Breaking Down the Pistons Guards

The Pistons have five players for four spots, and juggling their playing time will be a key this season for new coach Lawerence Frank.  Balancing the guard rotation will be key to success this year for the Pistons.  Here is a breakdown of each guard’s strengths and weaknesses

Brandon Knight


The sky is the limit

Excellent College Pedigree

Quick and Agile on the court

Slasher-style combo guards similar to him have seen increasing amounts of success in the NBA

An effective jumpshooter during college


Completely unproven on an NBA Level

Had concerns about his dribbling/passing in college

Not a true point or shooting guard

Doesn’t have a prototypical NBA body


Brandon Knight could be a great NBA player in the next few years; he has several positives going for him.  He is the future of the franchise and will be the face of the franchise.  He still will need consistent playing time and a chance to prove himself playing against true NBA guard to develop into a star.  I expect him to start or be the first guard off of the bench for most of this season.

Rodney Stuckey


A strong guard who has improved every season with the team

Someone who can finish effectively at the basket and can penetrate defenses

Creates his own shot

Has stayed realtively healthy and injury free, averaging almost 70 games per season


Struggles being "the man"

Is an restricted free agent

Will never be an all-star

Personality issues caused him to clash with John Kuester


Rodney Stuckey is Joe Dumars’ big project and his success is tied almost directly to Dumars’ success.  The guard out of Eastern Washington has steadily improved in his time in the NBA, but one has to wonder if he can get much better than he is now.  His position with the team will come under fire as Brandon Knight comes in.  The two players fill similar roles and it will be important to see which of the two will see more playing time.  Also, as a free agent there is a chance he will not be back as a member of the team.

Richard Hamilton


The only guard that is a proven winner and team leader

Probably the best defensive player of the group, though his defense has slipped in recent years

Still a strong shooter and can still catch and shoot coming off of screens


His skills have slipped noticeably and his best days are behind him

Even when he was younger he struggled to create his own shot, now it is even worse


Rip is a great player and he has played an important role in his time as a Piston.  I don’t think anyone doubts his commitment to the team or the organization, but at this point it seems it would be best for both sides to cut ties and go their separate ways.  Rip would be a great player for contender that wants a reliable scorer and crunch time leader.  He would be great piece for a team like the Heat, the Celtics or even the Thunder.  He would help any team that is looking to add a player this offseason that can provide 20-30 minutes as a decent scorer either as a starter or off the bench.

Ben Gordon


The best purer scorer on the roster

Has been good in stretches as a Piston

Showed great skills off the bench with the Bulls


Had trouble with injuries and has missed a lot of time while in the NBA

Is probably best served as a high volume bench scorer

Not the best attitude

Has one of the worst contracts on the team/in the league


Ben Gordon is certainly a fine player and can fill an important role on a quality team.  He might not be able to start, but he can certainly help a team as a scorer coming off of the bench.  One sign of concern is that he has struggled to get consistent minutes as a Piston, but shined in his time as a Bull.  I think he could be a strong piece for Lawrence Frank playing with the other point guards on the team.

Will Bynum


Actually the only pure point guard on the roster

A strong, a scrappy, offensive player


Should not be more than a bench player on a decent

Slightly turnover prone

Nothing special on defense


Will Bynum is a solid player and could be like an eighth or ninth man on a legitimate team.  Last season he average about 18 minutes a game, which is the perfect amount of play that he should get. He is a solid point guard off of the bench and can run the team for stretches.  He is a reasonable piece for some quality teams looking for guard depth (think about Mike James on the 2004 Pistons).


Moving forward I think the Pistons will need to part with at least one of the guards to try and open up room for the other four of them to get decent playing time.  Rodney Stuckey is a restricted free agent, but the Pistons have made noise about him being part of the long-term future.  Richard Hamilton and Will Bynum are the two most attractive pieces for teams looking to add a piece next season.  If the Pistons can move Hamilton they will be able to have a rotation with Brandon Knight and Rodney Stuckey starting and Ben Gordon and Will Bynum coming off the bench and providing quality minutes as the back-up guards.  If the Pistons let Stuckey walk, they can start Hamilton and Knight as a strong shooting guard combo, able to stretch the floor and give Greg Monroe room to work down low.  Hopefully one of the guards will get moved and every player can get solid minutes.

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