Detroit Pistons: Braxton Key trying to defend his way onto the roster

Isaiah Stewart #28, Braxton Key #8 and Isaiah Livers #12 of the Detroit Pistons (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Isaiah Stewart #28, Braxton Key #8 and Isaiah Livers #12 of the Detroit Pistons (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images) /

Braxton Key of the Detroit Pistons is not the flashiest player around.

He is not going to jump out of the gym, go on long scoring runs or knock down a ton of shots from long range.

He is the consummate glue guy, one of those players who does the little things to help teams win, whether it is grabbing a timely rebound, making the extra pass or being in the right place on defense.

Braxton Key doesn’t do any one thing at an elite level, but always seems to be in the right place to make a play, which he showed at times in the nine games he played for the Detroit Pistons last season.

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On offense, he is adept at making the extra pass, as you will see here, as he gets the ball in traffic, takes his time and then dumps it off to the open man:

But Key isn’t going to make the roster because of his offense, so can he do enough defensively to warrant more than a two-way contract?

Detroit Pistons: Braxton Key’s defense

Key certainly isn’t an elite defender, but he is a smart defender who is usually in the right position and he has active hands.

He is leading the Pistons in blocked shots during the Summer League, averaging 1.3 per game and has also swiped two steals per game which is second on the team.

He just seems to be in the right position to make plays, and I think this play really illustrates what he brings to the table. He plays tough defense on the penetrator, getting his body into him and disrupting his shot before grabbing the rebound and starting the break. There is nothing flashy about this, but it leads to an open 3-point shot for Buddy Boeheim, which he knocked down:

Of all of the fringe players on the Detroit Pistons’ Summer League roster, I think Key is the most likely to end up getting some run with the big team this season.

Not only does he make plays on both ends, but the Pistons have a lack of forward depth and he can play and defend either spot, which will give him an advantage in his attempt to crack the depth chart.

He will be trying to show out in the final Summer League game hoping to land on an NBA roster.

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