There’s a huge board with the depth charts for all 30 NBA teams on the north wall of Dumars’ office on the second floor of the team’s Auburn Hills practice facility. The Pistons’ depth chart shows plenty of options at power forward (Jerebko, Jason Maxiell, Charlie Villanueva, Austin Daye, plus Greg Monroe in the event both Andre Drummond and Kravtsov are good enough to chew up most of the 48 minutes at center) and small forward (Tayshaun Prince, Corey Maggette, Kyle Singler, Khris Middleton).
Depth in the backcourt, on the other hand, is comparatively thin: Brandon Knight and Will Bynum at point guard, Rodney Stuckey and rookie Kim English at shooting guard. As it stands now, it would be English of all Pistons rookies – Drummond, Kravtsov, Middleton and Singler, in addition – who might be most needed to fill a rotation spot even though he was drafted 44th, the lowest of the four Americans. (Kravtsov was not drafted in 2009 when he was automatically eligible.)
The Pistons, in fact, have more flexibility at guard than the depth chart might reveal. Stuckey spent most of his first four years playing point guard, so he could back up Knight capably, while Maggette has frequently swung to shooting guard over the course of his career. It’s not inconceivable, then, that the Pistons would go to camp without having bolstered their backcourt. It’s just not Dumars’ intention or preference.
“I would feel comfortable (with the status quo), but it’s something we’re trying to address, as well,” Dumars said. “We continue to look to shuffle one or two spots on our roster to give it more balance.”
I’ve maintained that, with any reasonable roster surrounding him, Austin Daye’s best position is shooting guard. He can shoot over smaller defenders, pass and dribble reasonably well for an off-guard and even post up smaller defenders.
Obviously, the biggest problems come defensively with his lack of quickness, but they can’t be worse than pounding Daye takes inside at power forward, and Daye’s long arms should provide at least some relief. Plus, if Daye gets beat on the perimeter, there will be a better defender than Daye coming to help from the power forward spot – erasing a problem for the Pistons’ guards that will exist as long as Daye stays at power forward.
Leave a Reply