The Detroit Pistons have been mentioned as a potential suitor for Deandre Ayton. Following the trade that sent Jerami Grant to Portland earlier this week, Detroit seemed prime to use their considerable cap space to send the restricted free agent a max offer sheet, which the Phoenix Suns would have to either match for a player they reportedly do not want to have on a max or watch as the former No. 1 overall pick leaves for nothing.
Despite the fact that Ayton apparently has some interest in heading to the Motor City to play alongside Cade Cunningham, a new report from James Edwards III of The Athletic indicates that might not be in the cards anymore. Detroit was viewed as one of the winners of the 2022 NBA Draft for its selection of Purdue’s Jaden Ivey and its acquisition of Memphis center Jalen Duren, and according to Edwards, the thought of signing one gigantic free agent is less appealing now.
The Pistons now move into the next phase of their “restoration” with one of the more intriguing young cores in the NBA — Cade Cunningham, Ivey, Saddiq Bey, Isaiah Stewart and Duren — as well as enough cap space to make a run at a max-level player. However, while all signs have pointed to Detroit making a serious run at Phoenix’s Deandre Ayton over the last few days, that appears less likely after the Pistons walked away with two of the players highest on the organization’s big board.
Edwards reports that the Pistons would rather use their cap space to acquire “multiple veterans” as opposed to going all-in on one guy like Ayton. It makes a ton of sense from their perspective, especially if they believe that Duren has the potential to become the perfect frontcourt compliment alongside Cunningham and Ivey.