The Detroit Pistons have been one of the worst teams in the NBA over the last four seasons, and as a tanking team, should have been in the position to find some unearthed talent to develop.
The best teams consistently find players later and outside of the NBA Draft, and we’ve seen undrafted players in recent years making an impact for playoff teams.
The Detroit Pistons have failed in this regard, as they’ve yet to find one of these undrafted gems. That includes last season, in which the Pistons won 17 games, had a ton of injuries and plenty of minutes, but couldn’t find a player that could stick.
While the crop of hopefuls may be a little better this season, there still really isn’t a name that stands out. The Pistons have six guys on some form of non full-time contract. Do any of the fringe players have chance to make the roster?
Which fringe player has the best chance to make the Pistons’ roster?
The Detroit Pistons currently have one open roster spot and one two-way contract open, with six players hoping to make their case to fill one of them.
So far, Jared Rhoden and Malcolm Cazalon have two-way deals and Zavier Simpson, Toson Evbuomwan, Stanley Umude and Buddy Boeheim are on Exhibit 10 or training camp contracts.
You can probably rule out Simpson and Boeheim, as the Pistons already have too many guards after the additions of Monte Morris and Joe Harris to go along with Cade Cunningham, Jaden Ivey, Alec Burks, Killian Hayes and Marcus Sasser.
That leaves Evbuomwan, who I liked coming into Summer League, as he can defend a few spots and is a good playmaker for his size.
Stanley Umude only got into one game for Detroit last season but put up good numbers in the G-League. He shot over 38 percent from 3-point range on high volume and played decent defense, and his ability to play both guard and small forward might get him a look.
Rhoden has played in 14 games for the Pistons already and has shown some things on both ends. He didn’t take as many 3-point shots in the G-League as Umude but is a similar height and a better defender.
Malcolm Cazalon is more of a mystery, as he’s been toiling in the Serbian league before getting a two-way with Detroit. He averaged 11.3 points, 3.4 rebounds and 2.4 assists last season for Mega on fairly mediocre shooting splits.
But the 6-foot-6 lefty is very athletic, and has a 6-foot-10 wingspan, so has the tools to be a good defender and has shown he can slash and finish. He’s only 21-years-old, so still has plenty of time to improve his long-range shooting.
All of these players are long shots to make the Pistons’ roster, but Rhoden and Cazalon probably have the best chance just based on their respective skillsets. But if we see either of them this season it means that they either blew up in training camp or something went horribly wrong.