Start bench cut: Detroit Pistons big man logjam edition

Marvin Bagley III #35 of the Detroit Pistons (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)
Marvin Bagley III #35 of the Detroit Pistons (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images) /
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Detroit Pistons, Jalen Duren
Jalen Duren #0 of Detroit Pistons (Photo by Candice Ward/Getty Images) /

The Detroit Pistons’ offseason is winding down and there are still plenty of questions hanging over the team.

There are going to be some intense training camp battles, including at center, where the Pistons have four guys competing for minutes.

The newly extended Isaiah Stewart is likely to play some at both power forward and center and it wouldn’t be surprising if he led all of the bigs in minutes next season.

So that leaves Jalen Duren, James Wiseman and Marvin Bagley III to compete for the starting and backup center minutes and one of them could be left out of the rotation entirely.

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This is why so many people were scratching their heads when Troy Weaver traded Saddiq Bey for Wiseman last season, as he and MBIII are similar players with similar strengths and weaknesses, so one of them could be redundant.

So let’s play a little game of start, bench, cut using the Detroit Pistons’ big men, though none of them are likely to be “cut” so “traded” might be the better word here.

Jalen Duren will start at center for the Detroit Pistons

The “start” portion of this popular Internet meme is the easiest bit, as Jalen Duren will most likely be the starting center for the Detroit Pistons for the foreseeable future.

He has the advantage of being the best player of the three now and possessing the highest ceiling as one of the league’s youngest players who has already flashed signs of stardom.

He’s at least going to be a dominant rebounder and efficient around the rim, though, like the other two, he really needs to improve defensively to be the anchor on that end. Duren has all of the tools to do it, and as he gets more comfortable with the speed and rotations in the NBA, his defense should improve immensely.

Jalen Duren only started 31 of the 67 games he played last season, but expect that number to increase as he improves and continues to build chemistry with Cade Cunningham and Jaden Ivey.

Who to bench and who to cut (trade) are not quite as easy.