Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.
The Eastern Echo Wednesday, June 12, 2024 | Print Archive
The Eastern Echo

Detroit Pistons Logo

Opinion: The Detroit Pistons’ future looks bright

Eastern Echo Sports Columnist Caleb Burlingame highlights the 2021 Pistons roster and how the upcoming draft plus free agency could make them contenders.

In my two year tenure at The Echo, I have written far too many articles bashing Detroit sports and crying about how all they do is lose. While it is true that Detroit doesn’t have any majorly good sports teams currently, they are all looking to be on the upswing. This is most true with the Pistons, a team that hasn’t seen a playoff series win since 2008.

The Pistons have been rebuilding for a very long time and have failed to put together a competent roster time and time again. However, this year is different. Yes, Detroit is bottom of the Eastern Conference, but they are full of young talent and will possess a top three pick in this year’s loaded NBA Draft. Their young core of Killian Hayes, Jerami Grant, Saddiq Bey, Isaiah Stewart, Hami Diallo, Josh Jackson, and Dennis Smith Jr. are all showing high promise and will flourish by as early as next year.

Last night I watched the Pistons dominate the Sacramento Kings, and in that game, Killian Hayes looked confident for the first time this season. Stewart dropped 16 points and had 13 rebounds, and Bey had 12 points. This team is full of youth and potential, and once they get rid of Blake Griffin’s contract, they’ll have a huge load of room to sign free agents. And as I said before, they’ll still most likely grab a top three pick in this year’s draft.

If you look into the said upcoming draft, you’ll see that everyone in the top three is looking like franchise players. Cade Cunningham out of Oklahoma State has shined all year and is the consensus No. 1 pick at this moment in time. He could run anywhere between the point guard and the small forward and would push the Pistons into the stratosphere. Evan Mobley out of USC has also shown to be an NBA talent and has even been compared to the likes of Laker star Anthony Davis. He would combine with Isaiah Stewart to make a disgustingly good front court for the Pistons. 

And even if the Pistons can’t snag Cunningham or Mobley, they’ll be able to choose from Jalen Suggs out of Gonzaga, Jalen Green out of the G-League, or Jonathon Kuninga (also out of the G-League). Any one of those players would be a fantastic upgrade out of the draft and make me excited to be a Pistons fan. Our new general manager Troy Weaver has shown to be great at making strong trades, and I have no doubt he’ll pick the right guy for Detroit.

Once the Pistons build their young core after the draft, free agents will start to flock. I don’t see us getting someone like Kevin Durant, but a star could be on the way very soon with how much cap space we’ll have. I think Weaver will sign good acquisitions and hopefully not waste too much money on role players.

I’m not saying the Pistons are going to be the 2022 NBA Champions. Heck, they might not win one for another 10 years. But if they play their cards right, get a high pick in this draft, and go grab some studs in free agency, Detroit will be a monster in the Eastern Conference. Pray to the NBA lottery gods that we get a top three pick because it just might make us relevant again.