From the moment the Detroit Pistons announced their next generational talent with the fourth pick in the 2022 NBA Draft, all eyes were on them. Detroit basketball is back.
It may not have been the exciting offseason Pistons fans were hoping for after the draft came to a close, but the future is bright nonetheless. The Deandre Ayton talks came to a halt, and due to unforeseen circumstances, the negotiations with Miles Bridges inevitably stopped as well.
Without further ado, the moment you have all been waiting for, let’s take a look at the projected starting lineup for the 2022-23 NBA season for the Pistons.
Point Guard, Cade Cunningham
Let’s start off with a no-brainer at the point guard position for the Detroit Pistons this season. Is it none other than Cade Cunningham, the second-year guard out of Oklahoma State University. After the Pistons struck gold in the lotto last year, he will be the guard next year and for many years to come.
No introduction is needed for the 20-year-old Cunningham. The 6-foot-6 guard is coming off a rookie season averaging 17.4 points, 5.5 rebounds and 5.4 assists. He played in 64 games, starting all of them. No analysis is needed here, Cunningham is that guy.
Shooting Guard, Jaden Ivey
Welcome to the starting lineup, rook. Jaden Ivey, the fourth overall pick will be a day-one starter for the Detroit Pistons. The player who draws comparisons to Ja Morant fell to four, and the hype of Detroit basketball once again became restored.
At Purdue in his sophomore season, he led the Boilermakers deep in the tournament before a loss to America’s Team, Saint Peter’s Peacocks. Ivey averaged 17.3 points, 4.9 rebounds and 3.1 assists. He also improved his three-point percentage by 100 points his sophomore year and is one of the most electric offensive players as a rookie.
Small Foward, Saddiq Bey
One of the biggest surprises for the Detroit Pistons has been Saddiq Bey out of Villanova. The sharpshooting forward is entering year three after he made the All-Rookie First Team and had a tremendous second year.
On March 17 against the Orlando Magic, Bey led the Pistons to a 134-120 win dropping 51 points. Bey shocked the league with that performance, but he is far more than a one-hit wonder, or fifty-one-hit wonder for that matter.
Bey was Mr. Reliable last season playing and starting in all 82 games. He averaged 16.1 points, 5.4 rebounds and 2.8 assists. Bey shot 34.6% from downtown and if he can get that closer to 40%, the league should look out.
Power Foward, Marvin Bagley III
So far, no really big surprises have been made in these projections, as Marvin Bagley III looks to start at the power forward position this coming season. After the Detroit Pistons signed him to a three-year, $37.5 million, he passed his audition and will be part of the plan moving forward.
Playing in 28 games with the Pistons, the 23-year-old averaged 14.6 points and 6.8 rebounds, shooting 55.5% in 27.2 minutes. Assuming Bagley will continue to play well, this spot should be all his. Isaiah Stewart may slide to the power forward position down the road.
Center, Isaiah Stewart
Sorry Memphis fans, Jalen Duren will not be a day-one starter for the Detroit Pistons. Isaiah Stewart has been working tirelessly to expand his game outside of the post, but for now, should start at center.
Stewart is an undersized center at 6-foot-8, but he is strong in the paint. If you saw his viral video of him chasing down LeBron James, he is also not afraid of anybody. Stewart started in all 71 games he played in 2021-22 and hopes to keep his spot. He averaged 8.3 points and 8.7 rebounds, shooting 51.0%.
Later in the season, Duren will get his starts and Stewart and Bagley will likely split playing time. Duren, the lengthy defensive stud will make a big impact as a rookie. The moral of the story is that the future for the Pistons is bright; they may not be a playoff team quite yet, but they will be a fun team to watch.
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