Detroit Pistons: Best-case/worst-case scenario for each center
Beef Stew is the presumptive starter at center, but the Pistons may need him to play some at power forward as well. The best-case scenario is that he shows some improvement on offense and becomes a legit candidate for the All-Defensive team after playing elite defense at two positions.
Stewart has already shown he can be a strong and versatile defender, so the improvements really have to come on the offensive end. Best-case is that he starts knocking down a couple of 3-point shots per game to force defensives stay honest when guarding him, but it would also be nice to see him improve as a roll man on the pick-and-roll to maximize Cade Cunningham’s passing ability.
Stewart doesn’t have to become Karl-Anthony Towns overnight offensively, but if he can hit enough shots to keep defenses from sagging and improve at catching the ball in traffic and finishing, that would be enough.
The worst-case scenario is that Detroit tries to force Stewart into an offensive role that doesn’t suit him and that he shoots a bunch of 3-pointers but only makes 30 percent of them.
The Pistons were one of the most inefficient teams in the NBA last season, so the last thing they need is another shot chucker who can’t make them. It would be better for Stewart to not shoot at all then it would be for him to shoot a lot but inefficiently.
I think it’s almost a given that Stewart will continue to improve defensively, so the worst-case scenario is that he doesn’t improve on offense and throws the entire rotation out of whack. Detroit needs his defense, but you can’t play four on five on offense in the modern NBA, so he has to be able to do something. Worst-case scenario is that he can’t and it really stalls the Detroit offense and forces him to the bench, where he is an even worse fit with the second unit.