The Detroit Pistons have the chance to find their next franchise star in the 2022 NBA Draft. They may have fallen in the draft lottery but still have the fifth overall pick in the draft. Their chances of adding another future star alongside Cade Cunningham are strong.
However, the fifth overall pick offers more than just the chance to find Cunningham’s co-star of the future. It offers a lot of intriguing trade opportunities. The Pistons have a huge trade chip they can use to obtain more draft picks or find a high-level player to add for the foreseeable future, though they are subject to the Stepien Rule.
Although the Pistons may just be best off using the fifth pick to draft someone, they should probe the market to see what kind of offers exist for their pick.
3 best Pistons trades using No. 5 pick in 2022 NBA Draft
3. Moving up
The top three players in this year’s draft, Chet Holmgren, Paolo Banchero and Jabari Smith Jr., are perceived by most onlookers to be a cut above the rest. Moving into the top three may be hard to do but if they truly have their sights set on one of the top players, they should move up in the 2022 NBA Draft to get their man.
In what would be the most likely scenario, the Pistons would trade up to the third pick, which is owned by the Houston Rockets. Detroit would offer their 2022 first-rounder and possibly another future pick. The earliest first-rounder they could send is their 2025 first-rounder. Including that pick would be well worth it if Detroit isn’t set on the next level of prospects after the top-tier guys.
2. Pursuing Dejounte Murray
The Pistons could offer the fifth pick, the 46th overall pick, at least one future first-round pick Hamidou Diallo and Kelly Olynyk in exchange for Dejounte Murray and the 20th pick to the Spurs. Sending future draft capital to San Antonio would be well worth it if they want more.
Prying away Dejounte Murray after he drastically improved his game will be tough to do. The San Antonio Spurs surely and understandably see him as the future of their team. However, the reality is that they are a middle-of-the-pack team and Murray will need a big contract extension soon. Taking their time may be the better route.
The Pistons are in a better situation to win in the short-term thanks to Cunningham, who improved throughout his rookie year and could be a true star as early as next season. They are in a position to try and find a current, young star to pair with him at the expense of draft picks. Murray would be a great partner in the backcourt with Cunningham. He averaged 21.1 points, 9.2 assists, 8.3 rebounds and a league-leading 2.1 steals per game last season.
1. Going for Donovan Mitchell
The Pistons could trade the fifth and 46th overall picks, their 2024 first-round pick and Jerami Grant to the Utah Jazz in exchange for Donovan Mitchell and the Jazz’s 2023 first-round pick. The swapping of future draft picks allows the trade to happen, as the Pistons traded their 2023 first-rounder in the Isaiah Stewart draft-day trade.
The Jazz obtaining a top-five pick would give them a great chance to find their next star. If Jaden Ivey falls, they could land a new uber-athletic scoring guard that could grow into a player of Mitchell’s impact. They could plug Ivey into that spot or flip the pick for a different star while adding a fringe star in Grant.
Giving Cunningham a scorer like Mitchell, who is seventh all-time in points per game in the NBA playoffs and is only 25 years old, is a recipe for success. They could become one of the very best guard tandems in the whole league.