Detroit Pistons: Eastern Conference backcourt rankings
#5: Detroit Pistons
Cade Cunningham is the real deal. If he gets his shot to go anywhere near his college level, he could average an efficient 25 points with near All-NBA defense. Donovan Mitchell, but better.
I’m not sure what to expect from Jaden Ivey quite yet, but I know it’ll be exciting and full of highlights. His defense isn’t amazing, and his shooting was only okay in college, but he single handedly led Purdue into March Madness.
In Summer League, he looked great during his limited play, so if he gets to start in the backcourt this team will be electrifying.
Killian Hayes is a bit of a question mark. I want him to be good, he has all the tools to be good, but he is only okay. Yes, he’s an above-average defender and uses his size to crash the boards quite well, but on offense, he is a near non-factor.
His shooting is yet to improve from anywhere, and he looks scared when he attacks the rim. Luckily, he managed to cut his turnovers down a lot, and I suspect his passing numbers only dropped because he lost a major target in Jerami Grant.
I may be a little biased towards the Detroit Pistons, as they are young and unproven, but they have everything they need. The Magic and Pacers are building too, but they are prioritizing bigs and forwards. Detroit’s future is in the backcourt, and if it doesn’t click this year, it will soon. Detroit Basketball is almost back, and Cade and Ivey will be the pair to carry it into the Motor City.
So why are the Pistons listed so high? I think Cade will be better than LaMelo Ball next year, I think the Knicks are frauds, I think the Cavs and Bucks are incomplete, and I think the other young teams are still a step away from being elite. Not Detroit’s backcourt. I think they’re right on track and where they need to be.