Who should represent the Detroit Pistons at the 2024 NBA Draft Lottery?

Detroit Bad Boys

The 2024 NBA Draft Lottery is now less than a week away. The Detroit Pistons have a lot on the line, holding the league’s worst record, top lottery odds and a guaranteed top-five pick.

Top lottery odds don’t mean much any longer, as they only provide a 14% shot at the No. 1 overall pick. Plus, each of the three worst teams in the league share the same chance at the winning combination.

Nevertheless, someone’s going to win the lottery. Why not the Pistons? Especially after slipping and picking at No. 5 overall in each of the past two years.

The NBA Draft Lottery is such a fun, quirky night to me. Ping pong balls, top accounting firms overseeing a secret drawing, plus team executives and media members sequestered in a single room with the results until the television spectacle revealing the outcome is finished.

The best quirk to me, though, is who lottery teams send to be a part of that television spectacle. Each team’s representative hoping to bring their squad franchise-altering luck.

Specifically who receives the honor as a team’s lottery representative fascinates me. There’s likely a whole lot of nothing behind the scenes in a team’s decision on who they are going to send, but seeing each choice is fun.

So, let’s have some lighthearted fun before we find out the Pistons’ lottery fate.

I tabbed a few candidates the Pistons could send to this year’s lottery, which is slated to air Sunday May 12 at 3:00 p.m. ET on ABC, according to Keith Smith.

Before we look ahead, though, let’s step back into the past. Here’s who the Pistons sent as their representative (where applicable) in each of the past 10 seasons:

The Pistons tapped former players Ben Wallace and Richard Hamilton in recent years. Wallace repped Detroit as they won the 2021 lottery and went on to select now franchise-pillar Cade Cunningham.

Before that, it was a mix of current general managers and players. When Luke Kennard was at the lottery in 2018, the Pistons had a 97.5% chance of losing their first-round pick through the Blake Griffin trade with the Los Angeles Clippers. Kennard wasn’t there for much, as the Pistons didn’t find a miracle and lost their pick.

My personal favorite on the list is former Piston Kyle Singler, but Detroit didn’t keep its pick in 2014 either due to protections in a trade that shipped the pick to the Charlotte Hornets.

This year, the Pistons are guaranteed to keep their top-five pick, though, unless they include it in a trade later on. The upcoming draft class doesn’t feature a top prospect anything close to last year’s No. 1 overall pick Victor Wembanyama, limiting suspense for this year’s lottery results.

But, the Pistons still have as good a shot as anyone to win it, so who’s the best choice to represent Detroit and bring some luck in the 2024 NBA Draft Lottery?

Cade Cunningham

2021 NBA Draft

Photo by Melanie Fidler/NBAE via Getty Images

Cade is THE choice. He’s probably the only choice. Who better to represent the Pistons on national television and find some lottery luck than the only player (and probably person, too) we’re certain is a part of the organization’s future?

A number of team’s tap their young stars or core players as their lottery reps. Last year, Tyrese Haliburton was on stage for the Pacers, Mark Williams for the Hornets, Collin Sexton for the Jazz and Dalen Terry for the Bulls. The Pistons elected to tap legends in over recent years, but now seems like the perfect time to flip the switch and hope Cunningham brings some good juju.

Ben Wallace

2023 NBA Draft Lottery

Photo by Kamil Krzaczynski/NBAE via Getty Images

Wallace is a given on this list. He was the face for Detroit in two of the last three lotteries, which included securing the No. 1 pick in 2021 and the right to draft Cunningham. After falling to No. 5 in the 2022 lottery, where Hamilton was on stage, Wallace was tapped back in for more luck. Well, we all know how that turned out. Although the Pistons owned the worst record in the league, they lost the Wemby sweepstakes and slipped to No. 5 yet again.

It’s probably time to look elsewhere for lottery luck, as we saw that Wallace isn’t the team’s true rabbit’s foot in 2023, but he keeps his spot on this list until we know which direction the Pistons choose to go in.

The New Head of Basketball Operations

Alright, this one’s a big if, because the Pistons likely won’t have a new executive in place in time for the lottery. But, if they do make a hire before the lottery, what better way to signify change is here than putting the new lead executive on the lottery stage?

Unfortunately, that’s highly unlikely because it doesn’t appear there’s an immediate hire on the horizon. Omari Sankofa II of the Detroit Free Press reported Sunday that some candidates the Pistons wish to interview are or were in the midst of playoff runs and are waiting for those runs to end before requesting interview permissions. Sankofa also mentioned that the Pistons’ interviewee pool should grow over the next two weeks as the playoffs move further along.

So, the new head of basketball operations likely won’t even know they will be leading the organization when the Pistons hear their fate on lottery night. But, if the new HOBO (gosh, I hate that acronym) was already hired, that person may even make more sense as a lottery rep than Cunningham.

Blake Griffin

Detroit Pistons v Boston Celtics

Photo by Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images

I had to pull one name out of left field before we get out of here.

To be clear, I don’t think there’s any shot the Pistons tap in the newly retired Griffin to be their face for the lottery. It would be cool, though, right?

We’ve seen Detroit look to franchise legends in the past. Although Griffin didn’t win a championship with the team like Wallace or Hamilton, he deserves his name in the ‘Pistons legend’ conversation.

We haven’t seen any association between Griffin and the organization since the two reached a buyout agreement in 2021, which allowed Griffin to become a free agent and sign with a contending team. But, he played some of his best basketball in a Pistons uniform, so now that he’s fully retired, why not?

Who are you hoping to see as the Pistons’ 2024 NBA Draft Lottery representative?

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