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Detroit Pistons 2021/22 Season Preview – The Keys to the Team

Bad Men, Bad Takes – Season 1 – Episode 5

Detroit was pretty horrible viewing last season (and many before that) as they sent away established talent in Derrick Rose and Blake Griffin, which is why many casual NBA fans don’t know just how much untapped potential this team has on its roster coming in the 2021/22 season.

Just ask Hunter.

“12 months ago we were all laughing at this team, and now we are all saying they somehow got better despite losing Rose and Griffin” he said.

Despite losing two aging but still serviceable veterans, the Pistons won the lottery and drafted Cade Cunningham first overall in the NBA Draft.

Cade Cunningham and his potential intrigues everyone on the podcast, with Ben going as far as to say he expects the franchise to live with the mistakes the rookie makes in an attempt to accelerate his development from the jump.

First overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft Cade Cunningham gives Pistons fans more reason to be excited about their young talent. Credit – Detroit Free Press – USA TODAY NETWORK

“I think they give him (Cade) the keys to the team and go “Jerami Grant who? You’re our new favourite toy”.

“I love his potential – I love his versatility and ability to play all over the floor”, he continued. “I couldn’t see a situation where he didn’t go first”.

Cunningham joins Killian Hayes as intriguing pieces ahead of the new season, with the French guard only managing 26 games in his rookie campaign. While some may see potential issues with the pairing, Ben sees the duo as having a high ceiling together.

“In my head, I picture them as a Derozan/Lowry kind of fit”, he said. “They will grow together and while Hayes needs the ball to be effective, I think Cunningham is capable of playing off-ball when they share the court in order to make it work”.

“On defence, I think they are both competitors and play hard. I like this combination”, he added.

Rafe also looked upon the combination positively, noting that Hayes’ rookie campaign shouldn’t be a reason to write him off.

Pick #7 in the 2020 NBA Draft, Killian Hayes found it hard to stay on the court in his rookie season. Credit: Raj Mehta – USA TODAY SPORTS

“People looked at Killian Hayes last season, saw the turnovers, lack of games played and kinda leant towards him being a bust, which isn’t fair. There are guys who just get written off early by fans, but Hayes shouldn’t be one of those guys and I think we’ll see that this season”.

The team also discuss whether ‘Beef Stew’ is the worst nickname in the league, whether Luka Garza is the best Luka in the NBA, is Kelly Olynyk the ‘Andrew Wiggins of Canada’ (or vice-versa!) and what does the city have to prove to the broader NBA public this season?

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