Detroit Pistons: Predictions for individual awards
Sixth Man of the Year – Hamidou Diallo
If you’ve read any of my Pistons analysis over the last year and a half, you’ll know that I always expect Hamidou Diallo to overperform, and he never does. This could be another case of me getting too excited about him, but last season, when he got the chance to play, he excelled.
I hope the second backcourt unit is Diallo and Killian Hayes and after three seasons, I am not convinced that Hayes will be the guy he was supposed to be. That leaves Diallo, or a rookie, to lead the bench unit. As much as I would like to say that a rookie can carry the torch, I think that may be asking too much. After missing months last season, I also think Olynyk is out of the race.
Is Diallo in the running for Sixth Man throughout the whole league? Absolutely not. I used to think that would be the case, but he simply does not get the playing time for that. Times have changed, but the Pistons are very top-heavy with young talent.
Cunningham, Ivey, Duren, Livers, Stewart, Bey, and Hayes are basically the “young core,” and five of them will probably be starters for parts of the season. That leaves a depleted bench, and Diallo could be the only man there to win the award. This isn’t given out of Diallo’s talent but is instead the result of simply no one else being there.