What would a successful Detroit Pistons rebuild look like?

Detroit Pistons owner Tom Gores. (Photo by Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images)
Detroit Pistons owner Tom Gores. (Photo by Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images) /
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Sekou Doumbouya #45 of the Detroit Pistons (Photo by Brian Sevald/NBAE via Getty Images)
Sekou Doumbouya #45 of the Detroit Pistons (Photo by Brian Sevald/NBAE via Getty Images) /

We need more Sekou

Sekou Doumbouya was the Pistons first round pick this summer and after starting the year in with the Grand Rapids Drive (They wear the cold old horse logo jerseys, just saying) in the G-League, he has gotten to start in the Pistons last six games. He hasn’t been an efficient shooter, but the 19-year-old shows a lot of hustle and has the right kind of size at 6’9” to guard the team’s best players out on the perimeter.

Obviously, he needs a lot more time to develop before we can make any significant judgement, but he fits the profile of someone that every team needs, which is switchable guys who can credibly defend at multiple positions and get their own shot because of their height advantage. If the Pistons can develop Doumbouya in the next few years into a good defender with a credible jump shot, that will help this team tremendously.

Sekou Soumbouya is the silver lining for the Pistons this season. light. Related Story

So far, Doumbouya has shown some promising flashes, including a monster dunk against the Cavaliers on Tuesday that made it to number two on Sportscenter’s top plays. For a team that’s trying to develop what little young talent they have, Doumbouya will see the court a lot during the second half of the season. My guess is we won’t see any huge improvement until he has a full offseason with the organization, but his play so far has me encouraged.

However, if this team is going to rebound into a perennial playoff contender, defense has to be key. Doumbouya, while he currently has a defensive rating of 111 through his first 12 games, it’s the fourth lowest rating on the Pistons. While that stat is technically a team stat and it’s hard to pinpoint exactly how much an individual player adds to it, it’s encouraging that Detroit isn’t getting pummeled defensively with him on the court.

Related Story. Setting expectations for Sekou. light

Adding to his case is that according to NBA.com, Doumbouya leads the Pistons in Defensive Win Shares per 100 possessions (.216), which would place him ninth among all rookies in that category. Right now in defensive categories per 100 possessions among rookies he’s 11th in Defensive Rating, 10th in Rebound Percentage, sixth in Opponents points off turnovers, and 10th in opponents second chance points.

All of these together point to a player who can defend at the top level among rookies and should be a source of optimism for the Pistons future going forward.