If you are into watching young players fight for minutes then the Detroit Pistons are the team for you.
After losing rookie Killian Hayes to a season-ending hip injury and Delon Wright for several weeks with a strained groin, the Pistons are down to three young point guards who all want to seize the opportunity.
I wrote about what Delon Wright’s injury could mean, and one of those things is that we will see a whole lot more of Dennis Smith Jr., Saben Lee and Frank Jackson as the Pistons roll with a point guard by committee approach.
Lee and Jackson are both on two-way contracts that will convey if they are active for more than 50 games, but that should be plenty of time to figure out if the Pistons are comfortable making them full-time members of the roster.
But which one will grab this opportunity and turn it into a job? Let’s take a look.
Detroit Pistons: Dennis Smith Jr. will get the first chance
Because Dennis Smith Jr. is actually under a full contract, he is likely to continue to get minutes as the Pistons try to figure out if he can be their next reclamation project.
And let’s be frank, if you can’t make the Knicks’ or Pistons’ rotation, you probably aren’t going to be in the NBA very long, so this could be his last chance to secure a job for himself.
Smith Jr. was once thought of as a top prospect and was the centerpiece of the Kristaps Porzingis trade (nice move there, Knickerbockers!) but hasn’t done much since an impressive rookie season.
Personally, I am least high on Smith Jr. of the three, as he doesn’t do any one thing well and is a terrible shooter. The Detroit Pistons do not shoot the ball well as a team, so the last thing they need out there is another bricklayer.
I hope Smith Jr. eventually figures it out, but I doubt it will be with the Detroit Pistons.