Detroit Pistons: Why fans should be excited despite the losing

Jaden Ivey #23 of the Detroit Pistons and Cade Cunningham (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images)
Jaden Ivey #23 of the Detroit Pistons and Cade Cunningham (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images) /

With the recent loss to Portland, the Detroit Pistons fell to 15-50, not what Pistons fans were hoping for this season. It has been a season of misery and pain that has included a lot of losses, the biggest of which was Cade Cunningham, who has missed all but 12 games.

With the Pistons projected to have at least a top-5 pick in the 2023 NBA draft, fans are hoping for the lottery balls to fall in the Pistons’ favor once again. Victor Wembanyama is projected to be the #1 overall pick in the draft & a franchise changing player, drawing praise as the best prospect since LeBron James.

But even if the Pistons don’t get lucky in the lottery, they still have a bright future.

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Detroit Pistons: The future backcourt will be good

The Pistons took Cade Cunningham #1 overall in the draft in 2021. Cade got off to a slow start during his rookie campaign due to injuries, but picked things up and showed his potential as the future and face of the Detroit Pistons going forward. Unfortunately for Cade and the Pistons, he suffered a season-ending injury, missing a season of development with his teammates.

The Pistons drafted rookie Jaden Ivey during the 2022 draft, and Ivey has shown promise in his rookie year, averaging 15.4 points, 4.9 assists and 3.9 rebounds per game. When Cunningham returns next season, everyone will be able to see the full potential of Cunningham and an athletic two-guard like Ivey, which could be a should be a problem for the league in the future.

The rest of the young core 

The Pistons seem to have gotten a steal in the 2022 NBA draft in Jalen Duren. At just 19 years old, Duren got an opportunity to start this season, and he has not disappointed when healthy. Duren has proven himself in his rookie season as the Pistons starting center going forward for many years to come after averaging 8.5 points and 8.7 rebounds per game and a double-double as a starter.

The Pistons will have a decision to make with the acquisition of James Wiseman, the former #2 overall pick. Detroit now has four centers on the roster (though Stewart is being played more at the four now) but will have to find a way to make it all work.

But Wiseman is a high-ceiling talent and should at least make for a good backup center. He can’t be considered part of the core yet, but could work his way into that discussion next season.

Detroit Pistons: The future starting lineup

Going forward, there is no question that Cade Cunningham will be the starting point guard and Jaden Ivey will be the starting shooting guard for the Detroit Pistons.

After that, things are less certain, as the Pistons don’t have a true wing, though they have been playing Bojan Bogdanovic there since trading Saddiq Bey. Duren is likely to start at the center, so that leaves one spot open for a wing that the Pistons acquire in the draft, via free agency or with a trade.

It’s possible that Troy Weaver will use Bogdanovic or possibly Marvin Bagley III in a trade to acquire a wing that can defend.

Why fans should be excited 

After the 2023 NBA draft, Pistons fans are potentially looking at having another top-tier talent to go along with what they already have, especially if they land in the top two.

Cade Cunningham, Jaden Ivey, Jalen Duren, James Wiseman and another top young player form an impressive young core to build around. The wins haven’t come this season, but there is hope for the future.

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