Detroit Pistons: Grades for first 30 percent of the 2022-23 season

Killian Hayes #7 of the Detroit Pistons reacts with teammate Jaden Ivey (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Killian Hayes #7 of the Detroit Pistons reacts with teammate Jaden Ivey (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /
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Detroit Pistons, Jaden Ivey, Killian Hayes
Killian Hayes #7 of the Detroit Pistons reacts with teammate Jaden Ivey (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /

Detroit Pistons: Player grades for the 2022-23 season so far

The guards

This group has been all over the place whether it’s through inconsistency or injuries, but has shown flashes of having some players to build around.

Cade Cunningham: Incomplete

Cade Cunningham has mow missed more games than he’s played, so it’s difficult to evaluate his season. He flashed signs of brilliance at times, but was still struggling from 3-point range and picking up early fouls. But when that mid-range is humming, Cade is difficult to stop, and he was really starting to grow into his own as a scorer and facilitator, though he still needs to cut down on the turnovers. We still haven’t gotten an injury update on Cunningham, but it’s now expected that he will miss the rest of the season, which is pretty much the nightmare scenario for the Detroit Pistons. 

It’s really hard to even judge the progress of the other players without Cade in there, as he is the guy the Pistons are building around, so losing him for the season would be a big blow to player development overall, not just for Cade.

Jaden Ivey: B+

Ivey has flashed explosive athleticism and ability to finish at the rim. He’s a better than advertised rebounder and defender and is at or near the top of many categories for rookies.

The only real knocks against him is that he hasn’t been a great jump shooter (that was expected) and has had questionable shot selection at times. But I think Ivey is ahead of schedule in other areas, and as he learns how to harness his speed and realizes he can’t jack up bad 3-point shots early in the clock, he’s going to get more efficient. He is reminiscent of Ja Morant, who had similar problems in his rookie season but blossomed into an MVP candidate.

Related Story. Jaden Ivey shares good and bad traits with Ja Morant. light

Killian Hayes: C+

It’s been a tale of two seasons for Killian Hayes, as he started out looking like one of the worst offensive players in the NBA but has since turned it around.

He’s had an increased role with Cade and Ivey both out at times and has made the most of it. His improvement from 3-point range has been nothing short of miraculous, as he went from a guy shooting 12 percent to one who is now shooting nearly 34 percent after shooting over 40 percent from long range in his last five games.

He can be a disruptive defender, and is really growing as a playmaker, which is partially because he is finishing at a higher rate and actually a threat to shoot the ball. Hayes’ grade is on the rise and he has a chance to finish the season as the most promising looking player from the Pistons’ 2020 draft class.

Alec Burks: B+

Burks has fallen off a little recently but for a stretch he was looking like one of the best bench players in the league. He gives the Pistons a guy who can get his own bucket out of isolation, though they were going to those plays too often late in games before his recent reduction in attempts.

He’s shooting 37 percent from 3-point range, getting to the line and can defend adequately, so Burks is exactly what the Pistons thought he was when they acquired him. The biggest knock on Burks so far is that he hasn’t been able to play big minutes and still seems to be struggling with his conditioning.

Cory Joseph: S

I’m just giving Co Jo the old “Satisfactory” which is what a kid gets in grade school when he doesn’t stand out for any particular reason in art class. In a perfect world, Joseph wouldn’t be able to make the Detroit Pistons’ rotation, but coach Casey uses CoJo as a security blanket and the man does perform his job. He’s hitting over 40 percent from 3-point range and can provide a calming presence on offense for a young team. He’s not great, but he does his job as the third point guard which is all you can ask.

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