Why Luke Kennard should start for the Detroit Pistons

AUBURN HILLS, MI - MARCH 24: Luke Kennard
AUBURN HILLS, MI - MARCH 24: Luke Kennard /

Luke Kennard had a solid rookie season for the Detroit Pistons. With his overall performance, does he warrant talk for a starting position?

Luke Kennard finished his rookie year with solid numbers. In limited minutes, he averaged 7.6 points, 2.4 rebounds, and 1.7 assists per game.

However, the most impressive statistic was his 3-point percentage.  One of the main reasons why the Detroit Pistons drafted Kennard was to improve the team’s shooting. He delivered, hitting 41.5 percent from beyond the arc on 195 total attempts.

But now there’s a question as to who should start at shooting guard and small forward next season.

Reggie Bullock served as an excellent two-guard after Avery Bradley was traded to the Clippers. And Stanley Johnson finished most of the season as the starting small forward. If Kennard were to start, who would then come off the bench?

The obvious answer could be that Johnson would sit in place for Kennard’s excellent shooting. Bullock would play the three and Kennard would play the two.

But even then, you could question whether or not that lineup would get abused on defense. Johnson is easily a better defender than both Kennard and Bullock.

Or you could pitch the idea that Kennard would start over Bullock. But another problem would arise: the lack of 3-point shooting in the starting lineup.

The three ball has become one of the more important aspects of any NBA offense.

Who should Kennard start over and why?

Kennard should start over Johnson. His offensive game is strong enough that he’d be helping the team more than hurting it.

In a lineup with Kennard that included Bullock, Reggie Jackson and Andre Drummond, the Pistons had a plus/minus rating of +6.8. This group averaged 8 minutes a night for 4 games – the highest for any lineup that included Kennard and three main starters.

When given solid minutes, Kennard has proven that he can put up numbers and be beneficial towards the team’s success.

For most of his rookie season, Kennard came off the bench. As a starter in the last four games, he put up excellent numbers, including some extremely efficient shooting.

Kennard doesn’t only bring outside shooting to the Pistons. He’s displayed wonderful ball handling and passing ability, and has created many opportunities for the offense in transition.

Check out this awesome thread of videos that a Twitter user compiled on Kennard’s passing ability.

Here are some highlights of Kennard’s strong rookie season. This is what he could bring to the table next season if given opportunity.

Next: Lakers end Pistons' Summer League hopes

To put it all together, Kennard has balled out for Detroit Pistons. If given the proper minutes and a starting position, he could massively help the team’s underwhelming offense, which has been struggling for the past few seasons.