The real reason Detroit Pistons offense is clunky

DETROIT, MICHIGAN - NOVEMBER 25: Head coach Dwane Casey of the Detroit Pistons talks to Blake Griffin (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
DETROIT, MICHIGAN - NOVEMBER 25: Head coach Dwane Casey of the Detroit Pistons talks to Blake Griffin (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /
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Detroit Pistons forward Sekou Doumbouya
Dec 13, 2020; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Detroit Pistons forward Sekou Doumbouya (45) gets the loose ball against New York Knicks forward Julius Randle (30). Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports /

Is it Doumbouya’s time?

While much has been made of the new draft choices brought in this year, don’t forget Sekou Doumbouya was always promoted to be part of the Detroit Pistons future as well. He was taken No. 15 overall in the 2019 NBA Draft.

The youngest player in the NBA last year, the 6-foot-9 forward is still younger than a couple of Detroit’s picks from this year’s draft. He turns 20 on December 23.

While new general manager Troy Weaver was not the one who drafted him, he obviously sees some potential in Doumbouya.

While pretty much the entire roster from last season has been shown the door, Doumbouya was one of just four players who returned. Weaver also recently exercised the team’s option to keep Doumbouya under contract for the 2021-22 season.

So, Detroit is showing Doumbouya some long-term commitment. He did have some very good games in the preseason. Of course, as long as Blake Griffin is on the team, Doumbouya would be blocked from a spot in the starting lineup.

However, if Griffin is traded, easy peasy, Doumbouya can slide into the starting power forward slot. It is a position that the Pistons would hope Doumbouya could stay at for the next 10 years.

Doumbouya is not the shooter or passer Griffin is, but he has shown a knack for cutting to the basket at the right time for layups or foul shots. He also injects some athletic ability into a starting five that, outside of Grant, does not have a lot of jumpers and leapers.

Related Story. Detroit Pistons: How Does Sekou Doumbouya’s Rookie Season Stack Up?. light

Doumbouya’s rookie year was an up and down affair. He spent a lot of time in the G-League but, when given a chance, he had his moments in the NBA. He played especially well when the Pistons faced the eventual NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers.

There is even a Plan B if it appears Doumbouya can not handle the starting spot.

The Pistons can insert 6-9 rookie Isaiah Stewart, the No. 16 overall pick in this year’s draft, into the power forward spot. The guy plays like the Energizer Bunny, there certainly there would be no lack of hustle if he started.

Pistons management would love to get a good, long look at him.

Even if Doumbouya kept his starting position, Stewart would move up in the rotation, and get additional playing time.

So, for the next few months Griffin would still start, the Pistons record might not be great with the clunky starters (Hello Cade Cunningham!) and Doumbouya would gain some experience coming off the bench. While this is happening, Stewart can learn the ropes of being an NBA player.

Griffin moves to a contender in, say, March. Then, easy peasy, Doumbouya or Stewart moves seamlessly into the starting lineup.

So, maybe, Troy Weaver is playing chess while the rest of us are staring at our checker board.

Next. Detroit Pistons Off-Season Grades: Preseason Edition. dark

If the Pistons have trouble scoring early in games, just keep in mind, there may be an ulterior motive.

Or they, obviously, are simply playing the guys making the most money. That way, Casey and Weaver don’t have to explain to owner Tom Gores why he is giving a big check to a benchwarmer.