2. Cory Joseph might be a luxury this season for Detroit Pistons
Last year, as a poor shooting Killian Hayes proved a bad match to start in the backcourt with Cade Cunningham, coach Dwane Casey inserted veteran guard Cory Joseph into the lineup when Hayes got hurt, and kept him there until … well … they decided they did not want a lineup that would win.
Joseph responded by shooting a career-best 40% on three-pointers, helping open up the floor for Cunningham, as well as Jerami Grant. Joseph then opted into his player option for this season.
However, last year was last year, and this is this year.
Jaden Ivey is on the team and, hopefully, the Pistons backcourt is set for the near future. This is a prove-it season for Hayes, he needs to play so the Pistons can evaluate if he is part of the future as well.
With Cunningham, Ivey, Hayes and newly acquired Alec Burks, there might not be a spot in the rotation for Joseph.
And if looking for a guard with scoring punch, who might not mind sitting on the bench and waiting his turn, UCLA’s Jules Bernard might fit the bill. He was the only one, outside of two-way players Buddy Boeheim and Braxton Key, to play in all five Pistons games in Las Vegas.
Part of the Bruins’ Final Four and Sweet 16 teams of the past couple of years, Bernard is a 6-7 guard who took up the slack when Ivey, Hayes and Lee sat.
Bernard averaged 18 points in the Pistons final two games. He did not shoot the three particularly well (29.4%), but he slashed to the basket effectively. Her certainly is an interesting prospect.
Stanley Umude is a wing who also showed some scoring pop in summer league.