If you haven’t heard of these two Detroit players, I guarantee you will by 2025. Although on the outside the Detroit Pistons seem like a dumpster-fire that is full of injury-prone veterans and are stuck with Blake Griffin’s contract, the young talent they’ve actually acquired may just surprise NBA fans.
They have Luke ‘The Guy Drafted Before Donovan Mitchell’ Kennard, Bruce Brown who they got in the second round of the 2019 draft, and Svi Mykhailiuk who was drafted in the same class in the same round, who they acquired for Reggie Bullock at the trade deadline. These three players are all under 24 and all have established themselves as solid role players. They also have Thon Maker who began to show his talent before the suspension happened, but he could be anywhere from 22-26 so he doesn’t count.
Those three (or four) players are all going to be solid players in the NBA, but there are two other players that stand out. Detroit struck gold with these two players and they plan to have these two as a huge part of their core in the coming season. They are going to lead Detroit out of the lottery for more than one season in a row and may bring Detroit a championship in the latter part of this decade.
The first of these players is a young man who is currently 24. He went undrafted in 2015 and is proving all 30 teams wrong right now with his stellar play. This player is: Christian Wood
Christian Wood is a 6’10 Power Forward/Center who makes an impact whenever he is one the floor. This season, he is averaging 13.1 points and 6.3 rebounds while shooting 63.6% from inside and 38.6% from deep.
These numbers may not seem like all-star numbers, but that’s because, for 50 of the 62 games he played, he was coming off the bench behind veterans Blake Griffin and Markieff Morris.
His role changed for the better, though, after Blake Griffin got season-ending surgery on his knee and Markieff Morris was bought-out after the trade deadline. With both of them gone, Wood got to start the last 12 games of the season.
In those 12 games, he averaged 21.9 points, 9.4 rebounds, and 2.3 assists while shooting 61.9% from inside and 40.8% from deep. When he started, not only did his numbers go up, but the efficiency at which he scored did as well.
Still not convinced? Well, he put up those numbers against teams like the Jazz, 76ers, and Milwaukee Bucks.
The argument for him making empty stats is a solid one, but despite the Pistons having a terrible season, they are still competing to win games. They have just centered it around their rising 24-year-old.
One could say that Wood is putting up empty stats on a bad team but it’s not really the case because even though the franchise is a disaster, they’re still trying to win their games and players such as Bruce Brown and Svi Mykhailiuk are also needing their fair share of touches.
Wood is set to be a free agent next season and the Detroit Pistons are more than likely going to re-sign him for a big-money contract.
The second of these players is a rookie who was drafted just outside of the lottery. He hasn’t done much in his rookie season but he has shown exactly what he can be in the future. This player is: Sekou Doumbouya
Unlike Wood, Doumbouya has not had the stats to back himself up yet on his true talent, but he’s had some monster dunks including this one over Tristain Thompson:
During Doumbouya’s first four games, he shows some real talent holding his own against players like Kawhi Leonard, LeBron James, Draymond Green, and Kevin Love.
Doumbouya, or better known as ‘This Dude With Bounce’ by Zion Williamson during the Draft Combine, is the youngest player in the NBA right now and is likely younger than most up-and-coming rookies for the 2020 draft.
He hit a rookie wall after several great games, but he has shown what he’s capable of and with a few years of NBA experience under his belt in the coming years, don’t be surprised to see Doumbouya in the All-Star or even the MVP conversation.
The Detroit Pistons’ future may be brighter than it seems. Not only do these two players have ceiling-less talent, but they’re going to be joined by a third player in the upcoming draft where they’re likely to get a top-five pick and almost guaranteed to get a top ten. Players like LaMelo Ball, Cole Anthony, and Obi Toppin seem to be on Detroit’s radar for next season.
Just wait, Detroit will be back to glory days soon.