Detroit Pistons: How Isaiah Stewart will break out next season

Isaiah Stewart #28 of the Detroit Pistons (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images)
Isaiah Stewart #28 of the Detroit Pistons (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images) /

The Detroit Pistons seem to have their young core of the future. Cade Cunningham and Jaden Ivey running the offense, Saddiq Bey as a sharpshooter on the wing, and their two bigs in Jalen Duren and Isaiah Stewart should give fans plenty of reason to be optimistic.

Isaiah Stewart is listed as a center, but that’s a foolish choice by the front office and coaching staff. At 6-foot-9 and with a promising jump shot and decent three-point percentage of 33 percent, Beef Stew should be the obvious choice to start at power forward.

The Pistons have Bagley, Duren, Noel, Olynyk, and Stewart, all of whom can play the center position. At this point, the Pistons should be focusing on younger players, so Olynyk should not see the court much and could even be traded. Noel, Duren, and Bagley are all your normal centers. They do not shoot the three, they can bang around in the paint, and snag rebounds.

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For his size, Stewart is a force in the paint. He gave up the fifth lowest shooting percentage in the league last year, cementing him as perhaps the best defender on the team. Most of his points were “gimme” points that came from assists from Cade, so he never really showed his ability to score on his own.

Stewart has one of the best jump shots on the team, and he should be allowed to try and score off the dribble or in the post without much help. The ability is there, but he has spent his two seasons playing like a benchwarmer.

Detroit Pistons: For Isaiah Stewart to break out he needs a position change

Shifting Beef Stew to power forward is the most logical move the Pistons could make. With Jerami Grant gone, there is no clear starter at the position. Enter Stewart. He can defend at an elite level anywhere on the court, crash the boards, catch a lob, run the floor, or catch a pass and put up a jumper.

If Duren becomes a starter, it makes sense for the Pistons to have their young guys on the floor together. Stewart and Duren are both excellent shot blockers, so having them both down low on defense would be amazing. Both can average ten rebounds, so opposing offenses will see very few second chances.

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Unlike Bagley, Noel, and Duren, Stewart can put the ball on the floor and operate outside of the paint. With Bey, Cunningham, and hopefully Ivey all being shooting threats, adding a mobile big alongside a traditional center makes a ton of sense. When the Pistons play small ball, Stewart can slot over to the center spot. As for now, Detroit should be looking at him as the power forward of the future, and depending on the talent they got this offseason, he could be there to stay.