Detroit Pistons: Solid bench scorer who could replace Alec Burks

Detroit Pistons guard Alec Burks (5) works around Minnesota Timberwolves guard Jaylen Nowell (4) Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports
Detroit Pistons guard Alec Burks (5) works around Minnesota Timberwolves guard Jaylen Nowell (4) Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports /

The Detroit Pistons still have an open roster spot and there are some solid free agents still on the market.

Most of the players left fall into the “low risk” category, as they will likely be on minimum deals like the one former Piston Christian Wood recently signed with the Lakers.

For now, Troy Weaver seems content to leave that roster spot open for a possible trade in which the Detroit Pistons bring back an extra player.

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But as training camp inches closer, they could look to grab another free agent if the trade market isn’t developing for players like Bojan Bogdanovic, Killian Hayes or Marvin Bagley III.

Detroit Pistons: Free agent Jaylen Nowell is a solid bench scorer

The Detroit Pistons already have plenty of depth at guard, so adding another one in free agency doesn’t immediately make sense. But assets are assets and you never know what the roster could look like by the trade deadline.

The Detroit Pistons could have some major roster churn after next season, with bench guards Joe Harris, Monte Morris, Alec Burks and Killian Hayes all on expiring contracts.

Jaylen Nowell, who averaged over 10 per game off the bench for the Timberwolves last season, could be a low-cost way to get a jump on those eventual departures.

Nowell is just 24 years old, and though he’s had an up-and-down career as a scorer, he has shown he can come off the bench and get buckets in a hurry. He got his 10 points, 2.6 rebound and 2 assists in just over 18 minutes per game, often coming in and changing the momentum with quick scoring.

Teammate Anthony Edwards once called him “the best scorer on the team,” and though that obviously isn’t true, it shows how Nowell can affect games.

He scored in double digits 29 times last season with six of those being for 20 points or more. He has been inconsistent shooting the ball from long range over his career, as he shot just under 40 percent in the 2021-22 season but just 28.9 percent last season.

He’s slightly shorter, but has a similar makeup as Alec Burks, another player who was inconsistent shooting the ball early in his career until he smoothed things out and became a consistent double-digit contributor off the bench.

Nowell is very athletic, can play above the rim, get buckets in bunches and the best part is that he could potentially be a cheap replacement in the eventuality that the Detroit Pistons trade from their guard surplus or let some of them walk after this season.

Adding a guy like Nowell could potentially allow the Pistons to trade Alec Burks, reap some assets and replace him with a guy making far less.

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