Pistons GM Troy Weaver has shown he is willing to take risks with cast-away top picks. He started this in the summer signing Detroit native Josh Jackson and Jahlil Okafor. Then, he swung a deal for former top-10 pick Dennis Smith Jr. The trio has worked out well for Detroit. While they may not be cornerstones, they will certainly be apart of the future.
There are still many like Jackson, Okafor, and Smith in the NBA. A small market and low expectations make the Pistons a perfect landing spot for these types of players. Also, Detroit still has some tradeable veteran assets like Wayne Ellington and Delon Wright. Here are some of these players and what they could add to the team…
Pistons Target #1: Magic PF Aaron Gordon
The oft-snubbed Slam Dunk contestant has garnered interest from many teams, including the Warriors and Pistons. Gordon was the fourth overall pick back in 2014. The Magic saw massive potential with his young age and athleticism. However, Gordon has plateaued in the last three seasons. He has two years remaining on his contract and could benefit from a change of scenery. The Pistons really have nothing like the high-flying 6-foot-8 big man. Gordon would bring rebounding, inside scoring, and tons of exciting dunks to Detroit. ‘
Target #2: Magic C Mo Bamba
Yet another former high Magic pick should be considered by the Pistons. Bamba was the 8th overall pick back in 2018 after a solid showing at Texas. Overshadowed by star Nikola Vucevic, Bamba has only played a mere 14.3 MPG in three seasons. His per-36 numbers are incredible: 16.7 PPG, 14.4 RPG, and 3.3 BPG. Primarily, he scores in the paint. But, he can get a few three-point buckets when needed. Bamba is yet another player the Pistons just do not have. Bamba’s asking price may be higher than Gordon due to the fact he has only played two full seasons with the team. But, the Pistons should call Orlando and try to make a move for the lengthy center.
Target #3: Grizzlies SF Justise Winslow
Back in 2015, Pistons fans were torn: should the team take Arizona standout Stanley Johnson or national champion Dukie Justise Winslow? Stan Van Gundy decided to “form a wall” between us and the playoffs and ultimately drafted Johnson 7th overall. Fully ignoring the fact that the correct pick would’ve been Southfield native Devin Booker, present-day Winslow could be another pickup for Detroit. The 6-year pro was acquired from Miami via trade last season. His scoring is far from what many would thought it would be and he is not the star many thought he would be. But, Winslow makes his impact felt defensively and is another low-risk, high-reward player for the Pistons at just 24 years old.
Ultimately, the Pistons may not make any moves for these players. They obviously have their own problems that have held them back in their careers. As long as Troy Weaver doesn’t give up too much, any of these players would be good for where the Pistons are right now. What if they don’t pan out? Well, that’s more losses and a better shot at the marvelous Cade Cunningham.