Detroit Pistons training camp preview: Starting lineup battles

Isaiah Livers #12 and Saddiq Bey #41 of the Detroit Pistons (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Isaiah Livers #12 and Saddiq Bey #41 of the Detroit Pistons (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

We are finally getting close to training camp, as the Detroit Pistons will re-convene in less than a month to get the season started.

There will be several interesting battles to watch and we’ve already broken down the guards who will be fighting for minutes.

We also took a look at the two-way guys, with the Pistons bringing on a couple of shooters to compete for contracts.

With some new faces on the roster, just about every spot is up for grabs, especially in the starting lineup, where there are only two guaranteed locks for opening night.

Cade Cunningham and Saddiq Bey will be there, and you can probably pencil in Isaiah Stewart as well, though we aren’t sure yet if he’ll be playing center or power forward. That leaves two spots and there will be four different players competing for them.

Detroit Pistons’ training camp: The final guard spot

Shooting guard will be one spot up for grabs in the starting lineup and there are probably two guys who have a legit shot at it.

Rookie Jaden Ivey is probably the frontrunner, as the Detroit Pistons see him and Cade Cunningham as the backcourt of the future and the future starts now.

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Alec Burks could also get a shot, as his 3-point shooting would fit well with Cade’s playmaking.

But Burks has mostly been a bench player in his career and would likely be more comfortable in that role than Ivey. There’s also an argument that he is a better fit with backup Killian Hayes, who could use the extra space he creates to operate.

This is Ivey’s spot to lose. He’s the 5th pick, part of the backcourt of the future, and probably a better fit with the starters than with the bench.

Pistons training camp battles: The power forward

The Detroit Pistons could go in a lot of directions at power forward, as they didn’t really replace Jerami Grant with a PF who fills the traditional role.

But the battle will likely come down to size and fit, and whether the Pistons want to try and get more shooting into the starting five.

I’d say Marvin Bagley III is the frontrunner at the moment, as he can start with Stewart, who is trying to increase his 3-point shooting this season. Whether you want to call Stewart or Bagley III the center doesn’t really matter, as MBIII is going to play more in the paint and Stew more outside of it when the two are on the floor together.

There is also a chance the Pistons go small by putting Isaiah Livers in the starting five with Stewart. This might be the best way to distribute the Pistons’ shooters, as having Livers, Burks and Olynyk (three of Detroit’s best 3-point shooters) all coming off the bench may not be the best use of their resources.

The Pistons could slide MBIII to the bench so he can play with Olynyk, Burks and Hayes, which would spread the shooting around a bit.

Dwane Casey will have a lot of options next season and some of these choices will be played out in training camp and the preseason, which should create interesting competitions, especially in the starting lineup.

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