Detroit Pistons: Each young player’s biggest rival

Jaden Ivey #23 of the Detroit Pistons dribbles the ball while being guarded by Bennedict Mathurin (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
Jaden Ivey #23 of the Detroit Pistons dribbles the ball while being guarded by Bennedict Mathurin (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /
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Killian Hayes Tyrese Haliburton
Detroit Pistons guard Killian Hayes (7) passes the ball around Sacramento Kings guard Tyrese Haliburton (0). Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports /

The Detroit Pistons have been a part of some of the best rivalries in the history of the NBA.

But the days of team rivalries have largely passed, as more player movement and more focus on the individual have watered down some of the league’s traditional rivalries.

It doesn’t help that the Detroit Pistons have been terrible, including last season, when they won just 17 games, hardly the recipe for rivalries.

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It’s not just the Pistons, as rivalries have been more focused on individuals like LeBron James, Steph Curry and Kevin Durant than the teams they are on. We may never see the likes of Pistons vs. Bulls or Lakers vs. Celtics ever again, as players move around too much to build lasting hatred for one particular team, unlike the old days.

But there should be some great individual rivalries and each young Detroit Piston has one that could blossom into a team rivalry as Detroit starts winning some games.

Detroit Pistons: Each young player’s biggest rival

Killian Hayes vs. Tyrese Haliburton

This one mostly exists for Pistons’ fans who are still salty that the team chose Killian Hayes over Tyrese Haliburton in the 2020 NBA Draft. Haliburton has handily won the rivalry on the court, becoming an All-Star last season while Hayes still struggled. Like I said, this one is more for the fans, as both these teams have stunk and Haliburton is clearly the better player, but there is still time (not much) for Killian to get the better of him. They are in the same division now so Killian will get his chances, though I wouldn’t expect this one to change anytime soon.

Jalen Duren vs. Mark Williams

These two were separated by just one pick in the 2022 Draft and both had strong rookie seasons where they showed a lot of potential. The Pistons and Hornets are hoping to improve next season but will likely be near each other in the standings, so the Duren vs. Williams at center debate will continue. Both are young, athletic and physical, so this could be a good matchup for years to come. The rivalry was boosted (by me mostly) recently when Duren was left off a list of sophomores to watch while Williams was included. I expect both players to be up for their head-to-head meetings next season.