The final results of Detroit’s ongoing rebuild have yet to be decided, but the Pistons already have found some success in the NBA Draft since Troy Weaver took over as general manager.
According to research conducted by GreatLakesStakes.com, Saddiq Bey, Weaver’s last of three first round picks from his inaugural 2020 draft class, registers as the most cost-efficient player on Detroit’s roster, something to keep in mind as the season tips off across Michigan sports betting.
GreatLakesStakes.com used Basketball-Reference.com to find the cap hit of every non-rookie member of the 2022-23 Pistons and then divided that by the number of win shares each player produced during the 2021-22 NBA season to create these rankings.
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Pistons Roster Breakdown
Bey Delivers Value
Bey provided a steady presence for the Pistons last season, starting all 82 games and leading the team in win shares.
He scored 16.1 points per game, good for third on the team, and doubled his 1.4 assist per game average from his rookie year to 2.8. Bey will remain a cheap starter for Detroit for two more seasons, as they picked up his fourth-year option on Monday, though they will retain his restricted free agency rights following the expiration of his rookie deal.
The Pistons will take every bright spot they can this upcoming season, as the team is +700 to make the playoffs at Caesars Michigan.
Fellow 2020 first rounder Isaiah Stewart (who had his fourth-year option exercised on Monday, too, alongside Bey and Killian Hayes) finished second on the Pistons in win shares last year and also ranks second in this study.
Stewart started 71 games and averaged 8.3 points and 8.7 rebounds per game, but unlike Bey recorded fewer win shares than during his rookie season.
Still, only five players from the 2020 draft class have accumulated more win shares than Stewart has to this point in their careers.
Offseason trade acquisition Alec Burks would have led Detroit in win shares had he been on the team last season. In his 11th year in the league, Burks set career highs for both games and minutes played on his way to his most valuable season ever.
Although he only started a little more than half the time, Burks finished fourth on the Knicks in minutes per game in 2021-22 and also led the team in three-point percentage, hitting 40.4% of his shots from deep.
Last week, the Pistons traded for another veteran sharpshooter in Bojan Bogdanovic, who should join Burks in helping space the floor for the team’s young core. Bogdanovic is a 39.2% career three-point shooter and averaged 18.1 points per game last year as a starter in Utah, marking the third time in the last four years he has eclipsed 18 ppg.
Despite ranking as the oldest and most expensive player on Detroit’s roster, Bogdanovic offers reasonable value for his contract, which is also set to expire at the end of the season.
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Don't Write Off Cunningham
Advanced stats were not kind to 2021 number one overall pick Cade Cunningham’s rookie year, though that can partially be explained by the offensive load he had to carry.
Thanks to a subpar field goal percentage and high turnover rate, Cunningham ended as one of just seven players who played at least 500 minutes in 2021-22 to post negative win shares, but he was also tasked with the highest minutes/usage combination of any rookie since Trae Young and Luka Doncic in 2018-19.
While Cunningham will need to grow from an offensive efficiency standpoint, Pistons fans can feel better knowing he became just the 10th rookie ever to average at least 17 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists per game last season.
Over at BetMGM Michigan, Cunningham is +2200 to win Most Improved Player of the Year.