After dominating the NBA’s Central Division from the 2001-02 through 2007-08 seasons, the Detroit Pistons have had only one winning season since. During this time, though, they have had six head coaches — head coach Dwane Casey will be entering his fifth season this fall.
After a 23-59 finish last season, the Pistons will continue to rebuild around 2021 No. 1 pick Cade Cunningham, 2020 first-round picks Killian Hayes (No. 7), Isaiah Stewart (No. 16) and Saddiq Bey (No. 19) and leading scorer Jerami Grant — unless he’s traded.
The Pistons have size, but ranked 24th in rebounding, and last season were near last in all the shooting stats: 28th in scoring, 29th in both FG% and 3-point FG%.
What Will the Pistons Do at No. 5?
On Thursday night, the Pistons draft fifth and 46th, but there has been talk of them trading the first-round pick, possibly bundled with Grant. If not, the majority of prognosticators believe Detroit will take Iowa forward Keegan Murray at No. 5, if the Sacramento Kings, someone they may trade their pick to, don’t take Murray at No. 4.
Should the Kings grab Murray, the Pistons will most likely be thrilled to pick Purdue guard Jaden Ivey. He should be a nice backcourt complement to Detroit’s youth movement.
On the trade front, one popular suggestion has the Pistons trading both draft picks and Grant to Utah for Donovan Mitchell and a future Jazz pick. Other possible Piston trade partners include the New York Knicks and Charlotte Hornets.
It is legal to wager on the NBA Draft in Michigan sports betting. Some states do not have it in their betting catalog.
BetMGM Michigan has odds on the first overall pick, with Auburn forward Jabari Smith currently the consensus to be taken No. 1. But Duke forward Paolo Banchero has been rising on odds boards.
Odds for No. 1 Overall Pick in NBA Draft
Likely Available at No. 5 for Pistons
Two names stand out for the Pistons at No. 5 — Murray and Ivey. Here’s a closer look at the pair:
Keegan Murray, Iowa
Murray only played two seasons at Iowa, but is 21 years old and a solid 6 feet 8 and 225 pounds. Last season, he averaged 23 points and nine rebounds per game, shot 62% from two, 40% from 3 and 75% from the line. He had 10 double-doubles and scored in double figures in all but one game, when he scored nine.
He led the Hawkeyes (26-9, 12-8) to the Big Ten title, beating Purdue 75-66 in the conference title game, but the team was upset in the first round of the NCAA Tournament by No. 12 seed Richmond. Statistically, Murray was the nation’s No. 2 player at kenpom.com, finishing seventh in both offensive rating and turnover rate.
Jaden Ivey, Purdue
Ivey, 20, one of the quickest guards in college basketball at 6-4, 195, helped lead Purdue (29-8, 14-6) to a Sweet 16 matchup in the NCAA tournament, where they lost to upstart Cinderella St. Peter’s. Ivey struggled in that game, finishing with just nine points and six turnovers. For the season, Ivey averaged 17 points per game, with five rebounds and three assists.
Second Round Pick for Pistons
In the second round, the Pistons could look just down the road from Detroit and select Toledo shooting guard Ryan Rollins. Here’s a closer look at Rollins:
Ryan Rollins, Toledo
ESPN predicts the Pistons will grab Toledo shooting guard Ryan Rollins in the second round. Rollins is another two-year player, 6-4, 180, who averaged 19 points, six boards and close to four assists for the Rockets (26-8, 17-3). He shot only 31% from deep, but 81% from the line.