Detroit Pistons: 3 Things to be thankful for this Thanksgiving

(Photo by Harry Langer/DeFodi Images via Getty Images)
(Photo by Harry Langer/DeFodi Images via Getty Images) /

Despite the likely upcoming struggles, there is plenty to be thankful for this year when it comes to the Detroit Pistons.

The Troy Weaver era with the Detroit Pistons started with a bang. Weaver has been incredibly active, making trades and signings left and right. Moves such as trading away Luke Kennard and Bruce Brown indicate that the Pistons will be extremely bad next year.

The Young Core

Entering the draft, the Detroit Pistons only held the seventh pick. Using cap space and Kennard, the Pistons were able to turn that into three top 20 picks. With those picks, the Pistons selected Killian Hayes, Isaiah Stewart, and Saddiq Bey.

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Hopefully, these prospects will be the core of the roster heading forward. Hayes has a tremendous upside with his shot creation and pick and roll ability and could end up being a star or high-end starter. Bey and Stewart are high floor prospects; with them, you know you will get good defense and players who will do their role on offense. Additionally, all these rookies are known to have great character and can form a great culture built around defense and hard work, perfect for Detroit.

In addition to the rookies, there are other players still trying to reach their protentional.  Sekou Doumbouya was the youngest player in the NBA last year and had some outstanding games that he started. He is a strong contender for a sophomore leap with more seasoning.

Svi Mykhailiuk is a 23-year-old sharpshooter with size who showed flashes of shot creation and improved defense. Josh Jackson and Jahlil Okafor are young, former top-five selections who have had stretches of really good play. There is definite hope all of these players could turn into viable NBA options.

Veterans to mentor them

All the young players on the roster are great, but they will need experienced players to teach them how to succeed in the NBA. Blake Griffin and Derrick Rose are true professionals with several All-NBA teams on their resume. Jerami Grant is a great 3 and D player who can defend multiple positions and has the upside to grow into a better scorer.

Mason Plumlee is definitely overpaid, but he will be greatly beneficial as a role man with Killian Hayes. Finally, there is Wayne Ellington, who will provide great spacing for Hayes drives and is another great locker room preference. Overall, the veterans on the roster should provide great leadership for the young guys, and some might even be flipped for additional assets at the trade deadline.

There is a plan

The issue with the Pistons the past decade is there hasn’t been a plan to become a championship contender. They have been hanging out in the 8-10 seed constantly, never winning a playoff game, much less a series, and never good enough to get a great draft pick. That clearly changed quickly with the Weaver regime.

The plan clearly seems to be to tank to get a high draft pick in the loaded 2021 draft, and hopefully, acquire a superstar level talent. The large contracts given to Mason Plumlee and Jerami Grant seem to contradict this, but it is not the case.

With the new lottery odds, there is not a huge advantage to having the worst overall record as shown by the last two first overall picks going to more middle of the pack teams in Minnesota and New Orleans.

The Pistons should have a good chance and a top pick and not endure all the culture and locker room issues by completely bottoming out.

Plus, with Blake Griffin’s contract coming off the books in 2022, the Pistons will have a max contract spot available to attract potential free agents. Detroit isn’t a free agency destination, but at the end of the day, money talks, and players aren’t likely to turn down max money.

On top of that, in 2022, Grant will be the only player on the team making over 10 million dollars, so there will be space to surround the max player with talent. With their clean cap, upcoming draft picks, and player development, the Pistons have a clear path to improvement.

Nearly assuredly, the Detroit Pistons will not be good next year, but that does not mean there are not things to be thankful for. There is a lot of genuine excitement out of the Pistons fanbase heading into the year.

Fans should be incredibly excited to watch the development of young players like Hayes and Dembouya over the course of the season as they hopefully develop into cornerstone players.

3 things to be thankful for this Thanksgiving. dark. Next

What might be the most exciting will be watching college superstars like Cade Cunningham and Evan Mobley tear it up and picturing them as fits next to the Pistons’ core. No matter what you want to watch, there is finally hope for the Detroit Pistons, and that is definitely something to be thankful for.