Detroit Pistons: The free agent making his case to return

Cory Joseph #18 goes to high five R.J. Hampton #14 of the Detroit Pistons (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images)
Cory Joseph #18 goes to high five R.J. Hampton #14 of the Detroit Pistons (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images) /

The Detroit Pistons managed to avoid tying the worst record in team history by beating the Pacers last night behind a huge night from their guards.

Jaden Ivey had 29 points, Killian Hayes added 28 and veteran Cory Joseph dropped 18 off the bench as the Pistons often went with lineups that had four guards and a center.

Joseph has been trust into a more prominent role than was expected this season because of injuries and the veteran has played well at times.

Related Story. 5 outside-the-box coaching candidates for the Pistons. light

CoJo has been on a shooting tear since the All-Star break and is averaging 10.2 points, 3.6 assists and 2.2 rebounds while shooting more than 45 percent from 3-point range on 4.2 attempts per game in his last 25 games.

Many fans are hoping the Detroit Pistons will upgrade at backup point guard this season, but if they are looking for a third guy, he might already by on the team.

Detroit Pistons: Will Cory Joseph be back?

Ideally a third point guard will be a guy who can play spot minutes and stay sharp, a guy who can hit 3-point shots or defend and who is competent enough to step in if there are injuries.

You could argue that Cory Joseph is that guy, as he is competent at running the offense, can hit shots and has stayed focused even though his minutes have been up and down this season.

He’s not a good defender and often gets blown by on the perimeter, so there is that. There is also the fact that the Detroit Pistons need an upgrade of talent overall and could potentially use Joseph’s roster spot on a better player, particularly someone who can defend.

Joseph will be an unrestricted free-agent at the end of the season, so the Pistons could just let him walk, which is a possibility. He certainly won’t be the priority when free agency begins and will likely be one of many veterans waiting until the initial flurry of signings is over to get his own deal.

It really depends on how the 2023 NBA Draft goes, as well as whether the Pistons make any trades to go along with additions in free agency. Roster spots will be at a premium and the Pistons already have Cade Cunningham, Jaden Ivey and Killian Hayes under contract for next season to go along with at team option on RJ Hampton.

But Joseph has proven that he can hit 3-point shots, so bringing him back as the 3rd point guard on a minimum deal does make some sense if they end up with an open roster spot. His shooting and contract may make him the most likely Pistons’ free agent to return next season.

dark. Next. 2023 NBA Mock Draft: Pistons take a big risk on a wing