Detroit Pistons: What type of players will complement the core?
Detroit will enter this NBA season with the best roster in years. The Detroit Pistons have a strong young core and excellent veterans. However, the goal is to win a championship or several, and we’re not there yet. If the young core remains intact as it develops, what types of veterans will the team need to succeed?
Detroit will need a backup point guard who provides a different pace than Cade Cunningham. The ability to shift gears and play faster will help this team succeed. Players like Jalen Duren and Jaden Ivey would benefit from a faster pace, and pushing the ball can be much safer with a steady hand.
A defensive specialist would change the team’s tone, either a 3-and-D guard who takes pressure off the point of attack or a versatile power forward who can guard both the perimeter and stop drives. Either of these types of players would anchor the defense and take pressure off the shoulders of the team’s leaders. So often, defense comes down to awareness and communication. A defensive specialist who assumes the burden of communicating and picks up any failed assignments would help the team lock down opponents.
Finally, the team needs to keep at least one of its shooters. A veteran player who shoots a high percentage on volume is an absolute necessity on a team where none of the core players project to be exceptional shooters. One or two or all of the core could develop into great shooters, and we hope they do, but those aren’t their current strengths. Someone who can play a couple of positions, sliding up and down depending on matchups, and who can help increase assists while being the primary scoring option on some plays and a relief option on others, will help this team execute with greater precision.
Bogdanovic, Harris, and Burks should exemplify this concept next season.
As the young core develops, we may see many of them assume these roles for the Detroit Pistons. Jaden Ivey may become the ballhandler who changes the team’s pace. He showed he could do so last year. Isaiah Stewart could be that defensive specialist with better developed awareness, which he’s improved every year. He has the size to defend driving lanes, work a little around the rim, and he’s athletic enough to turn players on the perimeter and alter shots.
Depending upon how the team comes together, we’ll see what needs develop and what problems solve themselves. No matter what happens, the future looks bright in Little Caesars Arena.