Currently tied for the worst record in the association at 6-19 with the Timberwolves, the Pistons are doing probably the best tank job ever. They’re in the running for a top pick in the 2021 NBA Draft while still actually still being competitive and not obviously tanking, unlike the Trust The Process Sixers. This was new GM Troy Weaver’s plan the whole time. Many people mocked his free agent signings and Jerami Grant is averaging 25 PPG and a top candidate for the Most Improved Player of the Year award. Grant has five 30 point games in his career, and all of them have come in 2021. He’s also not too shabby as a passer either:
Another high point of this season has been the play of rookies Saadiq Bey & Isaiah Stewart. Saadiq is shooting 37% from three and had 15 crucial points, all in the fourth quarter, in a big win against the Nets this past Wednesday. Stewart has been an energizer bunny for Detroit playing mostly off the bench, but he was forced into the starting lineup for the first time against the Nets with Mason Plumlee out, and the rookie balled out. He scored 17 points in 31 minutes, while shooting 88.9% from the floor and grabbing 7 boards and 2 steals.
Casey raved about Stewart earlier in the season, even comparing him to Dennis Rodman. It’s a shame that Killian Hayes has been sidelined due to a torn labrum in his hip and unable to develop on the court with his fellow young teammates, but hopefully he’ll be able to come back before the end of the season and get in some minutes. It was decided that he didn’t need surgery and his hip will be re-evaluated in about a month.
It’s safe to say that Troy Weaver has done at least decently well with his acquisitions since joining the team. Josh Jackson seems to be rejuvenized being back in his hometown and I really like the trading of DRose for Dennis Smith Jr. DSJ has a lot of potential and this is the perfect kind of season to take a gamble on him and see what he can do. Mason Plumlee has looked terrible at times, but still has had a clear impact and like I mentioned earlier, Troy built this team to be bad while still being competitive and Mason is a big part of that. I’d say the biggest question move was the signing of Jahlil Okafor, who’s been non-exisistant. We’ll see what the team does with Blake Griffin, who has been playing like a shell of himself, but as a ‘Stawns fan I gotta say that I’m optimistic about the future. Sekou hasn’t lit up the stats sheet, but his minutes have increased drastically and the development is clear. It’ll be interesting to see how the team looks in the 2021-2022 season with the young core that we have plus if we’re able to land a top-5 pick in the most talented NBA Draft class in years.