Detroit Pistons training camp preview: Battle of the forwards

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) /
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Detroit Pistons, Kevin Knox, Saben Lee
New York Knicks forward Kevin Knox II (20) drives to the basket against Detroit Pistons guard Saben Lee Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports /

Detroit Pistons training camp: Back end of the bench

Kevin Knox vs. Braxton Key

In a recent article, I played a game of Start, Bench, Cut with Livers, Knox and Diallo and it was Hamidou who ended up on the chopping block, mostly because of his lack of shot as well as his contract, which is more than Knox’s and doesn’t extend past this year.

I do think there is a world in which Knox ends up in the rotation, as he has the size to play both forward spots and has shown in the past that he can shoot, though he hasn’t done it consistently in his career.

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But I also think there is a world in which he is beaten out by two-way contract Braxton Key, who has shown himself to be a versatile defender and “glue guy” who always seems to be in a position to make a play.

I really like Key’s motor and energy, and he may prove himself to be more valuable overall than Knox.

Either way, one of them is likely to get spare minutes off the bench and the other one isn’t. Knox has the early advantage, as he is on a full-time NBA contract, but if he doesn’t show improvement from his days with the Knicks, we may see Key get those minutes depending on how the final roster shakes out.

For now, they are both on a lower tier and trying to climb and it is very possible that neither of these players are in the rotation next season.