4 things to watch for the Detroit Pistons after the All-Star break

Detroit Pistons Sekou Doumbouya. (Photo by Chris Schwegler/NBAE via Getty Images)
Detroit Pistons Sekou Doumbouya. (Photo by Chris Schwegler/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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Detroit Pistons
Detroit Pistons Christian Wood. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

4. The frontcourt

At this point, the frontcourt has as many questions as the point guard position did entering the season. None of the forwards are under contract next season, unless Markieff Morris opts-in to his $3.2 million player option. Though that seems unlikely given how he’s played offensively this season.

Christian Wood has been a real bright spot after being claimed off waivers prior to the season, and then it was thought Joe Johnson would get the final roster spot over him. Wood has had documented maturity issues, namely showing up late for team-related events. But there is no question he has talent.

The 24 year old is averaging 11.2 points and 5.7 rebounds per game while shooting 56.5% from the floor and 38.5% from 3-point range. His athleticism allows him to move freely and blow by stronger players from the wing, and makes him a transition threat.

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Then there’s John Henson, who has played well in his short Pistons stint, coming over in the Andre Drummond trade. In three games, he is 9 for 10 with 19 points and 13 rebounds to begin his Pistons career. Joining the plethora of expiring contracts, he could be a veteran the team looks to bring back.

Lastly, Thon Maker has looked like a different player. His effort level is unquestionable and he often finds himself in the right spots. The 7-footer has scored in double figures in three of his last four games after only doing so in six of his previous 48.

During that stretch he’s 21 for 36 (58.3%) from the floor and 5 for 12 from 3-point range. He grabbed a season-best 12 rebounds against Charlotte and had three blocks against the Knicks.

He enters free agency in a restricted role, giving the Pistons the ability to match his contract if he signs an offer sheet elsewhere. It’s possible he could return given his strong play.

The best way to describe the final 25 games is fluid. It’ll be an evaluation period for what seems like a roster with few players guaranteed a spot next season.

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