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Detroit Pistons rumors, top trade & free-agent targets for 2021 NBA offseason

Check in here for the latest Detroit Pistons rumors as they enter a pivotal offseason with a high lottery pick, a solid core and a strong coach leading the way.

Any Detroit Pistons rumors or trade possibilities that come through the NBA offseason pipeline are potential sources for hope for a franchise that has a long way to go to field a competitive team.

But not all is lost in the Motor City. Dwane Casey is a former NBA Coach of the Year, Jerami Grant just finished second for the league’s Most Improved Player award, and Saddiq Bey and Isaiah Stewart showed promise as rookies last season despite having little to play for on a 20-52 squad.

Let’s take a look at the latest Pistons rumors, outline some trade scenarios, and break down some key players they could target this offseason to supplement the high lottery pick they’re about to get for the 2021 NBA Draft.

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Detroit Pistons rumors: Multiple teams to push for Hamidou Diallo

Apr 26, 2021; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Detroit Pistons guard Hamidou Diallo (6) takes a free throw during the fourth quarter against the Atlanta Hawks at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

At the 2021 NBA trade deadline, Hamidou Diallo found himself going from the Oklahoma City Thunder to Detroit. Best known for winning the Slam Dunk Contest in 2019, Diallo has quietly developed into a fine foundational player.

The problem? Diallo is a restricted free agent. According to The Athletic’s James L. Edwards III, “there will be a few teams making a serious run at Diallo” this summer.

Diallo only turns 23 in July and has the chance with the Pistons to play a much more significant role than he did in Oklahoma City.

If you look at his per 36-minute numbers in 20 games with Detroit, Diallo posted 17.3 points and 8.3 rebounds per contest, shooting 39% from 3-point range on 3.2 average attempts on those splits.

Should that perimeter efficiency hold, Diallo is a potential revelation and another great building block for the future. It’ll be interesting to see if anyone puts in a significant offer sheet for him this summer, because that’ll be a huge decision for the Pistons front office to make.

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Detroit Pistons trade scenarios for 2021 NBA offseason

Josh Jackson is worth dealing for assets

Detroit Pistons trade scenarios for 2021 NBA offseason
Apr 29, 2021; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Detroit Pistons guard Josh Jackson (20) gets defended by Dallas Mavericks forward Tim Hardaway Jr. (11) during the third quarter at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Because Detroit is bound to get backcourt help through the draft, should retain Diallo, and due to the fact that Jackson isn’t proficient enough on offense to be a starting-caliber player, the Pistons should absolutely trade him if they can.

Jackson was the fourth overall pick in the 2017 draft and just hasn’t lived up to that billing. He’s a career 29.8% 3-point shooter, and for a team like Detroit that needs better perimeter shooting, Jackson’s development in that area can’t wait any longer.

Any squad that needs a versatile perimeter defender with upside would likely take a flier on Jackson in a trade. Although he’s still on a cheap contract, that’s part of Jackson’s appeal, as the Pistons could flip him for either draft capital or a similarly-priced, younger guard who can score from the outside.

Potential Jackson suitors who’d make a lot of sense and could offer something strong to Detroit in return are the Boston Celtics, Washington Wizards, Los Angeles Lakers and Dallas Mavericks.

Related: 2021 NBA mock draft – Top prospects, top landing spots

Trading top lottery pick for an established star

2021 NBA Mock Draft: Cade Cunningham
Dec 5, 2020; Stillwater, Oklahoma, USA; Oklahoma State Cowboys guard Cade Cunningham (2) during the game against the Oakland Golden Grizzlies at Gallagher-Iba Arena. Mandatory Credit: Rob Ferguson-USA TODAY Sports

The Pistons could always sacrifice whichever high pick they get in the 2021 NBA Draft for a proven player, as opposed to someone coming out of college. That is, unless they get the top pick and have a crack at Cade Cunningham, but even then, this possibility can’t be off the table.

General manager Troy Weaver doesn’t view anyone in the incoming draft class to be a franchise-changing player, per the team’s official website:

“Definitely star potential in the top five. Franchise changing? I don’t see any Shaqs or LeBrons in the draft. But some pretty talented players that will hopefully be someone we can add to the group and push us forward. We’ll be excited to make the choice wherever we land.”

Weaver does want to build in-house, but Detroit’s premium draft asset is one way to bring in a potential All-Star to give the organization some juice. Having a mentor for 2020 lottery guard Killian Hayes wouldn’t be the worst thing either, particularly if he’s still viewed as the primary cornerstone to build around.

Based on the current personnel in the Pistons’ projected rotation, they could try to pull off a sign-and-trade scenario for someone like Victor Oladipo or Lonzo Ball.

It’d be hard for Miami or New Orleans to turn down such a high draft choice for one of those players, given that Oladipo is coming off an injury and Ball is a questionable fit for the Pelicans now that “Point Zion” is a thing.

Top Detroit Pistons free-agent targets this summer

  • Tim Hardaway Jr., guard, Dallas Mavericks
  • Malik Monk, guard, Charlotte Hornets (restricted)
  • Austin Rivers, guard, Denver Nuggets

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