DETROIT — General manager Troy Weaver has already made it clear that the Detroit Pistons are unlikely to be as active in the trade market as they were last season.
It would be nearly impossible to accomplish that feat anyway, given that Weaver overturned nearly the entire roster last fall. The checklist is much smaller this summer, as the front office believes internal development is the clearest path to the playoffs next spring.
But the Pistons own three second-round picks in the 2021 NBA draft, which will take place on July 29. Since they also have the No. 1 pick, it’s unlikely that they will add four additional rookies to the roster, as they did in the 2020 draft. They likely won’t have enough spots after taking care of their free agents, and the roster is already young. It wouldn’t be surprising to see the Pistons consolidate their second-rounders to move up and acquire an additional first-round pick.
It’s common for contending teams at the bottom of the first round to move down, due to the increased flexibility that comes with second-round picks. (All first-round picks receive guaranteed deals; second-rounders don’t.) They can sell the picks, use them to sign players to two-way contracts or minimum deals, or select draft-and-stash overseas prospects.
Weaver has already signaled that the Pistons will be open for business on draft night. And Weaver was aggressive on draft night last year, finding Isaiah Stewart, Saddiq Bey and Saben Lee outside of the lottery. There’s no reason to think he’ll be more conservative the second time around, even with fewer holes to fill. Here are three trades the Pistons could pursue to net an additional first-rounder.
Trade 1: Pistons receive No. 29 pick; Phoenix Suns receive Nos. 37, 42
This one is pretty straightforward, as it doesn’t involve any players, and thus no salary numbers to…