Should more Detroit Pistons rank in the top-10 young athletes in the city?

Saddiq Bey #41 and Isaiah Stewart #28 of the Detroit Pistons (Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images)
Saddiq Bey #41 and Isaiah Stewart #28 of the Detroit Pistons (Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images) /

In all four sports, the Motor City is on the rise. The Detroit Pistons are led by talented lottery picks in Cade Cunningham and Jaden Ivey, with a young support cast led by Saddiq Bey.

The Lions have an exciting receiving core and skilled offensive and defensive lines, and the Tigers are led by Tarik Skubal and Riley Green. The Tigers suffered from poor management, although Al Avila’s days may be numbered.

In all honesty, hockey is the sport I tend to ignore, although Moritz Seider, Dylan Larkin, and GM Steve Yzerman have plenty of reasons to keep my frozen friends happy.

Detroit was once a proud sports town. The Wings are one of the best hockey teams ever, and from 2005-2017 the Detroit Pistons and Tigers were both contending for glory. The Lions march to the beat of their own drum.

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In recent years, all the Detroit teams have fallen on hard times. All four teams were cellar dwellers, but it looks like those days are behind them. Woodward Sports compiled the definitive list of the best Detroit athletes 25 and under, and there are a lot of big names on that list.

Detroit Pistons: Top-10 Detroit athletes under 25

Three Pistons made the list. Cade Cunningham obviously is one of the top Detroit athletes, and Saddiq Bey has exploded into near-stardom. Isaiah Stewart came in at number eight. Jaden Ivey is not included on the list, and neither is Lion Aiden Hutchinson, which makes me think players have to debut before they can make the list. That’s more than a fair rule to have.

The inclusion of Isaiah Stewart may be a bit unwarranted. Please don’t crucify me, but he is currently a below-average NBA starter. He averaged eight and eight last season, and his lack of size caught up to him, seeing as his defense dropped off from his rookie campaign. Being a fan favorite elevated him into the top ten, though he could surprise me and have a breakout season.

If we’re adding fan favorites, maybe Akil Baddoo deserves a spot, but I guess Toledo is far enough away from Detroit for him to count.

The tweet above brings up a good point. Is Killian Hayes deserving of being on this list? Let’s break it down. Suggesting that Hayes is better than Cunningham, Seider, St. Brown, Raymond, Bey, Greene, Skubal, and Swift is absolutely insane. Greene, Cunningham, Skubal, Swift, and the two Wings are all already stars. Bey is a solid roleplayer, as is St. Brown. That leaves Pennai Sewell and Isaiah Stewart.

Sewell is an offensive lineman on the Lions, so it’s hard to compare stats to determine just how good he is, but the Lions were 19th in the league in sacks allowed in Sewell’s first season with 36. The year before he entered the league, the Lions were tenth, with 42 allowed. That’s a noticeable difference, so Sewell has earned his spot.

That leaves Beef Stew. I know you love him, and I will concede that he’s a better player than Hayes. Hayes is a better defender, but Stewart is a better scorer, rebounder, and all-around player for his position. Plus, there’s still hope that he will develop a good jump shot. The same can’t be said for Hayes.

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If it were my list, I would move Greene, Swift, and Skubal up the list and Beef Stew to tenth. He’s still on the list and has more of a future than Hayes, but it might be a closer race than fans would like to admit.