Detroit Pistons veteran reserve guard Cory Joseph is picking up his player option for $5.1 million, according to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports.
Detroit Pistons guard Cory Joseph is opting into his $5.1 million player option for the 2022-23 season, league sources tell @YahooSports.— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) June 21, 2022
This doesn’t really come as much of a surprise. At this point in his career, Joseph isn’t fetching that much on the open market. He also isn’t quite at the point of taking less money to sign with a contender, given the fact he already has a ring and can still offer solid play as a veteran point guard, which might not be guaranteed on a contender.
Joseph is a favorite of Dwane Casey, and Casey’s over-reliance on Joseph at times last season rubbed many fans the wrong way. But at the end of the day, he is a solid veteran presence that doesn’t cause any problems on or off the court. That is valuable to have around, even if you are hoping to create as many minutes as possible for the young players.
Last season, Cory Joseph started 39 of 65 games played, averaged 8 points and 3.6 assists, and shot a career-high 41% from 3-point range. His ability to catch and shoot from 3 allowed Cade Cunnningham to play on the ball a lot when they shared the court, while still having a veteran ballhandler to take some pressure off of Cade.
It remains to be seen what Cory Joseph’s role will be with the team next year. If Killian Hayes makes the next step in his development, and the Pistons take somebody like Jaden Ivey in the draft on Thursday, Joseph could find himself in a position of only getting spot minutes when needed.
I am sure he is aware of that and knew this would be a possibility when picking up the player option.
One player who could find themselves on the outside looking in after this decision is 3rd-year guard Saben Lee. Although Lee has dominated the G-League, he has not been able to translate that aggressiveness scoring the ball to the NBA. The Pistons enter the offseason with only a few roster spots, depending on what else they do, and potentially keeping four point guards around might not be in their best interest.