Detroit Pistons lock up No. 3 spot in 2022 NBA draft lottery: What you need to know

Detroit Free Press

The Detroit Pistons will again be one of three teams with the top odds to acquire the best prospect this summer.

The Pistons will enter the 2022 NBA draft lottery May 17 in Chicago with a 14% chance to grab the No. 1 pick. The Houston Rockets and Orlando Magic will also have 14% odds, and all three teams will have equal odds at picking No. 2, 3 and 4.

Sunday’s 118-106 loss in Philadelphia gave the Pistons a final record of 23-59 this season, completing their worst three-year run in 40 years, though owner Tom Gores said Friday he feels this rebuild is different from the previous regimes over the past decade.

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The 14 teams that do not make this season’s playoffs are eligible for the lottery, which the Pistons won last June from the second position. They drafted consensus No. 1 Cade Cunningham, a move that is working out just fine.

The 10 teams who have clinched lottery spots: Houston, Orlando, Detroit, Oklahoma City, Indiana, Portland, Sacramento, New Orleans (via L.A. Lakers), Washington and New York. The four teams who lose in this week’s play-in tournament will join the lottery.

The draft currently has a consensus top three among draftniks and those with league intel, though the order will continue to be fluid. Gonzaga power forward/center Chet Holmgren, Auburn power forward Jabari Smith Jr. and Duke power forward Paolo Banchero are all in the conversation to go No. 1, with Purdue guard Jaden Ivey considered the fourth-best prospect by many.

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The Pistons will have a 40.1% chance at landing in the top three and 52.1% odds at picking inside the top four. Their odds at picking Nos. 5-7: 14.8% at No. 5, 26% at No. 6, 7% at No. 7. They cannot pick worse than seventh.

They’ll also have Brooklyn’s pick in the middle of the second round from the Sekou Doumbouya-DeAndre Jordan trade in September.

Pistons general manager Troy Weaver and his staff will get a closer look at some prospects during the draft combine, set for May 16-22 in Chicago.

The draft is June 23 in Brooklyn, New York, once again at the Barclays Center, home of the Nets.

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Weaver, hired in June 2020, has made four first-round picks in his previous two drafts: Killian Hayes at No. 7, Isaiah Stewart at No. 16, Saddiq Bey at No. 19 in 2020; Cunningham No. 1 overall in 2021.

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