Are the Detroit Pistons going tall without saying in an attempt to draft Victor Wembanyama?

At the Marcel-Cerdan Sports Center (Levallois),

As a symbol, the Bulls and Pistons trained this week at the Palais des sports Marcel-Cerdan, before the Paris NBA Game in Bercy, this Thursday (9 pm). And yes, in this same room where Victor Wembanyama flies to Betclic Elite every week and panics in the American League. Of course, the giant of the Mets (19 years old, 2.21 m) is one of the most observed guests tonight, along with Magic Johnson and Tony Parker, a day after his victory in Fos-sur-Mer (82-83) . After all, it’s important to get a front row seat to your future NBA team, isn’t it? We are clearly trolling, but the current red lantern position in the Eastern Conference of the Detroit Pistons makes them a serious candidate to inherit the first choice of the next draft, and therefore bet on the French interior to imagine a better tomorrow. .

So, tanking or not tanking, dear Pistons? The tanking, it is the concept of voluntarily losing games in an endless regular season (82 games) in order to optimize its chances of selecting one of the most promising young prospects during the draft, and therefore to significantly improve its team. Journalist for The Athletic and Pistons fan, including in Paris this week, James L. Edwards is formal: “No, I will not say that the Pistons are getting old, they are trying to develop young players and develop for the future. And when you rely on so many young people, it is natural to lose games in such a top league. Instead of bet more on experienced players, they want to rely on the draft and on free agency [le marché des joueurs libres] to build in the long term and try to create a culture of winning with these young people.

French playmaker Killian Hayes is obviously in demand by the media for a few days, before the NBA Paris Game this Thursday in Bercy. – Christophe Ena/AP/SIPA

“We just need to grow and become more mature”

It’s clearly not obvious right now, with this terrible record of 12 wins for 35 losses (only the Rockets are worse in the entire NBA). However, the leader of the tricolor, Killian Hayes (21), who is currently well-known, refused to speak only about a long-term project: “No, our goal is always to win. A player never wants to lose. We had a complicated start but the season is still long. I think we have a very talented team. We just have to grow and become more mature, because we make a lot of mistakes that cost us games”.

Head of the basketball section at beIN Sports, Xavier Vaution shared this observation: “I don’t believe for a second that they are looking for more than another team to tank, even at the level of their leaders. This would be very dangerous, because they could get a fine from the League if they talked about it or if it was seen. They’re young and they find themselves in the craziest and most unquestionable regular season we’ve ever known, so much talent everywhere. But they’re not a disaster, they stay in games and they don’t play for their individual stats like in Houston and Charlotte.

Detroit soon without its two best scorers?

However, if the former Choletais is currently in the spotlight, it is largely related to the absence until the end of the season of the most promising player in this workforce, Cade Cunningham (21 years old). And this is not a “classic” injury, but a shin operation that can be avoided in the short term, but suffered by the number one in the 2021 draft in December. Enough to strengthen, according to some, the thesis of a deliberately disrupted era to try to inherit Victor Wembanyama. James L. Edwards tells us more about the Cunningham episode (19.9 points per game average):

Cade knows, if the team was in a better position at the end of 2022, he probably would have made a different decision. The franchise let him decide if he wanted to continue playing without surgery. And there, he personally felt that the best option for him was to think about his long-term career. »

Second interesting example of the strategy of general manager Troy Weaver, who came to Detroit in 2020: the team’s leading scorer Bogdan Bogdanovic (21.2 points on average) can be traded between now and the trade deadline (a type of NBA transfer window) from February 9. “The Pistons will only trade Bogdanovic if they receive a proposal they can’t refuse, James L. Edwards said. Afterwards, they didn’t win many games with him, he’s advanced age (33 years old) so if a team offers a good first round draft, it’s fine. But they won’t sell it. »

“Bank wait a bit”

The fact remains that more than the Bulls, Pistons fans are damned eating their black bread, if we refer to the rich history of the franchise, double NBA champions in 1989 and 1990 with its famous Bad Boys long ago drove Michael Jordan’s self-loathing. In 2004, with an almost identical recipe, apart from brutality +++ (though), the Pistons did it again, holding off the Indiana Pacers to an average of 73 points per game throughout the conference finals, before asphyxiating the Lakers ( 4-1) in the final. Other times, like this Game 6 of the trenches against Indiana, with a score (69-65) that almost became a halftime classic in the 2023 NBA. when Grant Hill came to the franchise” in 1994, Lyonnais Adrien Gérinière (39 years old) looks back on the evolution of the Pistons over 20 years.

Had some great years with Larry Brown as coach and the Wallace racquet [Rasheed et Ben]. With Billups, Hamilton and others, this team has incredible basketball IQ and defensive identity. After the ten really horrible years we’ve had, if the goal of general manager Troy Weaver is to find this Bad Boys identity as he announced, banco to wait a little during the rebuilding years in the draft like the Warriors did to Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green. But it has to follow on the pitch, as players like Jaden Ivey and Hamidou Diallo leave huge air holes in the defence. »

“Victor will have a direct impact on the NBA”

Hey, won’t there be a new absolute defensive bully in the NBA in a few months, with his endless segments and his timing (3.1 blocks on average in Betclic Elite)? On May 16, Pistons fans will find out from pick a lottery if they can start getting “Wemby” jerseys. It should be remembered that since 2019, and certainly to limit “tanking” at the end of the regular season, the three worst records now have a 14% chance of winning the first choice. In 2021 and 2022, Detroit was part of a winning trio and broke, with the first pick in 2021 (Cade Cunningham) then the fifth pick last year (Jaden Ivey).

How far will Killian Hayes go in convincing his leaders to favor his countrymen, should the Pistons inherit the jackpot? “Victor has a unique talent, and I really hope he will be the first pick, it must be, believes the young tricolor leader. Wherever he goes, he has a direct impact on the NBA. This is the next big thing, but it’s not my job to choose who we hire. “Perhaps he will be careful not to show too much complicity with him, this Thursday night at Bercy, because the harsh American league will punish him financially for that.

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