Detroit Pistons: Optimistic player predictions revisited

Detroit Pistons guard Cade Cunningham (2).. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Detroit Pistons guard Cade Cunningham (2).. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports /
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Detroit Pistons, Saben Lee, Luka Garza
Detroit Pistons center Luka Garza (55) looks to pass to guard Saben Lee (38) Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports /

Detroit Pistons: Optimistic predictions for the young bench revisited

Isaiah Livers

The prediction: Livers will dominate the G-League, come up later in the season and play well for the Detroit Pistons while becoming a fan favorite.

The reality: Well, none of these things came true and it’s pretty much been a lost season for Livers, who has only appeared in one game in the NBA and zero in the G-League. We’ve not gotten a recent update on his injury but it appears that we’ll have to wait until next season to see Livers, which is disappointing considering the Pistons gave him a 3-year deal. I thought Livers would appear and make an impact in Detroit this season but I was wrong.

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Saben Lee

The prediction: Saben Lee will start at least 20 games this season and become the backup point guard after Joseph is traded.

The reality: Saben Lee has started zero games for the Detroit Pistons and has only appeared in 28 total. He’s been a dominant force of nature in the G-League, but it has yet to translate to the NBA, and since the Pistons didn’t trade Joseph, Lee will still struggle to get into the point guard rotation. There are many who believe he has more talent than Killian Hayes (I’m not one of them), and though I can’t agree with that, I do agree that he has played better and deserves more opportunity down the stretch.

Luka Garza

The prediction: Garza will play in more than half of the Pistons’ games this season and will average a double/double over the last 15 games after being inserted into the rotation.

The reality: Garza has played in 29 games so far, so the first part of the prediction could still happen, though it is unlikely given the recent addition of Bagley III and the return of Kelly Olynyk. I do think Detroit will eventually start to sit their veterans in the final games, so Garza could get the call up and be in the rotation for the final 15 games. Will he average a double double in that time? I think it’s possible, but I wouldn’t bet on it. It turns out that these optimistic predictions for Garza weren’t that far off, but I wasn’t nearly as high on him as some others.