2 G-League players making their case for the Detroit Pistons

Cassius Stanley #14 of the Detroit Pistons (Photo by Rick Osentoski/Getty Images)
Cassius Stanley #14 of the Detroit Pistons (Photo by Rick Osentoski/Getty Images) /

If you watched the Detroit Pistons vs. San Antonio Spurs game last night you might have found yourself wondering who half the players were.

The game resembled a Summer League matchup, with a couple of second-year NBA players sprinkled in with a bunch of G-Leaguers.

It wasn’t a pretty game, as both teams shot poorly and there were a ton of turnovers, but it was entertaining and you have to give both teams credit for battling with shorthanded rosters.

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Saddiq Bey and Hamidou Diallo have been the talk of Pistons Twitter, as both have stepped up with most of their teammates out. Bey hit the game winner (after a terrible night shooting) and Diallo had his second straight 30+ point game, so some good has come out of this weird stretch.

There are two other guys making their cases right now and the Detroit Pistons may find themselves having to make some roster decisions if they keep it up.

Cassius Stanley adds skills the Detroit Pistons need

The first player is former Duke Blue Devil Cassius Stanley, who got his second straight start and made the most of it, scoring 19 points last night against the Spurs and looking more comfortable.

What he brings to the Pistons

Athleticism: I really liked Stanley as a 3-and-D prospect coming out of college, so was happy when the Pistons signed him to their G-League roster. I thought he might be able to contribute at some point, just didn’t think it would happen this season. Stanley is a plus athlete with hops, which is something the Detroit Pistons lack outside of Diallo.

He was flying around last night, grabbed a couple of tough rebounds and looked like a guy who will be able to make some plays off the ball on defense. He has the athleticism to be able to get his own shot, as he did several times vs. the spurs.

Shooting: It’s no secret that the Pistons need shooting, as they are one of the worst long-range shooting teams in the league. They weren’t good overall last night, but Stanley hit 3-of-4 and looked very comfortable doing it. His shooting numbers in the G-League have not been good, so he obviously has to show that he can do this consistently, but he was thought to have a promising 3-point shot coming out of college, so hopefully this game will get him going and boost his confidence whether he stays with the team or not.

Derrick Walton Jr. just makes plays

We already wrote about whether Derrick Walton Jr. might be a keeper and after his game last night, he is making a solid case. He is one of those guys who just makes plays on the basketball court, and I like a lot of what he brings.

What he brings to Detroit

Playmaking: Derrick Walton Jr. continually broke down the Spurs’ defense last night, getting into the lane where he was able to find open teammates. He ended the game with six assists, including on the game-winner to Saddiq Bey in which he somehow threaded the ball between Poeltl’s legs to find Bey in the corner.

He’s not tall, but he is strong and is able to use his strength to get where he wants on the floor. He’s a point guard in the truest sense, as he is always looking to make plays to set up teammates.

On-the-ball defense: I was really impressed by the way Walton Jr. got after it on defense last night. He was pressuring the ball nonstop, making everything difficult for the Spurs’ guards, and finished the game with four steals. His strength allows him to body guys and keep them in front and he has really active hands.

The Pistons have a logjam at point guard already, and Walton Jr. is only on a 10-day contract, but he is definitely making his case.

I don’t know if either of these guys are long-term pieces for the Detroit Pistons, but after last night it’s hard to argue against them getting some more run off the bench. Even if they eventually are sent back to the G-League, they are two players to keep an eye on for the future.

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