When the season began, I was thinking about the Pistons and the playoffs, and I had no concern about the Pistons losing their draft pick, because it would be in the middle of the pack. Then, the playoffs became a pipe dream, and I started to get worried that they'd have, like, the 10th pick, but they wouldn't be able to keep it, because if Detroit's pick doesn't fall in the top eight, they give it to Charlotte. Then, on Friday, the Pistons lost to Chicago. They have 29 wins on the season. They can't have more than 31. And so, their pick is safe, at least for the moment.
The Pistons are currently in that eight spot, and they cannot climb any higher. They also probably aren't going to get any lower, so eight is where it is. That means they get to keep their pick, unless somebody above them jumps into the top three. That would be, needless to say, awful. A bad season and nothing to show for it? Truly, it would be both cruel and unusual.
Having said that, the chances of a team jumping the Pistons is very low. Nobody above them has even a two percent chance of winning the lottery. It's probably just as likely Detroit jumps into the top three themselves, which would be great. A nice gift for the new Pistons GM from the world of random chance. This is a team with talent. As long as Detroit gets to keep their pick, they will add a real piece to the puzzle. That way, next year, when they give up their pick to the Bobcats, it won't be a big deal.