Detroit Pistons: Is Svi Mykhailiuk a better prospect than Luke Kennard?

Detroit Pistons Svi Mykhailiuk. (Photo by Chris Schwegler/NBAE via Getty Images)
Detroit Pistons Svi Mykhailiuk. (Photo by Chris Schwegler/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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Detroit Pistons
Detroit Pistons Luke Kennard. (Photo by Brian Sevald/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Miscellaneous: Age, Salary, Durability

There isn’t a lot separating Kennard and Mykhailiuk, as both have limitations on offense and defense. If the Pistons do decide to trade Kennard, it will be because of traits not necessarily related to their skills on the floor.

Both players are still very young, but Kennard is a year older than Mykhailiuk and has an extra year of service under his belt. This is important, as Kennard will be due for a bigger raise, as he was a lottery pick and has an extra year of playing time. Both are on team-friendly contracts for next season with Kennard set to make $5.27 million and Mykhailiuk a meager $1.66 million.

Though Kennard’s contract is not bad, he will likely command far more than Mykhailiuk when they both become eligible for free agency in 2021-22. In Mykhailiuk the Pistons could potentially be getting big production at a discount for years to come. Players who produce on team-friendly contracts are very valuable commodities in the NBA and Mykhailiuk will likely have the more favorable contract situation moving forward.

opinion. 3 reasons why the Pistons should trade Kennard. light

Though Mykhailiuk missed the last game for unknown reasons, he has been durable thus far in his young career. Kennard has been a different story, playing in 73 games his rookie season, just 63 in 2018-19 and has only played 28 games this year in what was supposed to be his breakout season.

This has to be concerning to the Pistons, especially considering that injuries have effectively ruined the 2019-20 campaign. Detroit cannot keep banking on players who are not on the floor, which may be the primary reason for moving on from Kennard while they still can. Mykhailiuk gets the edge in durability, though it is too early to tell if Kennard’s injuries are just bad luck or something that will plague his career.

Advantage: Mykhailiuk

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In conclusion

How the fans and front office value these two players probably depends on where they see their ceiling. If Mykhailiuk continues to shoot like this and improves on the defensive end, his ceiling is a poor man’s Klay Thompson — or at least a valuable 3-and-D guy on a good contract.

If the Pistons see this type of potential it will be easier to move on from Kennard, who is skilled but ultimately projects as a solid role player or sixth man off the bench because of his defensive limitations and inability to play big minutes.

Right now, Mykhailiuk may just be the better prospect, which means moving on from Kennard is not only inevitable, but the right move for the future of the franchise.

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