What they’re saying and what we learned this week

the Detroit Pistons are in France this week, truncating their game schedule to one matchup — Thursday vs. the Chicago Bulls in Paris — but the Pistons news cycle hasn’t slowed.

There have been a handful of interesting tidbits to come out from the trip, including a lost passport, and a Cade Cunningham interview. We’ll get into all of it to see what folks are saying about the team.

But we know what the readers want, so we’ll start with an NBA trade deadline idea for the Pistons.

Trade slops

Detroit Pistons general manager Troy Weaver before a game against the Sacramento Kings at Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, Nov. 20, 2022.

Detroit Pistons general manager Troy Weaver before a game against the Sacramento Kings at Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, Nov. 20, 2022.

ESPN’s Bobby Marks wrote his annual pre-NBA trade deadline manifesto Tuesday and broke down every team in the Eastern Conference ahead of the Feb. 9 deadline.

He proposed two trades involving the Pistons, though as we’ve written this season, they are not expected to make any big waves despite being one of the few clear sellers in this market.

But a trade or two of player on the rotation fringes wouldn’t surprise, and that’s where Marks’ ideas hit.

∎ For the Pistons, he’d like to see them deal Alec Burks to New Orleans for Devonte’ Graham and a 2027 top-14-protected first from Milwaukee.

Burks, 31, has been one of the best reserves in the league this season coming back from offseason foot surgery. He’s averaging 13.8 points and top 10 in the league in 3-point percentage, making 45.3% on good volume (two 3s on 4.4 attempts per game). He has a palatable contract, making $10 million this seasonwith a team option for $10.5 million next season.

Pistons guard Alec Burks (right) drives against 76ers guard Matisse Thybulle during the fourth quarter Jan. 8, 2023 in Detroit.

Pistons guard Alec Burks (right) drives against 76ers guard Matisse Thybulle during the fourth quarter Jan. 8, 2023 in Detroit.

The Pistons owe one future first-round pick, but currently can only trade their 2029 first-round pick due to the pick protections on the outgoing pick. Adding a future first could be helpful this season or down the road to grease a trade, as general manager Troy Weaver looks to build out the roster. Weaver, if he got an offer similar to what Marks describes, would have to weigh Burks’ lengthy injury history against his shooting prowess and scoring that would help next season’s Pistons.

DEAL OR NO DEAL:Don’t expect Pistons to be big sellers at 2023 NBA trade deadline. Here’s why

∎ Marks also suggests Cleveland look into sending Dylan Windler and a 2027 second-rounder to the Pistons for Hamidou Diallo.

Diallo, 24, has been in and out of the rotation this season, but has found a niche recently playing as an undersized power forward. His future role on this team is unknown, and he’s on a $5.2 million expiring contract and will become an unrestricted free agent this summer.

∎ We know the Pistons are reluctant to deal leading scorer Bojan Bogdanovic unless they receive a big offer — they reportedly want an unprotected first at minimum for the 33-year-old. A number of playoff-contending teams are interested in the Croatian sharpshooter, whom the Pistons acquired in September from Utah for Kelly Olynyk and Saben Lee. The Pistons and Bogdanovic signed a two-year contract extension Oct. 30worth a reasonable $39.1 million.

READ MORE:Why Bojan Bogdanovic contract extension is good business for Pistons

Cade Cunningham talks

Detroit Pistons guard Cade Cunningham on the bench during action against the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday, Dec. 11, 2022 at Little Caesars Arena.

Detroit Pistons guard Cade Cunningham on the bench during action against the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday, Dec. 11, 2022 at Little Caesars Arena.

Cunningham, expected to be the Pistons’ franchise player after his No. 1 overall selection in 2021, spoke for the first time since undergoing season-ending surgery in mid-December on his left leg for a stress fracture.

He spoke openly, from Paris, about his nervousness potentially going under the knife, and why he took about a month to make a decision. according to Vince Ellis, the former Free Press sports writer who now works for the team. “It’s coming along really well, a lot better than what I anticipated on it being. I’m happy it’s behind me now and I can just move forward and get on the road to getting back.”

“I didn’t know how to go about it,” he said Tuesday. “I was nervous about it, but just over the past few weeks where I’ve been able to see the progression in my knee and how everything’s been healing up, I don’t regret it at all.”

Cunningham, who said his injury dates to high school, said his recovery is going better than he anticipated and he’s happy to be on the road back to the court.

Where’s Jalen Duren?

The youngest player in the NBA made a rookie mistake. And it looked like it would cost him dearly this week.

Duren, 19, lost his passport before the Pistons took off Sunday for France, and did not make the trip with the team.

But behold, the story has a happy ending: Duren made it into the country Wednesday, much to the relief of his teammates.

Duren, who assumed the starting center role Dec. 9, has missed five consecutive games with an ankle injury. He’s averaging 9.4 points on 65.9% shooting and 11.2 rebounds in 15 games since joining the starting lineup.

Killian Hayes’ summer goal

The Pistons’ lone Frenchman hopes to represent France in the 2023 World Cup tournament, Eurohoops reports. Hayes, 21, spent his youth in the country and played for hometown Cholet Basket from 2017-19, more than 200 miles south from Paris.

Hayes played for France and won gold in 2017 at the U16 European Championship and silver in 2018 at U17 World Cup.

READ MORE:Pistons’ Paris trip couldn’t come at a better time for France’s Killian Hayes

“I feel ready and want to be part of this group,” Hayes said. “Still, your place is not given. You have to fight for it. … I want to do it, and I want to train with the France team and try to earn my place.”

The tournament is scheduled between from Aug. 25-Sept. 10 in the Philippines, Japan, and Indonesia.

France went 5-1 in the Olympics in 2021, losing to the United States in the Gold medal game, 87-82, in Tokyo. That French roster featured notable NBA players Nicolas Batum, Evan Fournier and Rudy Gobert.

Check out the latest episode of “The Pistons Pulse” podcastembedded in the story above, with Free Press beat writer Omari Sankofa II and former Division I player and current analyst Bryce Simon. Listen on Apple, Spotify or wherever you load up podcasts.

This article originally appeared on the Detroit Free Press: Detroit Pistons in Paris: What we learned this week

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