Updated look at Pistons’ lineup, rotation following Delon Wright trade

Cory Joseph #9 of the Sacramento Kings reacts during the third quarter against the Detroit Pistons (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images)
Cory Joseph #9 of the Sacramento Kings reacts during the third quarter against the Detroit Pistons (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images) /

The Detroit Pistons and Troy Weaver were busy last night, trading Delon Wright to the Sacramento Kings for Cory Joseph.

The trade is not a big one, as neither player is great and both teams are bad, but I believe Detroit won the trade for several reasons.

There is a full breakdown of the Delon Wright trade here, but the gist is that the Pistons picked up some future draft capital and cap space with the move, which could help facilitate future trades.

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Wright is definitely the better player, as Cory Joseph has never been more than middling bench guy, but Detroit got the cap space and the two second-round picks, so at worst it’s a wash and at best they won the trade easily.

How will the addition of Joseph affect the Pistons’ lineup and rotation? It’s probably too early to know at this point, but there are basically two scenarios that make sense.

The Pistons might not be done dealing, so this prediction is based the current roster, which could obviously change any minute.

Detroit Pistons: Cory Joseph could move into the starting lineup

One scenario is that the Pistons just put Joseph in the same role that Delon Wright was playing, which is as the two-guard in the starting lineup.

Wright was playing just under 30 minutes a game, but it is unlikely that Joseph will get those kinds of minutes, as he was only playing 21 minutes per game for the Kings.

I could definitely see the Pistons just sliding Joseph into Wright’s role so that they can maintain their rotation of young point guards and not mess with their minutes much. He also isn’t that good, so it wouldn’t hurt their cause when it comes to the tank.

In this scenario Dennis Smith Jr. and Saben Lee would probably take on a few extra minutes each even if one of them does not move into the starting role.

Of course, once Hamidou Diallo returns from injury, the Pistons will have even more competition and Joseph could find himself coming off the bench or not playing at all.

Once Killian Hayes is back we have probably seen the last of Cory Joseph.

Pistons lineups with Cory Joseph off the bench

Another option would be to move one of the young guards into a starter’s role and have Joseph come off the bench, which is his more familiar role in the NBA.

The Pistons could move Diallo or Smith Jr. into the starting lineup and bring Joseph to the bench, where he would have to earn minutes.

He might not, which could mean a lot of DNP’s for Joseph. This is a distinct possibility, as the Pistons probably don’t envision him as part of the long-term plans and could simply cut Joseph in the offseason and just eat the $2.4 million he is owed.

Cory Joseph is not likely to be a Piston for long, as they could cut him in the offseason and still save around $6 million from what they owed Delon Wright.

It’s possible that Joseph could start or come off the bench until Diallo returns, but then it is likely onto the youth movement for the Pistons, especially if they trade Wayne Ellington as well.

Don’t expect big things from Cory Joseph, who was really just a way to get more cap space and draft assets and is probably not going to play much once the Pistons are at full strength.

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