Most teams in the lottery of the NBA Draft are looking to get younger, going on a long rebuilding process with the hopes of becoming a contender down the road.
However, every once in a while, you get a team like the Boston Celtics this year, who are already a quasi-contender and still hold a high draft pick. The Celtics, picking first in the draft on June 22, will likely add Washington’s Markelle Fultz to a roster that already qualified for the NBA’s Eastern Conference Finals.
Like Boston, usually these are picks acquired years and years ago at a time when their other draft partner was either short-sighted or drastically overvalued the future prospects of their team.
One team in the lottery is reportedly not fitting into either of these molds, according to Marc Stein, who is still breaking news for ESPN.
The Detroit Pistons are apparently willing to part with their first-round pick, which is the 12th overall pick in the draft, in exchange for some veteran help.
With the 12th pick, the Pistons are probably looking at settling for a prospect such as Zach Collins of Gonzaga, Donovan Mitchell of Louisville or Justin Jackson of North Carolina.
Detroit is coming off an extremely disappointing 37-45 season, finishing in 10th place in the Eastern Conference, four games behind the Chicago Bulls for the eighth playoff spot in the bracket.
This after the team finished 44-38 in 2015-16, making the playoffs and playing the Cleveland Cavaliers tough in four games before the Cavs wrapped up their first championship three rounds later.
Not only did Detroit make the playoffs last season, but coach Stan Van Gundy’s team also appeared to be a team on the rise, with youth in abundance of its entire core.
Players such as Andre Drummond, Reggie Jackson and Stanley Johnson had Pistons fans excited for another playoff season, and possibly a playoff series victory.
But Drummond’s free throw struggles and bouts with inconsistency continued, Jackson never did get on track after a knee injury delayed the start of his season, and Johnson wasn’t very productive at all in his second season in the league out of Arizona.
Van Gundy, who also is in charge of the front office in Detroit, must sense that his team needs an infusion of leadership, professionalism and consistency instead of another building block piece of young talent.
Because with bounce-back seasons from the trip above, along with solid play from Marcus Morris and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, the Pistons may already have enough talent to become a playoff team in the East again.