Detroit Pistons: 2021 NBA Draft Lottery win caps off perfect tank job

(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /
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Detroit Pistons, Saddiq Bey
(Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) /


While free agency was great, Weaver and the Detroit Pistons built their core through the draft. Despite only entering the draft with the seventh and 38th pick, the Pistons left with three building blocks.

With their own pick, the Pistons selected point guard Killian Hayes out of the German league. Unfortunately, Hayes suffered a hip injury limiting him to only 26 games. In those games, Hayes did have flashes of what he can become.

He is already a skilled passer and defender who excels at setting up teammates. He will need to be more assertive in scoring the ball to unlock his full potential as a lead guard. This should come with time, as he already showed growth during his shortened season.

The Pistons acquired an additional first-round pick through a sign and trade, with Houston giving up last year’s breakout star Christian Wood. The move was controversial at the time as many fans wanted to resign Wood, a core of Grant and Wood would have likely put the Pistons in the same position as before: not good enough to win a playoff series and not bad enough to secure a game-changing prospect in the draft.

With that pick, the Pistons selected Isaiah Stewart considered a “traditional” center out of Washington. Stewart showed those traditional center skills leading all rookies in rebounds and blocks, but he showed much more than that. He shot a solid 33.3% from three and had the quickness to switch on the perimeter.

Stewart endeared himself to the fan base with his hustle and fearlessness, antagonizing veterans such as Demarcus Cousins and Dwight Howard. Stewart will continue to be a leader for the Detroit Pistons as his grit and toughness perfectly embody the city and Detroit Pistons teams of the past.

Weaver wasn’t done yet, trading Luke Kennard on an expiring contract for Saddiq Bey. Bey, along with Stewart, was selected for the All-Rookie team. Bey was well deserving for this award as he played lights out from day one.

He shot lights out from the three-point line all season with a great 38% on good volume. He ended the season with the third-most threes in a season by a rookie behind Donovan Mitchell and Damian Lillard despite playing in a shortened season.

Bey is still working on creating his own shot but grew in that aspect as the season progressed. Bey already could be a good starter on a playoff team, but the Pistons will be working to unlock his potential to be a star.