‘What about Scoot?’ discussions should start soon for Pistons

; G League Ignite guard Scoot Henderson (0) . Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports
; G League Ignite guard Scoot Henderson (0) . Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports /
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Detroit Pistons, Scoot Henderson, Victor Wembanyama
G League Ignite guard Scoot Henderson (0) dunks Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports /

How would Scoot Henderson fit with Detroit Pistons? Good question

In the three drafts that Troy Weaver has supervised as general manager, he has selected a guard with the Pistons first pick in the NBA Draft:

2020: Killian Hayes (No. 7 overall)

2021: Cade Cunningham (No. 1 overall)

2022: Jaden Ivey (No. 5 overall).

Detroit has obviously invested a lot in the guard position, having three top 7 draft picks. And high picks usually play a lot. If they don’t, it makes the GM look bad after. Expending a top seven pick on a role player, well, that is not a good optic.

Related Story. Why are Saddiq Bey and Jaden Ivey suddenly subs?. light

So, let us say the Pistons still struggle to win games the rest of the season, and they do end up with the No. 2 pick in the draft. They would pretty much have to take Henderson, as the talent gap between him and anyone at No. 3 is vast.

Then what?

While Hayes, Cunningham and Ivey are all in the 6-foot-5 to 7 range, Henderson is 6-2. He probably has to play point guard in the NBA.

Hayes, who certainly can’t play shooting guard, moves to backup point guard, on a permanent basis (and his salary is a hefty $7.2 million in 2022-23).

Unless coach Dwane Casey wants to go with a three-guard starting lineup (which he could), Ivey is consigned to being a substitute, on a permanent basis. So you have No. 5 and 7 overall draft picks coming off the bench, with no path, barring injuries, of earning a spot in the starting lineup.

Obviously, Cunningham is starting. What position he plays can be debated, but he is starting.

Let’s say Casey does start Ivey, Henderson and Cunningham. Where does Saddiq Bey go?

Yes, he has been playing off the bench lately, but the Villanova product was a first team All-NBA Rookie team pick and made the USA Basketball Select Team. If you put Ivey and Henderson in the starting lineup, now he has no path to ever earning a spot.

And forget for a second the debate on whether any of these guards deserve to start. Considering the youth of all these highly drafted guards (Hayes at 21 is the oldest) to be classified as being part of the ‘bench mob’ could hurt their confidence, as well as the lack of playing time it brings impeding their development.

Fit is also an issue. All three do their best work with the ball in their hands. Having all three play together could bring up some chemistry issues. None of them is a good enough outside shooter to be a pure shooting guard.

And Bojan Bogdanovic, at least next season, would be a very undersized power forward. And what path is there for Jalen Duren to play a lot?

Could be kind of a mess.