The Detroit Pistons are firmly in the middle of a rebuild, but the 2023-24 season could be the year when they finally begin to emerge from the cellar of the NBA standings. With a collection of young talent continuing to grow together, and a strong veteran supporting cast, the Pistons could be a dark horse contender this upcoming season.

The 2022-23 season went off the rails for Detroit pretty quickly, thanks to Cade Cunningham suffering a season-ending shin injury after playing in just 12 games. Cunningham should be returning to the court at full health for the start of the upcoming season, and will be joined by the fifth overall pick in the 2023 NBA Draft in Ausar Thompson and a collection of talented young players.

Having a lot of young talent is a nice thing, but having veteran depth behind them supporting their growth is crucial. While the Pistons haven't necessarily been the busiest team in the league during the free agency period, they did manage to swing a couple of trades to shore up their depth, so let's look at one particular move Detroit made during the start of free agency that stands out from the rest.

Pistons best move during 2023 NBA free agency: Trading for Monte Morris

Obviously, Pistons fans will be enamored with the addition of Thompson in the draft, as he could be a superstar talent for them. But swinging a trade with the Washington Wizards for Monte Morris was a supremely underrated move for Detroit, and it may end up being one of the best deals of the offseason in the league, not just for Detroit.

Morris is coming off a successful debut season with the Wizards (10.3 PPG, 5.3 APG, 3.4 RPG, 48 FG%, 38.2 3P%) in which he ended up becoming their starting point guard from out of nowhere. Morris doesn't post consistently flashy numbers, but he's a strong secondary ball handler who can come off the bench, initiate offense, and rarely turn the ball over.

There are a lot of reasons to like the addition of Morris here. For starters, he's precisely the player the Pistons need coming off their bench. Detroit already has their backcourt of the future (hopefully) set with Cunningham and Jaden Ivey, but as we saw last season, there's no guarantee that this duo will be able to stay healthy. Having Morris lurk behind them, while also possessing starting experience, is a huge, huge plus for Detroit.

Morris is pretty much everything you want in a point guard coming off the bench. He can score efficiently when he has to, but he also is fantastic at getting his teammates involved too. Morris averaged a career-high 5.3 assists per game with Washington last season, helping lead to breakout seasons for Kristaps Porzingis and Kyle Kuzma.

The hope is that Morris can have a similar impact on the Pistons up-and-coming core. Cunningham and Ivey are solid distributors of the ball themselves, but Detroit is likely going to call on them to handle more of the scoring load moving forward. Morris can get these guys open looks while still finding a way to chip in with a few points from time to time when he's needed to as well.

Beyond Morris' seamless fit with Detroit, the Pistons also managed to acquire him for next to nothing in this deal. All they gave to the Wizards was a 2027 second-round draft pick, which hardly seems fair. Yes, Washington is trying to clear cap space and acquire all the future assets they can, but this deal seems like highway robbery for Detroit.

An argument can be made that Detroit should be preserving picks, as they are rebuilding, but there comes a point in time when you need to convert those picks into NBA-caliber players. Sometimes making the pick is the avenue in which to use those picks, but Detroit needs to start building around their young core. Also, it's a second-round pick in 2027; it's not a huge loss.

At the end of the day, there's a lot to like about this trade from the Pistons perspective. They shored up their bench by picking up an extremely underrated point guard, and did so by barely sacrificing any draft capital to get the deal done. It's not outrageously flashy, but sometimes the best moves are the ones that fail to generate much attention.

Detroit is likely still a few years away from becoming a de facto playoff squad, but this shrewd move for Morris shows that they are headed in the right direction. If their young core can develop in front of Morris, and he can fill his role off the bench, the Pistons could end up exceeding expectations in the upcoming season.