The Detroit Pistons are going to have a busy offseason.
I agree with Jerami Grant that the Pistons could do “something big” next season but it starts will having a productive offseason.
The Pistons need to nail their first round draft pick (wherever it ends up), find some more veteran talent and hope for big leaps in development from their rookies.
Their priorities in the draft should mainly be to find more impact talent at any position, as they are still not good enough to worry about fit.
They can smooth those wrinkles in free agency. Detroit has never been a big time free agent destination, so you can forget about guys like Kawhi Leonard, but there is a lower tier in which the Pistons can still find impact talent.
Some of these players will be restricted free agents, which means the Pistons would have to make them an offer that their current team refuses to match. This often means overpaying for guys, which Detroit might not be willing to do at this stage in their franchise rebuild.
But if they can find the right guy at the right price, they might be able to steal a RFA and still get a bargain, especially if their current team doesn’t have much interest in keeping them.
How much money money are the Detroit Pistons going to have to spend? Let’s take a look.
Detroit Pistons: How much cap space will the Pistons have in 2021-22?
The exact amount the Pistons will have to spend can fluctuate wildly depending on a number of factors. This has been a hot topic of debate on Pistons’ Twitter and everyone seems to be able to find a source that supports their point of view.
I think Pistons’ beat writer Keith Langlois did a good job of breaking it down here.
Essentially, the Pistons will have around $20 million in cap space if they don’t pick up Cory Joseph’s contract (they won’t), don’t make a qualifying offer to Dennis Smith Jr. (they shouldn’t) and let Rodney McGruder walk (they will).
However, the cap hold for a top-five pick (which the Pistons will hopefully have) could eat up half of that and then you have the issue of Frank Jackson and Hamidou Diallo.
In other words, there are too many moving parts to really project the Pistons’ cap number but it could be anywhere from 0-12 million depending on what they do with their own guys.
The Pistons could also make some trades between now and then, so I am looking at restricted free agents who could fit into that $10-12 million per season or less slot.
Troy Weaver could decide to just retain the guys he likes, run it back with a similar team next season and hope to make a big splash after they are out from under all of the dead cap they are currently carrying for Blake Griffin.
Here are three guys the Detroit Pistons could pursue in restricted free agency if they decide to go that route.