Why the Cavaliers did better than the Pistons in free agency
The Detroit Pistons did not spend free agency signing new talent. Their primary offseason addition was that of Ausar Thompson with the fifth overall selection in the 2023 NBA Draft.
Along with the Thompson twin, Detroit acquired Monte Morris in a trade with the Wizards and Joe Harris in a trade with Brooklyn. Both players will be valuable veteran leaders for a developing squad in the Pistons.
While Detroit has definitely improved this offseason, they are not in the position to begin competing for top placements in the East. Detroit improved in the areas they needed, giving both Cade Cunningham and Ausar Thompson mentors to develop their talents. Cunningham was the first overall pick in the 2021 draft, ahead of Evan Mobley. His career has shown a tremendous skill set as a tall guard, earning comparisons to Luka Doncic even before draft night.
Detroit’s free agency was nothing to detest. In truth, Detroit sneakily had a fairly successful offseason.
They are developing their youth, but these moves will only do this marginally. Neither Joe Harris nor Monte Morris is going to change the landscape of the Pistons into a winning culture to lead their core to playoff experience.
Comparatively, Cleveland’s moves take them into a higher tier of competition than they were in last season. The Cavaliers have a more dynamic squad going into opening night. The Pistons will likely end their season in a similar position to last year. This is not a horrible outcome for a rebuilding team, but it leaves them still watching from the outside during the Playoffs.
The Pistons made the moves they needed, but so did the Cavaliers.
While the Pistons are building toward their future and doing so successfully, a once great dynastic team is stuck in NBA limbo once again after this year’s free agency.