The Detroit Pistons are a franchise with a storied history in the NBA playoffs. They have three championships in two different eras, and in a league known for dynasties, they’re one of only a few teams to win multiple titles.
Of course, those teams of Pistons lore are a thing of the past and this year’s team finished with the second-worst record in the NBA, but there are plenty of former Pistons strewn about the playoff landscape.
The Detroit Pistons are far from the NBA playoffs this season, but they have a diaspora of former players around the league thriving in the postseason
In fact, 10 of the 16 playoff teams have former Pistons, and an 11th, the Miami Heat, have Trevor Ariza and Dewayne Dedmon, two integral trade pieces that helped the Pistons build their current roster.
Not all of these players are thriving, mind you. Luke Kennard, for example, has played just four minutes through the first four games of the LA Clippers’ series against the Dallas Mavericks, and Anthony Tolliver has played just two minutes for the Philadelphia 76ers.
Let’s take a look at five former Piston players who are flourishing for their new teams in the NBA playoffs, starting with the most recent departure from the Motor City.
Former Pistons flourishing in the NBA playoffs: Derrick Rose
The Detroit Pistons and New York Knicks came to an agreement on a midseason deal that sent Derrick Rose to the Big Apple in exchange for Dennis Smith Jr. and the Charlotte Hornets’ 2021 second-round pick. It seemed like a deal that was made for little other reason than to appease Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau in his quest to acquire all his former Chicago Bulls, but it’s ended up working out well for all parties.
Rose has been the best and most consistent Knick in the NBA playoffs, although his team trails the Atlanta Hawks 3-1. Yes, in 2021, this man is carrying his team in the postseason with averages of 22.8 points and 5.0 assists per game, and it turns out that trade was a whole lot smarter on the Knicks’ part than it seemed at the time.