Detroit Pistons training camp preview: The 2-way battles

Portland Trail Blazers guard Keon Johnson (6) shoots against Detroit Pistons guard Buddy Boeheim Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports
Portland Trail Blazers guard Keon Johnson (6) shoots against Detroit Pistons guard Buddy Boeheim Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports /

The Detroit Pistons will start training camp in less than a month and there will be some interesting battles for minutes and spots on the roster.

Yesterday, we looked at the guard battles that will include two guys vying for a starting spot, a couple fighting for bench minutes, and two players trying to keep their spots on the roster.

But they won’t be the only ones trying to earn a spot on the team, as the Pistons will also have guys battling it out for the two 2-way contracts.

Currently, the frontrunners are Braxton Key and Buddy Boeheim, and of those two, I’d say Key has the clear edge, as he is a versatile defender and was one of the standouts of Summer League while Boeheim wasn’t particularly impressive.

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But the Pistons are light on shooting, so would love to fill that other two-way spot with a shooting prospect, and training camp and preseason may ultimately decide who gets the spot.

Detroit Pistons training camp: Buddy Boeheim vs. Micah Potter

The Pistons signed Micah Potter to an Exhibit 10 contract recently, bringing another shooter into camp to compete with Boeheim for the final two-way contract if the other one does end up going to Braxton Key.

Both Boeheim and Potter have similar strengths and weaknesses, as both are good shooters who can’t defend.

Potter put up the superior 3-point shooting numbers in college, though Boeheim shot far more of them as a high usage guy who was chucking over eight per game from long range.

But he only hit 36 percent of them and looked like a complete dud on defense in the Summer League, where he was beaten early and often.

Even though Boeheim is already signed to one of the two-way deals, Potter may have an advantage, as he is four inches taller, has already had a stellar season in the G-League (he made the G-League All-Rookie team) and even got some run with the Detroit Pistons late last season on a 10-day contract.

The Pistons also already have seven guards on the roster, so Boeheim would be buried on the depth chart while the Pistons are much thinner at power forward, especially with guys who can actually shoot from range.

In their last full seasons, Boeheim scored over 19 points per game in college as a high usage chucker who was fairly inefficient for an guy who is supposed to be a shooting prospect.

Meanwhile, Potter put up over 17 points per game in the G-League against superior competition, hitting 50 percent of his shots overall and 40 percent from 3-point range.

Unless I am missing something here, the 6-foot-10 Potter has the advantage going into camp and has a good chance to displace Boeheim and take one of those two-way contracts.

Of course, there could be other names that eventually get into this conversation, but for now, Potter is a better fit and probably a better all-around player than Boeheim.

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