earlier in the week, Detroit traded Jerami Grant to Portland in a deal that potentially opened more than $50 million in cap space for the Pistons — opening the door for them to make a maximum offer to a limited free agent Deandre Ayton†
Then came the NBA Draft†
The Pistons were one of the big winners on draft evening. First, Jaden Ivey fell to number 5 for them. Then they could use all that cap space to record it Kemba Walkercontract from the Knicks, putting Detroit back in the lottery for a second-choice at number 13, where they selected the promising Memphis center Jalen Duren†
While all signs point to Detroit making a serious run against Phoenix’s Deandre Ayton in recent days, that seems less likely after the Pistons walked away with two of the top players on the organization’s big board. According to sources, Detroit is eager to build further into the playoff battle with the aforementioned young core, and the Pistons are expected to use most of their remaining cap space to add multiple veteran pieces rather than just one big one. swing this off-season, per sources.
For the past 48 hours, it seemed that Ayton’s landing would be Plan A for Detroit… In reality, however, Thursday’s events indicate that the Ayton route is Plan B. Plan A manifested itself in Brooklyn, when Ivey unexpectedly slipped into the Pistons and they found a way to get back into the lottery to add Duren. According to sources, this was the best-case scenario.
It wasn’t just Detroit. Charlotte was another team called for Ayton because they needed a center but they lined up Mark Williams from Duke to fill that role.
Other teams like Atlanta and Toronto have been listed as teams that could come after Ayton, but both should sign and trade agreements with the Suns, and it’s reasonable to ask if the Hawks or Raptors are seeking the max contract Ayton .
The Suns don’t want to pay Ayton the maximum and at least something in the organization are ready to continue the Ayton experience† Ayton, for his part, sounds like someone who wants a fresh start in a new city.
But the way there became much less clear after the design.