Detroit is not one of the major TV markets, and while there’s a tremendous sports passion among fans, the Motor City hasn’t been a successful sports town for a while. But there is much hope for the Detroit Pistons in the future, given the amount of talent they’ve compiled in a short amount of time.
Their play hasn’t been spectacular as a unit, but they’ve had a lot of promising individual outputs from some of their young talent.
But when it comes to the Pistons as a unit, a lot of GMs in the league like what they see. After an annual GM survey, many GMs of the league voted the Pistons highly in terms of their drafting, core, and their place in the league moving forward.
To be quite frank, Detroit has a very talented young core that in three to five years could be something very special.
They have the makings of an Eastern Conference powerhouse with the young franchise cornerstones they’ve acquired, such as No. 1 overall Cade Cunningham, who has had a huge presence on this Detroit team as a rookie.
Cunningham, the Oklahoma State product is the franchise player of the future. The 6-foot-6 guard was touted as the best player in this year’s draft and was seen as a high-volume-scoring, do-it-all guard.
“Motor Cade” is averaging 17 points per game, to go with six rebounds and assists per game, and while these are above-average stats for an NBA player, this is only the tip of the iceberg for Cunningham. According to head coach Dwane Casey, “He has a lot of growing to do but I have all of the confidence in the world he is going to get there because of his ability and IQ.”
Casey and everyone else in the Detroit organization can see the top-tier potential Cunningham has.
Along with Cunningham, there is second-year baller Saddiq Bey, who is a forward that can put the ball in the bucket — on Thursday night he exploded for a career-high 51 points against the Orlando Magic.
Bey is a forward who can play great defense against some of the best wings that the league has to offer, as well as averaging 16 points per game to go along with just under six rebounds per game.
There is also standout Jerami Grant, and gritty enforcer Isaiah Stewart, whose tough play provides energy and momentum for this team and the fans as well.
Grant is the elder statesman, having been in the league for eight seasons. The 28-year old has been a standout on this Pistons roster, averaging a team-high 19 points per game.
His name was on the radar for many teams looking to contend around the trade deadline, but ultimately Detroit knew his worth and felt like he was a veteran keeper.
And Detroit still has the option in the offseason to flip Grant to another team for some draft capital or young assets to help down the line.
Then you have the tough-as-nails Stewart, and after the near-scuffle with LeBron James he’s put the league on notice as a beast and an enforcer on the court. He averages eight points per game to go with eight rebounds, and he will look to improve as a paint protector down low.
This team is an average age of 25 years old, so it’s all about the future and the development of Detroit’s aforementioned rising stars (Cunningham, Bey, Stewart). Their future is in good hands moving forward.