Thursday, February 10, 2022

Pistons fans should not get their hopes up too high for Free Agency

With the Pistons staying fairly quiet at the trade deadline and the teams goal to keep their draft lottery odds as high as possible fans are already starting to look forward to the 2022-23 season. One of the things that has many excited for the offseason is recent reports that Detroit will have more cap space avaialble then any other team in the NBA at $34 million. That $34M has people dreaming of seeing Miles Bridges, DeAndre Ayton or Jalen Brunson in Pistons blue next year.

Unfortunately when you take a closer look inside the numbers and factor in cap holds for a likely top 5 pick ($8-10M) and on new acquisition Marvin Bagley III ($28.3M) the Pistons will actually be over the salary cap for next season.

Here is a breakdown of the Pistons 2022/2023 Financial Outlook

Acquiring Bagley really put a dent into the Pistons offseason options and makes it almost certain that they plan on him being part of the teams future. If the Pistons make Bagley a qualifying offer, he would be a restricted free agent (Instead of unrestricted) and Detroit will have the right to match any offer sheet signed by Bagely from another team. The other option the Pistons could choose is to renounce Bagley's rights. If that is done Bagley's cap hold comes off the books, he becomes an unrestricted Free Agent and the Pistons would lose his bird rights. This option seems highly unlikely being Detroit just gave up 2 picks to acquire Bagley.

The good news is there will be plenty of time between the end of the season and the begining of free agency for Troy Weaver to clear cap space if he chooses that route. Trades, declined player/team options, or a possible extension for Bagley (with a much lower first year salary then the $28.3M cap hold) could all lead to more money being available. The Pistons will also have access to the cap room MLE (around $5M) and bi-annual exception (around $2.5M) to spend after using up all their cap space.

Bobo - @PistonsBlog

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