By: Will Burchfield
The NBA Draft is next month and the Pistons own the No. 12 overall pick — but they might not use it.
Per ESPN’s Marc Stein, the Pistons could attempt to package their first-round selection in a trade for a player who can help them right now.
Stein’s report coincides with Stan Van Gundy’s comments last week that the Pistons are committed to winning in the present.
On the topic of tanking to stockpile high draft picks, Van Gundy said, “I think you keep building the best team you can build.”
The Pistons went 37-45 this season and finished in tenth place in the East. Van Gundy knows it’s important for the team to make changes.
“Would we like to make changes this summer? Absolutely? Is it a priority to be out trying to make changes? Absolutely, we need to make improvements. The part where I stop short of saying we’re committed to making changes is you need partners in those deals. We’re not under the cap so our way to make changes and get better is through trades, and you can’t do that unilaterally,” said the team’s president and head coach. “There’s not guys on our roster we’re just going to dump for nothing, so you gotta search for deals that make your team better. But it’s certainly a priority.”
Van Gundy also professed faith in the Pistons’ current core of players.
“I don’t think we need to change seven or eight guys, it could be a lot of different things. Again, I like our core of guys but I’m with you that we need to get better. We thought since the day I came in here that the primary way for us to get better in Detroit, with what had happened in the years before we got here, was going to be through trades and smart, lower-budget free agent acquisitions. I think overall we’ve done a pretty good job of that and that’s the way we have to continue to go,” he said. “But we’ve gotta find those deals.”