The Detroit Pistons are having one of the most disappointing seasons in the NBA. After they lost Blake Griffin after he played just 18 games because of knee surgery. Many of their other players, such as Luke Kennard and Markieff Morris, have missed several weeks as well. Battling through injuries, they’re record is 19-38. The team is a major disappointment, even for their modest odds. The injuries to their roster have been disastrous and it forced Detroit to take a route that not even they knew would be a possibility at the beginning of the season. Their roster consists of:
- PG: Derrick Rose (31)
- SG: Luke Kennard (23)
- SF: Tony Snell (28)
- PF: Christain Wood (24)
- C: Thon Maker (22)
- Reggie Jackson (29)
- Markieff Morris (30)
- Langston Galloway (28)
- Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk (22)
- Bruce Brown Jr (23)
- Sekou Doumbouya (19)
- John Henson (29)
- Brandon Knight (28)
- Khyri Thomas (23)
- Blake Griffin (30)
- Jordan Bone^ (22)
- Louis King^ (20)
The Detroit Pistons have quietly built a pretty young roster. The Pistons have acquired solid young players like Sekou Doumbouya, Bruce Brown Jr, and Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk. The Pistons have high hopes for their young players to develop into some dangerous talent. With those young players, are veterans Derrick Rose, Markieff Morris, and Tony Snell. Veterans are an overlooked part of any rebuild because they help young players learn better on the fly. With that being said, though, the Pistons don’t need all of the veterans that they have as they could be used for contracts like Jordan Bone or Donta Hall.
Derrick Rose is having his best season since 2011. For those of you who don’t know, 2011 is when Derrick Rose won the MVP. Rose is averaging 18.2 points on 49% shooting. The only reason Rose isn’t shooting over 50% is that he’s only shooting 30.6% from deep. He is also dishing out 5.8 assists per game, all in just 26.2 minutes per game. He has only started in 10 games this season, so his stats are all lower than they should. His per 36 minutes stats show him averaging 24.9 points, which is better than his 2011 campaign, and 7.9 assists, which is only 0.1 away from his 2011 campaign. He made a case for the All-Star Game but was not selected.
Before his injury, Luke Kennard was having a breakout season. Before Cool-Hand Luke went out with a knee injury in December, he was having his best season by a mile. Averaging 15.8 points on 39.9% shooting, he was making a case for both Most Improved Player, and Sixth Man of the Year. The guy drafted before Donovan Mitchell is considered the best shooter in his draft class, and he showed why. His injury was the final blow to Detroit, and because of his injury, the Pistons have now embraced a rebuild.
Tony Snell is the worst starting Small Forward in the NBA. Why he’s still starting while Detroit is rebuilding is beyond me. Players like Sekou Doumbouya and Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk should be starting there to gain some crucial developmental minutes. The only reason Snell is here is that the Pistons were desperate to trade Jon Leuer, and the Bucks were willing to give up their 30th pick in the 2019 draft to get rid of Snell’s contract. Snell, as a starter, is only averaging 8.1 points per game. He’s shooting efficiently, but any starting wing averaging less than 10 points, is not a starting-caliber player.
Christain Wood is arguably the most exciting player on the roster. Pick up off of the waiver wire, Christain Wood has been playing incredibly this season. The 24-year-old undrafted big man found a home in Detroit, after being waived by the New Orleans Pelicans. Wood has beyond exceeded expectations this year, So far, he has averaged 11.2 points on 56.5% shooting and 38.5% from deep. He also grabs 5.7 rebounds per game, all in 19.1 minutes. Wood may be the best signing of the decade for Detroit, as the man is still young and has endless talent. He has shown off his potential in his five starts, averaging 18.2 points on 51.7% shooting and 40.9% from three. It’s a small sample size, but Wood may well be their starting Power Forward of the future.
Thon is suddenly good. In the four games after Andre Drummond was traded, Maker has been averaging 14 points per game on 58.3% shooting. He has also shot 41.2% from deep on 3.25 attempts. You may have noticed the question mark next to his age, that’s because no one is sure that he is actually 22. Maker’s picture was found in a yearbook that, if it was accurate, shows that Maker is at least 26. He likely is 22, but there’s a solid chance that he lied about his age,
The bench consists of a bunch of young players that the Pistons have high hopes for. The Pistons refuse to start them, but Doumbouya, Brown, Mykhailiuk, Bone, and King have all shown glimpses of what they can really be. Although Doumbouya has been cold, he has shown that he can match up with the NBA’s elite, holding his own against the likes of LeBron, Kawhi, Draymond, and Kevin Love. Brown has shown his skills as a good defender, playmaker, and potential inside scorer. He shows a lot of resemblance to Marcus Smart and will be a useful piece for the Pistons down the road. Mykhailiuk’s shooting is off the charts, shooting 42.2% from deep on 4.8 attempts. Bone and King have shown how tough they are in the G-League, both averaging more than 15 points per game on efficient shooting.
Trade Deadline Moves:
The Pistons made one move at the deadline. They traded franchise cornerstone, Andre Drummond, for Brandon Knight, John Henson, and a 2023 Second Round pick. This move was a head-scratcher for both teams as the Pistons wanted literally anything for Drummond, and the Cavaliers already have Tristan Thompson. Whatever the motives were, the trade happened and the Pistons traded their most loyal player for scraps.
The main reason this was such a questionable move for the Pistons is that they kept Langston Galloway, Markieff Morris, and Derrick Rose. Keeping Derrick Rose makes sense because he has a good relationship with Arn Tellem, but Galloway and Morris really should’ve been traded. They’re not going to win games without Drummond and keeping those two only takes away from the young players. Trading Drummond wasn’t the bad move as much as was just keeping the other veterans with very tradable contracts.
The Future of Detroit:
Detroit’s future is better than most might expect. The potential for Wood and Doumbouya seem to have no limit, and the Second-Round steals of Brown and Mykhaiuk form a good core to build around. Maker and Kennard will also be around for a while as they are also young, but Kennard could definitely be traded this offseason as the Pistons seem to be sold on Mykhailiuk and they have Deividas Seirvidyas coming in from Europe next season.
The Pistons have their First-Round pick in the draft and it will more than likely be in the top ten. The Pistons should consider Cole Anthony from UNC. The Pistons are in desperate need of a young Point Guard and Anthony is one of the best Point Guards in the draft. Although he has been inefficient, he is averaging 19.5 points and 1.6 steals. He has two-way potential and will provide a huge scoring boost for Detroit. His inefficiency is something that can be fixed. Casey knows how to fix that and he will be under guidance by Derrick Rose.
The Pistons have a future at the very least. If Doumbouya can really become the player that fans are hoping for after his poster on Tristan Thompson, the Pistons may actually be in for quite the decade. If they can draft well in this draft, they could have a dangerous big three with the Point Guard, Doumbouya and Wood. Their young players are going to gel over time and they’re already competitive in a lot of games as it is. Expect the Pistons to make some noise this decade.