Detroit Pistons training camp preview: 1 question for each bench player

Killian Hayes #7 high fives Rodney McGruder #17 of the Detroit Pistons (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images)
Killian Hayes #7 high fives Rodney McGruder #17 of the Detroit Pistons (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images) /
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Detroit Pistons, Saben Lee
Detroit Pistons guard Saben Lee Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports /

The Detroit Pistons will tip off training camp in less than two weeks and there are still a ton of question marks around the roster.

There are only a couple of guaranteed locks for the starting lineup, but it’s likely Detroit will go with a starting five that looks something like this:

  • Cade Cunningham
  • Jaden Ivey
  • Saddiq Bey
  • Marvin Bagley III
  • Isaiah Stewart

Cade Cunningham and Saddiq Bey are the only 100 percent locks but the Pistons will likely go with 5th pick Jaden Ivey to get the backcourt of the future started. Stewart is close to a lock and MBIII could get the nod unless Dwane Casey decides to try and spread his shooting around more between the two units.

Related Story. Pistons' training camp preview: The guard battles. light

The bench is far less certain and each player has at least one big question hanging over them entering training camp. I didn’t even include the two-way players, who will be in some training camp battles of their own.

When do the Detroit Pistons start training camp?

Good question! The team still hasn’t announced an official date, but it will likely start on September 28th.

Training camp preview: Questions for the bench

Kemba Walker

Will Kemba Walker be on the team?

The biggest question around Walker right now is if he will be on the roster. It is still unclear what Detroit is going to do with the Walker situation, as it was long rumored that he was going to be bought out. But Detroit hasn’t done that yet, and it’s possible they may want to use his contract in a trade, with Russell Westbrook suddenly being mentioned.

It’s more likely the Pistons just buy him out eventually, but if they are going to pay him anyway, he may have some value as a veteran mentor off the bench who can still score if he’s healthy. Stay tuned.

Rodney McGruder

Can McGruder push one of the young guys for minutes?

McGruder is 31-years-old and not likely to play much this season, but the Pistons did give him a guaranteed deal. He was likely kept around to be a veteran mentor on a very young team, but McGruder is a competitor who is still going to at least try and supplant Saben Lee on the depth chart.

Saben Lee

Can Lee take minutes from Killian Hayes?

Like McGruder, Lee has a tough path towards minutes but there have been times when he has looked better than Killian Hayes. Hayes undoubtedly has the higher ceiling and potential, but Lee is a hard worker who isn’t just going to roll over in training camp. We haven’t heard much from Lee this offseason, but if he shows that he can hit a 3-point shot more consistently, he could make the back up guard spot more of a competition.

Kevin Knox

Can Knox shoot?

This will be the one question hanging over him for the rest of his career with the Detroit Pistons. If Knox can consistently hit 3-point shots, he could find himself in the rotation, but if he can’t, Detroit has other guys who are more athletic or better defensively. Let’s hope he gets off to a hot start in preseason, but if he doesn’t, it might be hard for him to get minutes to prove himself. Knox needs to have a good preseason and show that this is a fresh start and not more of the same.