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Detroit Pistons: 4 bold predictions for the 2021-22 NBA season

Pistons, Cade Cunningham

The Detroit Pistons had the second-worst record in the NBA last season at 20-52. With that, they were able to secure the first overall pick of this year’s draft and selected Cade Cunningham

Now, Detroit has kept most of their key players from the 2020-2021 season, including Jerami Grant, Kilian Hayes, Saben Lee, Isaiah Stewart and Saddiq Bey. They also added Kelly Olynk, who should be a nice addition to a young team.

Detroit Pistons Predictions For 2021-22 NBA Season

4. The Pistons will miss the playoffs but will be much better than a year ago

The Pistons will struggle this year, but it won’t be nearly as bad of a year as it was in 2020-21.

They have kept their young core, and the addition of Cade and Olynk can surprise a few teams this year. The issue is the East got much better this offseason and while the Pistons did improve, they aren’t at the same caliber as the rest of the Eastern Conference.

Expect the Pistons to be better, but they aren’t ready for the postseason just yet.

3. Cade Cunningham wins NBA Rookie of the Year and Luka Garza makes the All-Rookie team with him

All eyes will be on Cade from the first minute he steps on the court. Cunningham was one of the best prospects the world has seen out of college in the past 10 years. He is an above-average player on both sides of the ball, averaging 20.1 points per game on 43.8% shooting from the field and 40% from 3-point range for the Oklahoma State Cowboys.

In the Las Vegas Summer League, Cade put up 18.7 points and 5.7 rebounds while averaging 1.7 steals per game.

Cade is a 6-foot-8 athletic guard that is going to make an immediate impact in the NBA. He will have the ball in his hands most of the time on the court, which will help his Rookie of the Year résumé.  If Cade stays healthy throughout the year, he should win the award.

The future of the Pistons franchise is on the shoulders of Cunningham. After all, he was a Consensus All-American and was the Big 12 Rookie of the Year and the Big 12 Player of the Year.

Meanwhile, Luka Garza was one of the steals of the draft. He had one of the best careers in a long time at Iowa. Moreover, it is worth noting that he has lost over 30-plus pounds and has looked much quicker.

Garza is a talented offensive player who is improving on the defensive end of the floor. If Garza gets the minutes he could possibly get, there is a good chance he can sneak onto the All-Rookie team. Garza was picked at 52nd in this year’s draft and after the Pistons saw his potential and the work he put in during the offseason, they decided to give him a full-time roster spot.

2. Jerami Grant will be traded before the trade deadline

As mentioned, the Pistons will struggle. With that, they will be in a position to sell.

At the deadline, there is even a chance they start tanking. Trading Jerami Grant might not seem like something the organization wants to do, but it might be in their best interest. No contending team is going to hang up the phone in a trade that revolving around Grant for draft picks.

Grant can be a starter on every team in the NBA. Perhaps we even see a trade happen sometime soon. There is still a big question on what the situation with the Philadelphia 76ers is when it comes to Ben Simmons. The Sixers want a big package, but if Detroit can send Grant and another player while getting back draft picks, they might think about moving him.

It is a move that would cater more towards their future. This trade isn’t as likely as many other possible trade rumors, but it is possible if Detroit wants to continue focusing on the future and get a good return of picks back for a star player.

Grant recently had his best season and the Pistons could sell high.

1. Dwayne Casey will get Coach of the Year votes.

The Pistons may have a shot at making the play-in tournament this year. They will either come close or fall short of that mark. Dwayne Casey won’t have enough wins this year to win his second Coach of the Year award, but he will finish with some votes due to the improvement the team will make.

Detroit has one of the brightest futures in the NBA, especially with the young talent it has. They only won 20 games a year ago, but if the Pistons can improve with 10-15 more wins, there is a chance Casey can win this award and there is no question that he will get votes.