With loads of developing young talent on the roster, who is the Detroit Pistons’ third-best player behind Blake Griffin and Derrick Rose?
It is safe to say that the leaders on the Detroit Pistons are Derrick Rose and Blake Griffin. They provide great veteran experience for the up-and-coming young players.
In 2018-19, the Detroit Pistons limped into the playoffs thanks largely to the efforts of Blake Griffin. This season, Derrick Rose couldn’t quite pull off the same heroics, as Griffin was hurt the majority of the season. The next question that remains: Who is the third-best player on this Detroit Pistons team?
Let’s take a look at some of the options.
Luke Kennard, a fourth-year man, only played 28 games this season as he was dealing with tendinitis in both knees. He averaged 15.8 points per game on 39.9 percent shooting from 3-point range. Kennard also showed an uptick in his assist numbers, tripling them. He has also shown that he can get to the free throw line rising from one to three attempts per game. Kennard is under contract through 2020-21.
Christian Wood, who is on his fifth team in five years, has never had a real opportunity until this year. He appeared in 62 games, the most of his young career, and averaged 13.1 points per game on 56.7 percent from the field. He is also the most athletic player on the current Pistons team, dunking the basketball 115 times. Wood will be an unrestricted free agent this summer.
Bruce Brown, just wrapping up his second season, showed major improvements on both ends of the floor. In his rookie season, he proved to be a hard-playing, defensive-minded player. This season, Brown upped his shooting percentages and showed improvements in nearly every aspect of his game. He even excelled at playing point guard in a pinch this season. Brown is signed through 2020-21.
With that being said, a healthy Luke Kennard is the third-best player on the Detroit Pistons. He has improved so much already and hasn’t even reached full potential yet. Again, only thru three years, Kennard is a 40.2 percent career 3-point shooter and 44.1 percent overall from the field. This season, Kennard started 25 of his 28 games played before injuring himself.
If Kennard can avoid the injury bug next season, there is no telling what his ceiling could be. We’re talking about a guy with a quick lefty shot and an already brisk first step. Coach Dwane Casey is going into his third year as Pistons head coach and is known for developing young players. Kennard is the centerpiece of the Pistons young core.
In a recent end of the season interview, Kennard mentioned wanting to be more of a leader moving forward. This should come as pleasing news to Piston fans. First off, just turning 24, Kennard acknowledges what he has to do with the team in his best interest moving forward. Also, with the health of Griffin and Rose questionable, there can never be too many leaders on a team trying to find their identity.
Whichever way you choose to look at it, the Detroit Pistons’ future is bright. They have a lot of rising talent developing currently, with some real leaders on and off the court. When they all start to click, the product will be spectacular to watch on a nightly basis.