Pistons lineups: What did Marvin Bagley III do to Monty Williams?

Dec 21, 2023; Detroit, Michigan, USA;  Utah Jazz forward John Collins (20) shoots on Detroit Pistons Marvin Bagley III
Dec 21, 2023; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Utah Jazz forward John Collins (20) shoots on Detroit Pistons Marvin Bagley III / Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Fans have been livid over Monty Williams' rotations and how he has used certain players, but the truth is that there is no magic combination that is going to make the Detroit Pistons good.

But his bench units have been especially puzzling, particularly the way he's used (or hasn't used) Ausar Thompson.

Williams has also benched backup center Marvin Bagley III in favor of James Wiseman. Anyone who has read this space knows I am no big fan of MBIII and up until the James Wiseman and Joe Harris trades, thought Bagley's acquisition and baffling extension were Troy Weaver's worst move as GM.

Possible trade to land an All-Star guard in Detroit. Possible trade to land an All-Star guard in Detroit. dark. Related Story

He's since made worse, including the trade for James Wiseman, who has moved into a more prominent role since Isaiah Stewart went down with a toe injury.

MBIII hasn't played at all in the last eight games and appears to be out of the rotation entirely, which is another move that doesn't make much sense.

Marvin Bagley vs. James Wiseman

Neither Bagley nor Wiseman are good and I'd love to see the back of both of them after this season or hopefully at the trade deadline. But MBIII is averaging double-digits off the bench in about the same number of minutes. Wiseman gets six per game while averaging a couple of fouls and a turnovers.

The total rebounds are about the same, both players turn it over too much and neither of them are good defenders. They both have a defensive rating over 120 and a similar offensive rating of 120, but Bagley has much better on/off numbers according to Cleaning the Glass, the Pistons are about three points per 100 possessions better with Bagley on the floor vs. when Wiseman is in and the defense allows around six points fewer.

MBIII at least has one NBA skill, which is that he can score around the basket. He can come into a game and get buckets in a hurry, even if he lets them up even faster.

He's also better in the pick-and-roll with Killian Hayes than Wiseman, who still looks clueless and unsure where he is supposed to be a lot of the time.

The biggest difference between the two players is their contracts, as Marvin Bagley III has one with the Pistons past this season and James Wiseman doesn't.

The Pistons have reportedly tried to trade MBIII and have obviously failed, so it's possible Detroit is going with Wiseman to see if he can garner any interest in a trade, who knows?

But it makes little sense to play Wiseman when he's not likely to be on the team next season and Bagley III is. It's not like this rotation decision is going to change much, further proof that this roster construction is a disaster

The Pistons have $25 million tied up in two backup centers who are borderline unplayable to go along with the $30 million wasted on Joe Harris and Monte Morris in case you were wondering why Detroit's bench is so bad.

Imagine what this team might be like if that $55 million were used on role players who can actually play. Dare to dream.