The 2023-24 Detroit Pistons’ Season Preview

September 5th, 2023

by Alan Lu

Cade Cunningham played terrific basketball for the Select Team against Team USA in the scrimmages this summer, and he will hope to carry that positive momentum into the Detroit Pistons’ season this year.
(Photo: Charles Krupa/The Associated Press, via The Boston Globe)

The Detroit Pistons are coming off a really bad season in which they finished as the worst team in the NBA, and they only ended up with the fifth overall pick in the 2023 draft despite that. Still, they managed to hire a fairly solid head coach in Monty Williams, who will get the opportunity to coach really talented young players such as Cade Cunningham, Jalen Duren, Jaden Ivey, and Ausar Thompson. Cade Cunningham was tremendous at the scrimmage between the Select Team and Team USA, and he looks to be a rising star for the Detroit Pistons. This will be a pivotal year for them, and even if they may not make the playoffs, this season could help see if the Pistons are headed on the right track for the future.

Star Players:

None

The Detroit Pistons don’t have any star players for the upcoming season, but they are getting there. Cade Cunningham has been oft-injured in the NBA, as he missed most of his second season, but he showed promise as a primary ball handler, and he showed the potential to rack up triple-doubles in the future. He also played really well for the US Select Team in a scrimmage game against the US, and he was praised by Golden State Warriors and Team USA head coach Steve Kerr. He will still need to improve his shooting, as he didn’t shoot well last season, but Cunningham looks to be the surest bet to become the Pistons’ star in the future.

Additions:

G Monte Morris, G-F Joe Harris, G-F Ausar Thompson, G Marcus Sasser, and G-F Malcolm Cazalon

The Pistons made some solid additions in the offseason. They were able to add a couple of solid, veteran role players in Morris and Harris. Both can shoot the basketball, and Morris is a reliable playmaker that will provide a steady hand at the point. They also were able to get Thompson and Sasser through the draft. Thompson is a very athletic swingman that can play with and without the ball, and is a rangy defender, but will need to improve his jump shot. Sasser is a polished, playmaking point guard that can shoot and defend, and could step in immediately to contribute in this league.

Subtractions:

G Cory Joseph, G-F Hamidou Diallo, G Rodney McGruder, G R.J. Hampton, and F Eugene Omoruyi

The Pistons lost several players, as they lost a slew of veterans and a couple of young guys in the offseason, but all of them are replaceable role players whose roles can be filled by new players capably this season.

Rookies:

G-F Ausar Thompson, G Marcus Sasser, and G-F Malcolm Cazalon

All three of their rookies could make an impact immediately in the NBA, and there are available minutes that could be had in their rotation. Among them, Sasser could be the most ready to contribute right away, but Thompson is the most talented and has the highest upside amongst them. Cazalon might not play many minutes this year as he’s only on a two-way contract, but he is an athletic swingman that can score, facilitate, and defend in games.

Expected Rotation:

Bojan Bogdanovic is a sharpshooting forward that will help stabilize the Pistons’ team this season.
(Photo: Dylan Buell/Getty Images, via SB Nation’s Detroit Bad Boys)

The Pistons have a young and unproven group of starters that will look to break out and surprise teams, as they will rebuild around Cade Cunningham. They also have a solid, steady veteran in experienced swingman, Bojan Bogdanovic, who could shoulder the weight of the scoring load this year. It will be a big year to see if they can move forward and build some momentum for their future.

Projected Starting Lineup:

C Jalen Duren

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F James Wiseman

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F Bojan Bogdanović

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G Jaden Ivey

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G Cade Cunningham

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Key Bench Players:

Alec Burks is a solid, veteran role player whose versatility and experience will help the Pistons this season.
(Photo: Rick Osentoski/USA Today Sports, via Fansided’s Piston Powered)

The Pistons have some solid bench players, and they made some moves to fortify and retool their roster. They’re still going to likely take on a developmental mindset, so they may opt to build up their young players perhaps at the expense of wins.

G-F Alec Burks

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G Monte Morris

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G-F Ausar Thompson

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F-C Isaiah Stewart

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G Marcus Sasser

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The Rest of the Roster:

G-F Joe Harris

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G Killian Hayes

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F Marvin Bagley III

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F Isaiah Livers

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G-F Malcolm Cazalon (Two-Way)

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G-F Jared Rhoden (Two-Way)

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Others in Camp:

F Tosan Evbuomwan (Exhibit 10)

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G Zavier Simpson (Exhibit 10)

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G-F Buddy Boeheim (Exhibit 10)

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G-F Stanley Umude (Exhibit 10)

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Head Coach:

The one-time Coach of the Year winner, Monty Williams will be ready to lead the Detroit Pistons into the 2023-24 NBA season.
(Photo: Isaiah J. Downing/USA Today Sports, via Detroit Free Press)

Monty Williams
2022-23 (PHO): 45-37, 6-5 in the NBA Playoffs
Coaching Career: 367-336, 29-27 in the NBA Playoffs

Monty Williams is a proven winner that was able to help his Phoenix Suns’ teams reach the playoffs time and time again, and the highlight of his run was reaching the 2021 NBA Finals. However, his teams had a dreadful past two playoff runs, so he was bounced out of Phoenix.

He was recently hired to be the Detroit Pistons’ head coach, so Monty Williams’ hiring becomes an instant upgrade over their previous coach, Dwane Casey. He’ll likely take the Pistons out of the cellar and into respectability, and the first thing he could help them accomplish is to be competitive on a nightly basis.

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Outlook:

The Pistons will hope this season will be their path to respectability, and at least they’ll have a healthy Cade Cunningham and head coach Monty Williams to lead them. However, the road to competitiveness on a consistent basis could be a hard one for them this season.
(Photo: David Reginek/USA Today Sports, via Fansided’s Piston Powered)

Not much may be expected from the Pistons this season, especially since they are coming off of a season in which they finished with the worst record in the NBA last year. That said, they have just hired proven head coach Monty Williams to lead the helm, and Cade Cunningham looked like a future superstar at the US Select Team’s scrimmage against Team USA this summer. They also have a slew of talented young players that could really excel in the future. The Pistons might go through growing pains this year, but even so, they have a bright future ahead of them.

Projected 2023-24 Finish:
Projected Regular Season Finish: 15th in the Eastern Conference
Expected Playoff Finish: Projected to miss the playoffs
2023-24 Preseason NBA Power Ranking: 29

I went to Basketball-Reference and No-Trade Clause to look up some information for this write-up. It will be an exciting basketball season this year, and I’m looking forward to seeing the in-season tournament to see how that will unfold. Anyways, that is my write-up on my preview of the 2023-24 Detroit Pistons. Thanks for reading.

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