Are the Detroit Pistons wasting a roster spot?

Kevin Knox II #20 of the New York Knicks (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images)
Kevin Knox II #20 of the New York Knicks (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images) /

The Detroit Pistons may or may not be finished dealing this offseason, but as of right now, their roster looks nearly set.

The Pistons are going to be one of the youngest teams in the NBA, so were happy to bring on veterans Alec Burks and Nerlens Noel, who should take some of the pressure off their young players and provide some leadership.

They also took a flyer on Kevin Knox, forward from the New York Knicks and Atlanta Hawks, who hasn’t done much in his career so far, but was a top 10 draft pick in 2018 and may still have untapped potential.

Taking chances on high-ceiling guys who may need a change of scenery has been a strategy of Troy Weaver, who rolled the dice on guys like Josh Jackson and Marvin Bagley III, with the latter finding new life in Detroit.

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It’s a good way to acquire high-end talent on the cheap and if it doesn’t work out, there isn’t much risk, but in the case of Knox, I’m wondering if the Detroit Pistons are just wasting a roster spot.

Detroit Pistons roster: Is Kevin Knox even going to play?

The Pistons signed Kevin Knox to a 2 year/$6 million deal that certainly won’t kill them either way. It’s near-minimum money, so Knox isn’t going to be the reason they don’t have cap space.

But will he even crack the depth chart?

Knox has spent most of his time at small forward, a position where the Pistons already have Saddiq Bey, Isaiah Livers, Hamidou Diallo, Alec Burks and even Braxton Key, all guys who can play that spot and have done it better than Knox.

Knox is 6-foot-7 and has played some power forward, so his best chance to be in the rotation may be at the four, but even there competition for minutes is going to be fierce with guys like MBIII and Kelly Olynyk already established and offering more versatility than Knox.

The Detroit Pistons definitely need shooting, so if Knox improves as a 3-point shooter there may be some minutes for him, and he has shown that ability in the past. But Knox shot just 27 percent from long range last season (albeit in just 30 games) and is only a 34 percent shooter for his career.

It’s hard to imagine Knox suddenly becoming a knockdown shooter, so it’s really hard to see how he gets minutes on the Detroit Pistons.

Nothing against Knox, but the Pistons probably could have used that money and roster spot on a guy who had a legit chance at rotation minutes. I get trying to find an undervalued gem, and if Knox shows some of what he did in his rookie season, they may have.

But if Knox just ends up on the back of the bench, the Pistons may have wasted a roster spot that could have been populated with a player who fills more needs or has more upside as a shooter.

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