After winning the first overall pick in the NBA Draft lottery, the Detroit Pistons have put themselves in a great position to land the next big star in the NBA. With all signs pointing to them selecting star guard Cade Cunningham, it seems as though the Pistons would actually be better off drafting Jalen Suggs.
That may come as surprise, but given the season he just had at Gonzaga there is a lot of upside to the Pistons drafting this high-flying clutch guard. Especially with the way he supercharged the Bulldogs scoring attack and made them the most exciting transition offense in college basketball. Having said all this, let’s take an in-depth look at the two reasons the Pistons must draft Jalen Suggs over Cade Cunningham.
He might’ve been the most overlooked prospect coming out of high school, but he definitely took the NCAA by storm this season as a breakout star on a Gonzaga team that was one win away from a perfect season and a national championship. Suggs’ clutch scoring and consistently dominant two-way play all throughout March Madness was the driving force behind the fast paced play of the Gonzaga Bulldogs.
Granted Suggs may not have a huge superstar ceiling, but that’s why he may be the perfect fit with the Pistons. He’s a selfless combo guard that would build great on-court chemistry with their franchise cornerstones in Jerami Grant and Saddiq Bey. Suggs could also elevate the games of Grant and Bey which would transform the Pistons culture in a major way. Plus with his national championship game experience he could bring a winning mentality and an elite work ethic to a franchise that’s been in a playoff funk for the past six seasons.
Adding Jalen Suggs to a rotation that includes Jerami Grant, Saddiq Bey, Hamidou Diallo, Mason Plumlee, Josh Jackson, Wayne Ellington, and Jahlil Okafor would turn the Pistons into an elite transition team. With the perfect combination of facilitating, scoring, rebounding, and being able to guard multiple positions, Suggs is the exactly the type of young talent that this team needs to elevate into the playoff mix.
His continual knack for making everyone around him better is what will propel the Pistons to the next level and bring out the best in Bey while turning Grant into a full fledged all-star. Suggs not having a huge all-star potential is the reason he would make a better fit for the young core they currently have in place. He would be a self-less team player who’s a great locker room presence that would help Dwyane Casey mold this squad into a force to be reckoned with in the eastern conference.
In conclusion, fans and media everywhere may be scratching their heads at the idea of the Pistons making this move on NBA Draft night, but it is a move that will pay more dividends for them in the long haul than drafting Cade Cunningham.
He may not develop into the all-star that Cade Cunningham is bound to become, but he could provide a certain kind of spark and brand of leadership that hasn’t been seen on this team since Chauncey Billups was running the point for them. Drafting Jalen Suggs gives them a stronger chance of making the playoffs and building a winning culture in Detroit that’s been long overdue.