Draft is full of potential stars

I’m not sold on Cade Cunningham, but he, Suggs, Green, Mobley, and Kuminga are all potential franchise players who would hopefully be in a Detroit Pistons’ uniform for over a decade.

Passing up that opportunity for anything short of a top ten player on a long-term contract would be asinine. Detroit does have three second-round picks, and those could maybe be packaged off for a solid player or to move into the first round. However, Detroit would have to be the clear winner of that trade to pull the trigger, and short of a league-altering trade, the first-round pick will stay in Detroit.

Basketball is not football. Typically, teams only have two picks per draft, and parting with them has to require a real offer. Trading for Hamidou Diallo resulted in sending the 2027 second-round pick to Oklahoma City, but that was for a talented and proven young player with a fairly high ceiling. Also, by 2027, hopefully, the Pistons will be in contention and won’t miss a late draft pick.

Anyone who thinks trading the first-round pick for anything short of Lillard or Klay Thompson (if he never got injured, not an option now) either doesn’t watch basketball or just straight up hates the Detroit Pistons. If trading early picks sounds like a good idea, go watch the Lions. They play a sport where that’s acceptable.

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