I know what you're thinking. Didn't the Detroit Pistons lose this pick?
In the now-regrettable Ben Gordon trade of 2012, the Pistons exchanged their troubled shooting guard and a future first-round pick for the expiring contract of Corey Maggette. That pick was protected and continues to be so, at least through next season. It was lottery protected last season, top-eight protected this year and top-one protected next year.
At the time, the thought was that the Pistons would be able to parlay the money they saved into pieces that would make Detroit a playoff-caliber team. Therefore, they wouldn't be too hurt to lose a later first-round pick.
However, the Pistons squandered that money this past summer and are now no where closer to contention than they were before. In fact, they are only ahead of last year's pace by two games.
But rehashing the past won't help matters. Back to that pick.
It had been widely assumed that the Pistons were going to lose that pick this season. The Eastern Conference is historically bad and this year's draft class is historically deep. That's a recipe for tanking and that certainly has played out this year.
However, the Pistons have quietly slid down the standings and now currently have the eighth-worst record in the league.
There still are 17 games left on the slate so there's no telling how things will play out. But the Pistons have a rough schedule left with two games left against the Indiana Pacers, as well as games against the Miami Heat, Los Angeles Clippers, Oklahoma City Thunder, Brooklyn Nets and Chicago Bulls.
It seems like a smart bet that the Pistons are going to be right in the thick of the mix to keep their pick.
In the coming weeks, we will spend more time going in-depth on potential prospects. But with March Madness coming up, it makes sense to do a brief overview of some of the players the Pistons could be scouting.