Detroit Pistons: Pros and Cons of starting Jon Leuer

AUBURN HILLS, MI - MARCH 19: Jon Leuer /

Perhaps the biggest mystery that remains unsolved for the Detroit Pistons heading into the regular season is who will start at forward. Presumably, Tobias Harris will occupy one of the forward spots, which leaves a battle between Jon Leuer and Stanley Johnson. Let’s exam what the benefits and draw backs would be to starting Leuer.

The Detroit Pistons have been quite on who will be starting next season. Don’t expect to glean much from preseason lineups either, as I imagine Stan Van Gundy tries a few different looks to see how different units play together.

While there will require some speculation, here’s who is probably a lock to be in the starting lineup come opening day.

PG: Reggie Jackson
SG: Avery Bradley
F: Tobias Harris:
C: Andre Drummond

If Leuer gets the nod, he will obviously take the power forward role, sliding Tobias Harris to small forward.

While some may think that is Harris’ natural position, I actually think Harris is more effective at power forward, where his versatility is tough to match.

Still, both Harris and Leuer can be effective, as well as the rest of the starting unit, should the lineup shake out this way, but again, Harris’ versatility is probably underutilized.

Another draw back is that Leuer will have a tough time matching up against smaller lineups, where his lack of foot speed will give him trouble staying in front of his man defensively.

While starting Leuer may take away from Harris, there are some benefits he brings to the Pistons.

Starting Leuer with Drummond gives the Pistons two seven footers in its front court. Considering Drummond’s one of the best rebounders in NBA history, the tandem of Leuer and Drummond could be menacing on the boards. Moreover, Bradley and Harris are no slouches on the boards either.

Another positive is Leuer’s ability to spread the floor. While last season left some fan’s scratching their heads, Leuer has shown he can be extremely effective from beyond the arc, hitting 42 of 110 attempts (38.2%) as recent as 2015-16.

Next: Best and worst case scenarios for Avery Bradley

Leuer may not offer great upside, but he’s really solid in important areas over his career such as field goal efficiency, rebounding per 36 minutes, and you get his best effort every time he steps on the court. Considering whomever starts at forward this season will likely be a role player, Leuer could be a really good fit for the Pistons’ starting lineup if the matchup dictates a need for size.