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, Killian Hayes, Cade Cunningham
Detroit Pistons guard Killian Hayes Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports /

Detroit Pistons’ training camp preview: Questions for the bench

Jalen Duren

Will Duren force the Pistons’ hand?
I am sure Detroit would like to bring Duren along slowly, as he will be the youngest player in the NBA and obviously still needs a lot of work. But his size and athleticism were jaw dropping in Summer League and he gives the Pistons another huge lob threat for their young guards. So can he do enough in preseason to win a spot in the rotation? Like I said, the Pistons are thinking long term with their big man, but he can make it difficult for them by continuing to build on his strong Summer League in camp and preseason. Let’s hope he plays so well that Detroit can’t keep him out of the lineup.

Hamidou Diallo

Has Diallo improved at all as a shooter?

We know Diallo is a great athlete who can dunk and grab steals. But until he shows at least some improvement as a shooter, it’s tough to have him out there for long stretches, especially for this particular team which is bereft of offense anyway. Diallo has all of the tools to be an NBA player, but wings and guards have to be able to shoot at league average from 3-point range unless they are absolutely killers from another spot (like DeMar DeRozan). If Diallo is still the same guy who shoots 25 percent from 3-point range, I can’t see him having a long future in Detroit.

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Isaiah Livers

Can Livers be more than a bench guy?

I think Isaiah Livers has the most to gain from a strong training camp and preseason, as he could work his way into the starting lineup. Unless Isaiah Stewart really starts shooting and hitting jumpers as a higher rate, it’s hard to see the front court pairing of him and Bagley III working, as there just isn’t enough space. If Livers continues to defend well and hit 3-point shots, putting him in the starting five with Bey at power forward makes some sense, especially considering Bagley III might fit better with Kelly Olynyk in the second unit.

I’m high on Livers’ future as a bench 3-and-D guy but can he be more than that?

Killian Hayes

What has Killian Hayes been working on this summer?

Killian Hayes only played in one Summer League game and then didn’t play at all for France in the FIBA EuroBasket, though he may not have been invited, who knows.

We’ve seen some videos of him playing in pickup games and dribbling against no one, but what exactly has his focus been? Is he working on floaters, runners and mid-range jumpers? Is he shooting more corner 3-point shots and step backs? All of the above?

Hayes has to show some offensive improvement and he’ll be under the microscope starting in training camp and preseason, where he needs to show some development in his game. Fans are going to be curious what that looks like and Hayes will be one of the most scrutinized players before the games even get real.

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