In the pre-COVID world, the NBA draft was 11 days ago and the Pistons are now preparing for this week’s Summer League tipoff in Las Vegas with their new lottery pick.
An important piece in the rebuilding has been added, slotting in next to Sekou Doumbouya, still nearly six months away from turning 20. The Pistons will come out of Las Vegas with a snapshot of where their two youngest players stand and formulate a development plan for the rest of their summer.
Instead in the world still at the mercy of a pandemic, they await word on whether the NBA – consumed with relaunching the 2019-20 season in Orlando amid spiking Florida cases of the novel coronavirus – will permit the eight teams, the Pistons among them, whose seasons have ended to engage in any summer competition beyond individual workouts.
And they scout … and scout … and scout in advance of the Oct. 16 draft, still 102 days off.
If the Pistons could order their ideal draft prospect from central casting, it likely would be a rangy point guard with deep shooting range, playmaking chops and charismatic leadership qualities.
They might have to settle for one or two of those qualities – at point guard or elsewhere. Everyone from owner Tom Gores through the front office and on to Dwane Casey and his staff are aware that once a franchise chooses to rebuild, as the Pistons have, it might take a few trips to the lottery before a transition to phase two can begin. But if you don’t get the lottery right, it could take many more than a few trips to begin that transition.