Publication calls this player the Detroit Pistons' secret weapon to tanking

Feb 26, 2024; New York, New York, USA; Detroit Pistons head coach Monty Williams
Feb 26, 2024; New York, New York, USA; Detroit Pistons head coach Monty Williams / Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The Detroit Pistons are tied for the worst record in the NBA after beating the Chicago Bulls on the road last night. 

It wasn’t supposed to be this way, as Troy Weaver preached that his team would be competitive this season, which hasn’t happened. 

After spending three long years tanking for draft position, the Pistons were supposed to be making the type of leap that other rebuilds have made in recent years, not hunting lottery position again. 

But with the season winding down, that’s where we are, as Detroit will once again challenge for the worst record in the league and maximum odds for the number one pick, even though this year does not have a consensus in the draft.

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The Pistons haven’t tanked this season, they’re just bad, further indictment of Troy Weaver’s vision and roster development. 

But one publication isn’t buying it, and thinks the Detroit Pistons are using a player to help the tank along. 

The Detroit Pistons and James Wiseman 

A recent article from our friends at Hoops Habit listed the “tank commanders” for all of the bad teams and James Wiseman of the Detroit Pistons was first on the list. 

The Pistons have inexplicably chosen Wiseman over Marvin Bagley III, Mike Muscala and Danilo Gallinari even though all three of them were better and increased the chances of the Pistons winning a game. 

Wiseman is averaging 5.8 points, 4.1 rebounds and .6 blocks per game in 14.4 minutes, though he’s been getting more run than that of late. 

In that time, he averages three combined turnovers and fouls. 

The advanced stats hate him even more, as he has just a 3.5 percent block rate, a whopping 15.8 percent turnover rate and is a negative in both offensive and defensive box plus/minus and Value Over Replacement Player. 

But you don’t need advanced stats, you just have to watch the games. Sure, at times Wiseman will wow you with his athleticism, but most of the time, he’s just in the way on offense. He sets horrible (often moving) screens that rarely affect the defender, doesn’t roll decisively to the rim and can’t pop out for even a mid-range jumper. 

His defense is far worse, as he can’t switch on the perimeter and always seems a step behind, as Steve Kerr pointed out when he cited his “defensive awareness” as the primary reason the Warriors traded a guy they spent the #2 pick on. 

Now that the Pistons have inexplicably bought out Mike Muscala, we can expect Wiseman to be the primary backup at center, and I suppose at this point in the season, it doesn’t matter anyway. 

The Pistons may as well give themselves the best chance at the #1 pick, so playing Wiseman makes sense if that is the aim, as he’s not been good and is on an expiring contract.