Is Deandre Ayton unfit for the Detroit Pistons?

There is no doubt that Deandre Ayton may be the biggest realistic prize in the NBA free agent market in the off-season. However, one reporter thought it would be wrong for the Detroit Pistons to sign him.

As of now, the Detroit Pistons are a 600-pound gorilla in free agency. They are one of five teams currently under the salary cap and only the Orlando Magic (only $100,000) has more practical space to spend.

If they traded with Jerami Grant ($20 million) or Kelly Olynyk ($13 million), and they didn’t have to get any salary back in return, they would have on him of the cover space.

Technically, they might be able to make big money for Zack Levine, Bradley Beal, James Harden or Kyrie Irving, all of whom are potential free agents, but let’s be realistic. Nothing fits into the pistons’ pistons schedule besides…they wouldn’t come here.

In the real world, the biggest name Detroit could possibly name would be the Phoenix Suns Deandre Ayton Center.

Centering at 7 feet tall, Ayton helped the Phoenix Suns become one of the best teams in the NBA. They made it to the Finals in 2021 and were ranked #1 in the West this year (we won’t talk about Game 7 vs. Dallas in the playoffs).

And there are a lot of rumors going around that Monty Williams, head coach of the Ayton and Suns, are not the best of friends at the moment,

He’s averaged 17.4 points and 10.2 rebounds this season, he’ll be 24 when he starts training camp, and he’s pretty age-appropriate with a Detroit core. Ironically, he was the first pick in the 2018 draft, with current Piston Marvin Bagley III being picked second by the Kings.

All good, right? Let’s have Detroit General Manager Troy Weaver run for it.

Not so fast there.

Why would Deandre Ayton be wrong about going to the Detroit Pistons

In a recent article, Greg Schwartz, the veteran NBA-winning writer on Bleacher Report, wrote about the misguided destinations of the best free agents. He thinks Detroit will be a poor fit for Ayton, mostly because he’s so used to winning, and because the Pistons are so used to not winning.

Here is part of his argument:

While Eaton could play a big role in Detroit – perhaps even more so than he has in Phoenix – the switch from a championship contender to the lottery could make Eaton look elsewhere.

If Ayton are looking to play for one of the top teams in the league in 2022-23, the Pistons may not be a fit. However, in the next few seasons after that, assuming the young players develop, Detroit’s fortunes could be much higher.

Why Deandre Ayton is a perfect fit for Pistons

Eaton has helped lead the Suns to a lot of success in the past two seasons. But it used to be in a rebuilding state. Until the arrival of Chris Paul, the Phoenix hadn’t performed much better than the Pistons.

Having a dominant position opens things up for Cade Cunningham and Jerami Grant. No position leaves Ayton to double the team, which is the main reason Devin Booker and Mikal Bridges get open shots.

A core group of Ayton, Cunningham, Bey, Stewart, Jerami Grant, Bagley, and (if you learn to shoot) Killian Hayes looks pretty good, once they learn to play together and gain some experience.

The bottom line: Detroit went 23-59 last season. If they can get a talented player, they should.

Will Deandre Ayton get upset if the Pistons Heat, Bucks and Celtics don’t battle it out for number one next season? Obviously Weaver and coach Duane Casey will need to talk to him about that. But in the years since, they could certainly rival him in the lineup.

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