The Detroit Pistons will be led by Cade Cunningham next season, a player who is not yet old enough to buy a beer.
It will be a common theme for Detroit, as they boast one of the youngest rosters in the NBA, a rebuilding squad hoping to develop around their promising young core.
Young teams rarely enjoy much success in the NBA, which is still dominated by players in their late 20’s and 30’s, though last year’s All-NBA first team was comprised entirely of players 27-years or younger for the first time since the mid 1950’s, so the league is trending younger.
Even so, few of the league’s best players are under 25, and it’s tough for a young team to compete against squads with vastly more experience.
Teams mostly rebuild through the draft these days, so going with a young roster is the most convenient way to tank for future draft picks, especially this season when there is a potential generational star in the draft in Victor Wembanyama.
There will be a lot of young teams in the league next season, but will the Detroit Pistons be the youngest?
What is the Detroit Pistons’ average age?
As the rosters stand right now, the Detroit Pistons will be the 4th-youngest team in the NBA next season, something that could change by the trade deadline, as Detroit could definitely trade guys like Kelly Olynyk, Cory Joseph, Alec Burks and Nerlens Noel, which would lower their average age considerably.
Right now, the Pistons’ average age is 23.9, which is behind the OKC Thunder (22.7), Orlando Magic (23.4) and San Antonio Spurs (23.7) and Detroit has 11 players on the current roster who are under 24-years-old.
Players don’t usually start their peak play until 25 or 26-years-old, which doesn’t bode well for the Pistons’ chances of surprising some people and making the play-in tournament next season.
To put it into context, four of the frontrunners for the title next season also happen to be the league’s oldest teams, with Milwaukee (29.4), Miami (28.1), Phoenix (27.9) and LA Clippers (27.9) leading the league in average age.
If you want to see why Golden State is considered the best-run franchise in the NBA, not only did they win a title last season with almost all homegrown players but their roster is just 12th-oldest in the league, with an average age of just over 25-years-old.
The Pistons have a chance to be the best of the young teams, but it could still be a few more years before we see them with a roster that has the experience to truly compete for the playoffs in the Eastern Conference.