The Detroit Pistons are rebuilding around a young backcourt of Cade Cunningham and Jaden Ivey, who most assume will be in the starting lineup to start the season.
It’s a good assumption to make, as both have been dynamic and shown signs of stardom in their young careers.
But are we sure the Detroit Pistons aren’t better off bringing Jaden Ivey off the bench? I don’t think they will, and I am not saying they should, but there is an argument for it.
The Detroit Pistons’ rotation with Jaden Ivey off the bench
If the Pistons decided to break up their young guards at the start of games, they could have a rotation that looks like this next season:
- Cade Cunningham/Monte Morris
- Ausar Thompson/Jaden Ivey
- Bojan Bogdanovic/Alec Burks
- Isaiah Stewart/Isaiah Livers
- Jalen Duren/James Wiseman/Marvin Bagley III
I still like the idea of starting both Ivey and Ausar Thompson with Bogdanovic at the four, but this lineup offers some intrigue as well.
Jaden Ivey off the bench?
Starting lineups certainly matter but they are not everything, as it’s more important how much guys play and when, as we’ve seen plenty of players earn top minutes and roles off the bench.
Even if Ivey didn’t start, he’d still play 30+ minutes a night, but a bench role would allow him to be the featured offensive player in the second unit. Having Monte Morris handle some of the ball-handling duties would help reduce Ivey’s turnovers and allow him to play off the ball as the primary scoring option.
He’d still get plenty of run with Cade Cunningham and Ausar Thompson but would keep the Pistons from starting games with two young, turnover-prone guards in the starting five.
But most importantly, starting Ausar Thompson would allow the Detroit Pistons to have one of their best defensive lineups on the floor. With Bogdanovic flanked by two good defenders in Thompson and Stewart, his defensive weaknesses would be less of a liability while still keeping his elite shooting out there.
And I do love the idea of Ivey being surrounded by shooters and a lob threat in the second unit.
Again, this is not something I expect to see next season, and you could definitely make a strong argument for Ivey in the starting five, but it’s something for Monty Williams to consider as he tries to get the best out of all of his players and lineups.