Detroit Pistons Preview - NBA Team Previews 2022-23

Detroit Pistons Preview - NBA Team Previews 2022-23

This article is part of our NBA Team Previews series.

2022-23 Detroit Pistons Team Preview

The positive of a terrible season is that you generally wind up with a great draft pick. And if you're willing to take on salary, you can finagle more picks. That's exactly what led to Detroit drafting Jaden Ivey with the 5th overall pick, then they snagged Jalen Duren with the 13th pick. That salary addition included taking Nerlens Noel and Alec Burks from the Knicks, which helps bolster Detroit's previously weak bench. Will the Pistons' new young core of Cade Cunningham, Ivey, and Saddiq Bey finally achieve a winning record, something they haven't accomplished since 2015-16?

2021-22 Record: 28-54

2022-23 NBA Win Total Odds: 28.5 wins (DraftKings)

2022-23 NBA Title Odds: +70,000 (DraftKings) 

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Check out our 2022-23 Fantasy Basketball Rankings, which includes fantasy basketball projections for every player.

Detroit Pistons Fantasy Basketball Preview - Top Players

Cade Cunningham

While Cunningham wasn't as heralded as some of the previous No.1 picks, the 2021 NBA Draft first overall selection didn't disappoint as a rookie, earning All-Rookie First Team honors. Cunningham finished the campaign hot, averaging 21.1 points, 6.5 assists, 5.7 rebounds and 1.1 steals over his last 20 games. While Cunningham struggled to consistently connect from beyond the arc (31.4 percent) in 2021-22, he fared much better in his lone collegiate campaign (40.0 percent), so there's room for growth in that area heading into his second professional campaign. Likely aiding Cunnigham's development is an infusion of young talent that includes 2022 No. 5 overall pick Jaden Ivey and No. 13 pick Jalen Duren, who both pieced together solid Summer League showings. Ivey, in particular, should help take some of the pressure off of Cunningham in the backcourt. The Pistons also return most of their production from a season ago, retaining seven of the eight players that played at least 1,000 total minutes last. The lone exception is Jerami Grant, who Detroit shipped to Portland this offseason for a protected 2025 first-round pick. The rebuilding Pistons figure to rely heavily on their youth again this season, so look for Cunnigham to be front-and-center in the rotation and set to supply a diverse set of fantasy contributions.

Jaden Ivey

Selected fifth in the 2022 NBA Draft, Ivey wasted no time displaying his talent. He put on a show in his two Summer League appearances with 15.5 points, 4.0 assists, 3.0 rebounds, 1.5 threes over 18.8 minutes per game before suffering a minor ankle injury and being shut down for the remainder of exhibition play. He possesses elite quickness and athleticism, which should help him create his own shots at the NBA level. Ivey impressed as a freshman in college in 2020-21, but he took a major leap as a shooter last season, including an improvement to a respectable 35.8 percent conversion rate from beyond the arc. He figures to form a dynamic young tandem alongside second-year point guard Cade Cunningham, who pieced together an impressive rookie campaign last season for the Pistons. Ivey may not play on the ball as much as he did last season at Purdue, but the rookie should get plenty of opportunities to score and certainly can handle and distribute the rock when called upon. His landing spot on a rebuilding Pistons squad should afford him plenty of playing time as a rookie, and Ivey's athleticism should allow him to impact the game on both ends of the floor. That being said, Ivey should primarily be seen as a scorer for fantasy purposes, though ancillary box score production could materialize depending on how trusting coach Dwane Casey is of the rookie. It's understandable if fantasy managers in standard formats who are high on Ivey gamble on him with a late or final pick, but chances are, he'll be better suited for deep leagues and dynasty/keeper formats.

Saddiq Bey

After an intriguing rookie season, Bey had a mixed sophomore campaign. The No. 19 overall pick out of Villanova in 2020 started the year struggling to shoot the ball. For the first three months of the season (32 appearances), Bey averaged 14.3 points on splits of 37/32/83. However, the new year brought newfound efficiency. From Jan. 1 onward (49 appearances), Bey averaged 17.2 points on 41/36/82 shooting. Notably, he even had a 51-point outburst against the Magic in mid-March, going 10-of-14 from three. The longball is Bey's specialty - he made 2.9 per game after the new year - but he's also displayed a more diverse skillset. During the season's home stretch, he added 4.9 rebounds and 3.1 assists in his 32.8 minutes per game, and he also got to the free-throw line a decent 3.2 times. Whether or not Bey can become a playmaker at the NBA level remains to be seen. Cade Cunningham and Jaden Ivey will handle the vast majority of the offensive initiation, though Jerami Grant shipping out to Portland opens up some usage that could go to Bey. Despite the spotty shooting, the 23-year-old ranked 108th in per-game fantasy production last season, so optimistic fantasy managers have reason to draft him sooner than that this time around. 

Detroit Pistons Depth Chart for 2022-23

Click here to take a look at the Raptors' full depth chart

Detroit Pistons Predictions for 2022-23

While the recent draft picks have been exciting, this roster still lacks depth and a go-to scorer. Cunningham will grow into a legit NBA star, but he's a season or two from All-NBA consideration. Ivey is raw and needs to prove he can create his own shot at the NBA level. The frontcourt will not strike fear in any opponent. And Killian Hayes is a bust -- 7th overall picks are not supposed to be backups on bad teams. Finally, who was Detroit competing with when they gave Bagley a three-year, $37 million deal?  This organization is headed in the right direction, but it will suffer a few more seasons of growing pains.

Record Prediction

  • 28-54
  • 15th in the East
  • Will miss the playoffs

Bold Call

By the All-Star Break, Isaiah Stewart will be third on the center depth chart, behind Nerlens Noel and Jalen Duren.  Stewart is a high-energy guy, but he's an offensive liability and a mediocre rim protector. If Detroit has written off scoring from the center spot, they might as well enjoy Noel's better defensive skills. And Stewart should not block the development of the 19-year-old Duren.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ken
An early RotoWire contributor from the 90's, K-Train returns with the grace of Gheorghe Muresan and the wisdom of Joe Gibbs. Ken is a two-time FSWA award winner and a co-host on the RW NBA Podcast. He's also the 2016 Champion of the prestigious RW NBA Keeper League and the 2019 Champion of the RW NFL Ottoneu Keeper League. Ken still owns a RotoNews shirt.
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