NBA Hoops

Detroit Pistons fantasy basketball season recap

Detroit Pistons fantasy basketball season recap

by Zak Hanshew, Rotoworld

At a glance:

Record: 14-68 (15th, East) 

Offensive Rating: 109.0 (27th)

Defensive Rating: 118.0 (25th) 

Net Rating: -9.0 (29th) 

Pace: 100.1 (5th) 

2024 NBA Draft Pick: 5th

The Pistons finished with the worst record in the NBA for the second straight season, going 14-68 after finishing 17-65 in 2022-23. Disappointment isn’t new in the Motor City, however, and Detroit isn’t just in the midst of a two-year slump. It’s been a sad state of affairs for the flailing franchise for many moons, as Detroit owns the worst record in the NBA over the last 15 seasons at a pathetic 427-761. Here’s how the team has finished in each of the last five campaigns:

2023-24: 14-68 record – worst in the NBA

2022-23: 17-65 record – worst in the NBA

2021-22: 23-59 record – third worst in the NBA

2020-21: 20-52 record – second worst in the NBA

2019-20: 20-46 record – fifth worst in the NBA

Despite owning such poor records, the Pistons have picked fifth in each of the last two drafts, and the ping pong balls rolled unfavorably for them yet again. Detroit will pick – you guessed it – fifth in the 2024 NBA Draft.

The team landed the top pick in the 2021 draft, and despite questions about his health and durability, Cade Cunningham looks like a true franchise cornerstone. The jury is still out on Jaden Ivey and Ausar Thompson, but it’s safe to say that terrible coaching and lack of opportunities held the two players back in 2023-24. They should be studs once they’re allowed to spread their wings.

The glaring question for Detroit is, “What’s next?” The team is projected to have as much as $60 million in available cap space this summer, and it could try to attract notable free agents like DeMar DeRozan, Buddy Hield, Klay Thompson, Tobias Harris and James Harden, among others. The Pistons could also shop the 2024 No. 5 pick to land a star-caliber player or take their chances in the draft for a fourth straight lottery selection. No matter what direction the team chooses, it’s clear that a shakeup is needed.

With so much negativity and disappointment surrounding the Pistons from a real-world NBA perspective, can fantasy managers glean any positive takeaways? Let’s look at Detroit’s state of affairs from a fantasy hoops perspective and how managers should treat the team’s young core in 2024-25.

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