What should Detroit Pistons starting lineup be once regulars return?

Detroit Pistons forward Saddiq Bey (41) reacts to the win Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports
Detroit Pistons forward Saddiq Bey (41) reacts to the win Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports /

The Detroit Pistons are coming off their sixth win of the season and are set to get many of their regulars back, so things are looking up in the new year.

Cade Cunningham, Killian Hayes, Josh Jackson, Saben Lee, Rodney McGruder and Trey Lyles have all been removed from the injured list and are cleared to come back from health and safety protocols.

It has not yet been announced if they are going to play tonight against the Bucks, but all indications are that they will.

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This leaves the Detroit Pistons with some tough decisions as several players, particularly Saddiq Bey and Hamidou Diallo, played well in their absence and may have earned more minutes.

They’ve certainly given coach Dwane Casey something to think about, especially when it comes to the fit between Cade Cunningham and Killian Hayes. At times it has worked, especially defensively, but there are still questions about how the two fit offensively.

Luka Garza has also strung together some good games and has probably worked his way into the rotation, even if veteran Trey Lyles returns.

So what should the Detroit Pistons starting lineup look like?

The Detroit Pistons starting lineup needs a change

I would love to see this group get a start tonight against the Bucks:

  • Cade Cunningham
  • Saben Lee
  • Hamidou Diallo
  • Saddiq Bey
  • Luka Garza

Derrick Walton Jr. was put on the injury report and is not expected to play against Milwaukee, which is a shame, as he’s been playing well and deserved a shot to keep it going.

Both he and Cassius Stanley were on 10-day contracts and will return to the G-League, but it would have been nice for them to get a little more run.

I would love to see Stanley be allowed to build off his last game, in which he scored 19 points and injected some much-needed athleticism and shooting into the Pistons starting lineup, but he and Walton Jr. appear to be victims of a numbers game.

This group is a little more athletic and versatile, should be able to pressure the ball and has guys who can get to the rim and finish.

It also allows Saddiq Bey to play power forward, which might be his ultimate position, especially if the Pistons end up trading Jerami Grant.

The Pistons have been at their best this year when they play with pace, defend and try to get out in transition and this starting five should be able to do that.

It would also allow Killian Hayes to spend some time running the second unit as the primary ball handler, which is a much better role for him than standing in the corner waiting to shoot 3-point shots.

The Pistons have used a ton of different lineups this season with so many guys out, but this could be one of their more entertaining options. I wouldn’t hold my breath that Hayes will be sent to the bench, but I’d love to see coach Casey shake things up a bit and reward the guys who have been playing hard.

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