The Cade Cunningham injury just took the sails right out of the season and the Pistons look like a rudderless ship. Dwayne Casey has had a tough go of it but at the end of the day, the talent is all still developing. If it wasn’t for Bojan Bogdanovic, I am not sure if there is a player they can count on to score.
Some good things:
Jaden Ivey is getting a lot of playing time and is starting to round into shape. Killian Hayes has sufficiently removed the BUST label and is actually a decent defender and has a potential to be a go to the hoop scorer, I don’t think he will ever shoot at a high percentage but if he can get to the hoop and score, and defend at a high level, he is a rotational guy and a contributor. Jalen Duren is an absolute beast and at his age, no telling where the ceiling is and that’s going to be fun to watch. Isiah Levers looks to be a very good three point shooter and should be an asset off the bench for years to come.
Some frustrating things:
Saddiq Bey really took a step back. He can’t create his own shot or drive to the hoop. He’s a scorer and seems best suited for coming off the bench for instant offense. Isaiah Stewart seems like there’s more to his game but there’s only flashes of it and not the consistency the Pistons need. Marvin Bagley has taken a step back so I am not sure what to expect from him. Hamidou Diallo is still a mystery to me. Is he underused and there’s more to his game if he was starting? He is very athletic, plays defense and can rebound and I thought he should be playing a lot more minutes.
The 2023 Draft:
If the Piston’s land the number 1 pick, things will get quite interesting next season. If they get the number 2 pick, well things will get a little problematic because the best player is another guard. If they get the number 2 pick, they will probably make a trade and it’s no telling if they trade the pick or one of their guards. Yes, everyone wants Killian Hayes to be the one traded but it’s not the one that will get the best return.
I love Troy Weaver and he seems to have the Midas touch but he has some very difficult decisions to make very soon. Bojan Bogdanovic is a stud shooter at the peak of his career and that trade is going to pay off one way or another. His ask is very high; young player and an unprotected 1st round pick. I am not sure any team is going to pay it and I am not sure if Troy Weaver will lower it. At the end of the day, he extended him (another great move), which gives Troy so much flexibility. The main thing I am worry about is the injury potential to Bojan and his value decreasing. He’s 33 not 30 so any injury and his value just plummets. I would prefer Troy Weaver to cash out and get the best deal he can at this deadline and not have to worry about trading him in the off-season. His value is great as a guy who can help a team get the playoffs or a playoff team to get even more powerful. This is Troy’s world and I am sure he has all the angles covered but trading him now would give him ore assets heading into a draft that could lift the Pistons into a playoff team.
I think Dwayne Casey is very good coach and has helped these kids develop and they play hard. However, it’s the old adage that at some point a new voice is needed. I think it is time for a younger coach with a different voice to come in and get things to the next level.