If Chet Holmgren comes to Detroit, ‘Beef Stew’ needs a new position

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It looks like the Detroit Pistons have yet another chance at a high draft pick. If it turns out they get Gonzaga center Chet Holmgren, it means a new position for Isaiah Stewart.

It might come as a shock to Pistons fans, but unless the team starts ripping off big winning streaks, they will be back in the NBA Draft Lottery in 2022, one hopes for the last time for a while.

Detroit is battling Orlando and Oklahoma City for who can finish at the bottom of the standings {style points to the Thunder for the 73-point loss). If the current trends continue, the Pistons will be in line for another top 5 pick in the draft.

Now, as most Pistons fans do know, the NBA Draft Lottery had been none too kind to them, except for last year. For the first in history, Detroit moved up in the lottery with its own draft pick, all the way to No.1 and – hello – Cade Cunningham.

There are a number of possibilities of who. Detroit might be able to take. And, do not fear, Piston Powered will go through all of them, before the draft. However, because it would cause such a ripple effect, we presently want to concentrate on one potential prospect: Gonzaga center Chet Holmgren.

The 7-foot Holmgren was the High School Player of the Year last season. He is a bit on the skinny side, but they said that about Evan Mobley when he was in college, looks fine with the Cavaliers right now.

Holmgren is a Swiss Army knife type player. He can shoot, pass, rebound and block shots. He does not have an outstanding skill yet, but he is just 19, so he has time.

Holmgren will definitely go in the top five of next year’s draft  if he declares. As Pistons general manager Troy Weaver is a self-confessed lover of centers, Detroit will certainly take a long look at the Minnesota native, if he is available when we pick.

Taking Holmgren would certainly add to the Pistons playoff viability. Outside of the Warriors, most championship teams have a standout post player.

But there will be a big lineup dilemma if Holmgren comes to the Motor City … Isaiah Stewart must play power forward.

Can ‘Beef Stew’ be a full-time power forward for Detroit Pistons?

Isaiah Stewart has been a pleasant surprise for the Pistons. Many draftniks thought Weaver overreached taking the 6-9 center out of Washington with the 16th pick last season. However, Stewart went on to become second team All-NBA Rookie and was picked for the USA Select team that practiced with the Olympic team.

His hustle, and attitude of not backing down (as LeBron James found out) has made him a fan favorite. However, one thing he is not known for is outside shooting. Make no mistake, if Holmgren is drafted, he will play immediately. Forget any BS about earning your spot, Killian Hayes was jammed into the starting point guard position as a rookie, and he went No. 7.

Jetrami Grant can move to the small forward position, that is where he played the first half of last season. That also would mean Grant then has less pressure to rebound, and can concentrate more on scoring.

The biggest adjustment would be for Stewart. As a forward, he would need to develop a consistant jump shot. In 20 games this season, he has only attempted 11 three-pointers.

Stewart at the end of last year, encouraged by the coaching staff, began to launch some threes, but he has not done much this year with it. He did hit some mid-range jumpers against Portland, which was a good sign. He has shown signs of having a nice shooting touch, as center he has not needed to use it.

 

For the Pistons to move forward, IF Holmgren is drafted next year, the outside shooting of Isaiah Stewart will be one of the bigger storylines for the Pistons. With his work ethic, the odds are he can succeed.

 

 

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