Why are Saddiq Bey and Jaden Ivey suddenly subs?

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - NOVEMBER 02: Brook Lopez #11 of the Milwaukee Bucks is pressured by Saddiq Bey #41 and Jaden Ivey #23 of the Detroit Pistons in the first half at Fiserv Forum on November 02, 2022 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - NOVEMBER 02: Brook Lopez #11 of the Milwaukee Bucks is pressured by Saddiq Bey #41 and Jaden Ivey #23 of the Detroit Pistons in the first half at Fiserv Forum on November 02, 2022 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit

The Detroit Pistons have so many promising, young players, they have no room in the starting lineup for all of them. Saddiq Bey and Jaden Ivey came off the bench in Detroit’s latest game, despite being starters most of the year.

The standings say the Pistons are one of the worst teams in the NBA. That could change as the season goes along, Detroit made a late run last year. But there has been a strange dichotomy between the record and the way the lineup has evolved.

  1. The Pistons have not been very good
  2. They have too many talented young players, even with Cade Cunningham out, to fit into the starting lineup.

Can both points be true? Apparently.

Saddiq Bey is a first-round pick, general manager Troy Weaver traded to get the No. 19 spot in 2020 and selected him. He was first team All-NBA Rookie team, breaking some of Steph Curry’s rookie three-point records.

The Villanova product went on to be named to the USA Basketball Select team and, for a couple of games, filled in on the Olympic team in some exhibition games.

Bey’s biggest NBA moment was scoring 51 points against the Orlando Magic last season.

Related Story. Detroit Pistons: Saddiq Bey should reconsider USA Basketball participation. light

Yet, ironically, when Dallas came to Little Caesars Arena on November 30, Bey came off the bench.

Yes, a team that was 5-18 entering the game (which they won), could not find a spot in the starting lineup for Bey. That seems, on the surface, a little odd.

And it was not just Bey who suddenly found themselves a substitute. Jaden Ivey, the No. 5 overall pick in this year’s draft (and the consensus No. 4 rated player), also was a substitute. Ivey ended up playing 35 minutes, as starting shooting guard Isaiah Livers only played six minutes, as he suffered a shoulder injury.

Bey had been a starter since the middle of his rookie year and Ivey had been starting since game one, he and Cade Cunningham were hailed as the backcourt of the future.

So what gives?

Why are Jaden Ivey and Saddiq Bey now substitutes for Detroit Pistons?

Injuries?

Both Bey and Ivey were coming off injuries, so having them work themselves back slowly into the lineup while they regain their conditioning, would be a very plausible reason.

However, coach Dwane Casey, in the game before, had immediately put Isaiah Stewart back in the starting lineup after missing two weeks with a sprained toe. So the injury excuse does not work.

Helping the bench?

One of the big reasons the Pistons have lost a ton of games is the lack of scoring from the bench. Bey and Ivey certainly could give the second team’s offense a jolt.

Yeah and if Steph Curry was moved to the bench, the Warriors reserve unit would be much better too, You start your best players, particularly if a team has heavily invested in them and are projected to be part of their future.

A healthy Alec Burks, an emerging Kevin Knox (yes, Knicks fans, he has not looked bad), combined with veterans Cory Joseph and Hamidou Diallo should make a decent base for a ‘bench mob’.

No crying need to weaken the starting lineup to help the bench. If it is indeed getting weakened.

But that might be the point. Maybe they are subs, at the moment, because there is no place to put them in the starting lineup.

Related Story. Detroit Pistons: Inside Saddiq Bey’s unusual season. light

Who would Bey and/or Ivey knock out of the Detroit Pistons lineup?

Out of the five who started against Dallas, Stewart and Marvin Bagley III are post players, so they play totally different roles than Bey and Ivey. They do not effect each other.

Killian Hayes? Not taking him out of the lineup, he is playing the best ball of his career.

Bojan Bogdanovic is Detroit’s best player and leading scorer, he has to be a starter at this point.

Isaiah Livers? Sure, particularly as Casey was starting him at shooting guard, an odd place for player who has been a forward since he college days at Michigan.

Ivey and Bey are better but Livers is a perfect ‘glue’ guy. He can play defense and has a good outside shot. You can’t have five players all looking for their shots, so Livers would be a good role player to start.

Big question: What about Cade Cunningham and the future

Obviously, Cunningham will move back into the starting lineup whenever he is ready (which might be next season) but the big questions will be at that time: Who will be the other starters at that point and who gets booted to the bench?

It appeared at the beginning of the season Cunningham, Ivey, Bey, Stewart and Jalen Duren were the young core and the future of the franchise. In its big win over the Mavericks, only Stewart started.

Next. Why the Detroit Pistons were better missing a lot of starters. dark

There is still three-quarters of the season to go, so the Pistons lineup could, and probably will,  change throughout the season. But Ivey and Bey being moved to the bench is an odd choice when you are hoping to develop them.