Emily Dickinson said, “Hope is the thing with feathers.” Well, for a long time the Detroit Pistons have been without feathers, which is why some fans are upset about the trade of Sekou Doumbouya.
Doumbouya very much embodied the hope of a beleaguered fan base who had watched their team draft poorly for years.
Not only did the Pistons take the wrong guys, but the players they did pick were chosen more for “need” than talent, which is how you end up with Luke Kennard over Donovan Mitchell.
Doumbouya represented the type of raw but high-ceiling talent Detroit had often passed on in favor of guys like Kennard and Henry Ellenson, so most fans were happy that the Pistons were trying to swing for the fences instead of playing it safe.
But potential is the carrot dangled in front of a donkey and the Detroit Pistons decided to stop chasing it before they got in any deeper.
Detroit Pistons: Sekou Doumbouya’s potential may never be realized
On one hand, Sekou Doumbouya is 20-years-old, so calling him a “bust” is foolish. He still has plenty of time to improve, reach his potential and become an impact player in the NBA and I wish him well.
On the other hand, Doumbouya has not shown many signs of that improvement and there is a chance that his potential will be just that. He has a big-time Stanley Johnson vibe, as he looks like he should be good at basketball until you actually see him play it.
Doumbouya did make some progress on the defensive end but had to miss most of Summer League so really didn’t get much chance to show it.
He hasn’t shown any type of offensive game other than in transition, seemed to have lost a step athletically between his rookie and second season (not good for a 20-year-old) and is a tweener who doesn’t really have a position.
Doumbouya is also on his final guaranteed year and the Detroit Pistons would have potentially had to take on his team option in 2022-23, a $5.5 million hit that they were obviously not willing to take.
Guys like Isaiah Livers, Jamorko Pickett and even Chris Smith have already shown more than Doumbouya in their brief time with the team. Yes, they are older, but at some point just yelling “HIGH CEILING TALENT!” isn’t enough to keep a guy around, it has to be evident on the court and it just never was with Doumbouya.
Troy Weaver prefers guys with a never-ending motor and work ethic and there wasn’t a whole lot of evidence that Doumbouya had either.
Not every draft pick works out, but it is a bittersweet ending for Sekou in Detroit, as we never really got to see him play. But Troy Weaver did, and what he saw did not impress.
The Detroit Pistons are likely to find a more impactful player than Doumbouya with one of those four 2nd-round picks, as Weaver has already shown he can find gems later in the draft.
I get that fans are disappointed, but let’s quit acting like the Pistons gave up on a guy who was a sure-thing All-Star. Doumbouya is not even a sure thing to ever make a rotation and as young as he is, it was time to move on.