Detroit Pistons: 4 ways to upgrade at each position

Detroit Pistons head coach Dwane Casey.Mandatory Credit: Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports
Detroit Pistons head coach Dwane Casey.Mandatory Credit: Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports /
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Detroit Pistons, Killian Hayes
Dwane Casey head coach of the Detroit Pistons talks with Killian Hayes (Photo by Ronald Cortes/Getty Images) /

The Detroit Pistons need to upgrade their backcourt

Current rotation: Killian Hayes, Josh Jackson, Hamidou Diallo, Dennis Smith Jr., Frank Jackson, Corey Joseph, Saben Lee, Wayne Ellington, Rodney McGruder

The Pistons will mostly hope for internal improvements from their young guards but could upgrade the veterans via trades or free agency.

Homegrown Options:

The Pistons used a LOT of guards this season and have some exciting young talent but they still need massive improvements from the guys they have. They are banking that Killian Hayes will make a huge leap in season two and that Saben Lee can crack the rotation.

Assuming they re-sign Diallo, the Detroit Pistons will likely go into next season with the same core group minus veterans Smith Jr., Joseph, Ellington and McGruder.

Hayes is the most important player in this group, as the Pistons need a consistent point guard who can stay on the floor.

NBA Draft:

There are a ton of good guard prospects in the draft, so the Pistons could use their lottery pick for a guy like Jalen Green, who would be a nice fit with Hayes.

Of course, the Pistons are hoping to get the number one pick and use it on Cade Cunningham, but even if they don’t, grabbing another guard in the draft is still likely. The Pistons will look for shooters in the second round and will hopefully walk away from the NBA Draft with an upgrade at the guard position.


The only real trade chip the Detroit Pistons have at guard is Josh Jackson and there are definitely some pros and cons to trading him this offseason.

Trading Jackson might net some future draft assets and would also give Diallo a chance to shine in a larger role. This could be an addition by subtraction move, as Jackson cannot shoot and turns the ball over too much to be the 6th man on a good team.

Free Agency:

Even though I don’t expect the Pistons to be big players in free agency, this is probably the best way to upgrade their guard rotation other than internal improvements and the draft. The Pistons can do better than Smith Jr., Joseph, Ellington and McGruder and should be able to upgrade just by getting a veteran or two in free agency. I would love the Pistons to make a play for someone like Josh Hart, Talen Horton-Tucker, Alex Caruso, Kendrick Nunn or another young-ish veteran who can score.