An early look at the Pistons’ lineup and minute allocation

NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 27: Tobias Harris
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 27: Tobias Harris /

Less than two weeks away from the start of training camp, it’s time to start prognosticating various lineup combinations for the Detroit Pistons.

The Detroit Pistons had an unexpected amount of turnover this summer. Once expected to mostly bring back the band and try one more time with this core, two starters from last season are no longer on the team, after the departures of Marcus Morris and Avery Bradley, and a third (Jon Leuer) is likely to slide back to the bench. That means it’s time to start trying to project how the Pistons starting lineup and rotations might shake out.

I took a shot at forecasting the rotation and breaking down how minutes might be allocated to each player at each position and the overall minutes each will get.

Point guard:

Shooting guard:

Small forward: 

Power forward:


Total minutes:

Each player’s minutes break down as follows:

  • Jackson – 25 minutes
  • Bradley – 35 minutes
  • Johnson- 26 minutes
  • Harris – 36 minutes
  • Drummond – 32 minutes
  • Leuer – 22 minutes
  • Tolliver – 18 minutes
  • Smith – 18 minutes
  • Galloway – 13 minutes
  • Marjanovich – 10 minutes
  • Kennard – 5 minutes

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You’ll note that Reggie Bullock and Henry Ellenson don’t make the cut for this rotation. That doesn’t mean they won’t get minutes, but it does mean that it’ll be more situational than that the duo will get time on the floor by default.

In addition, Jackson’s minutes will have to be watched closely by Stan Van Gundy and the coaching and training staff. On nights when he doesn’t have it, he needs to get a quick hook for his own good and for the team’s good.

I frequently go back and forth between Stanley Johnson and Jon Leuer in the starting lineup, and my choice of the day is Johnson. This may change in the future, and I’ll write about that soon.

I think Jon Leuer will play more minutes at the five than Marjanovic. He won’t be as marginalized as he was a year ago, but Boban is a backup in name only thanks to his defensive shortcomings.

Luke Kennard will be able to get minutes if he earns them, but he won’t be gifted them on this roster.

Next: Reflecting on KCP's time with the Pistons

Win forecast

Using Jacob Goldstein‘s win projection model, the listed minute allocations projects the Detroit Pistons with 40.5 wins.