Could moving Jaden Ivey to a 6th man role be the best move for the Pistons once everyone is healthy?

With the Pistons soon to get Alec Burks and Marvin Bagley back from injuries the team will likely need to make some changes to both starting lineup and the 2nd unit. While most articles I have read believe it will come down to either Saddiq Bey or Bojan Bogdanovic heading to the bench so the team can start both Bagley and Isaiah Stewart up front to give the Pistons more size, I have a different idea.

To me the best thing to do is move Ivey to a 6th man role (where he would still get around 30 minutes a game & be in the closing lineups if/when needed), go with a starting 5 of Bagely/Stewart/Bojan/Bey/Cunningham, and shorten the primary rotation to 9 players.


PG: Cade/Ivey/Hayes/Cojo

SG: Bey/Ivey/Burks/Hami

SF: Bojan/Burks/Livers/Hami

PF: Stewart/Livers/Knox

C: Bagely/Duren/Noel

I posted this potential starting lineup and depth chart on Twitter and immediately had people asking why I would remove Ivey from the starting lineup. Here are 3 reasons why.

1. Terrible play from our backup PG's. By moving Ivey into a 6th man role, he will be avaialble to take all/most of the minutes at PG when Cade is resting on the bench that have went to Killian Hayes and Cory Joseph. Ivey would play most/all the backup SG minutes as well. Ideally the Pistons rest Bey at around the 6 minute mark of the 1st/3rd quarter and replace him with Ivey. At the begining of the 2nd/4th quarter Cade sits for 6-7 minutes, Ivey moves to PG and Bey comes back in. Hami Diallo would be my choice over Hayes or Cojo to be the 10th man and pick up whatever gurard minutes (if any) are left over each game.

2. This lineup will help balance out the shooting on the starting and second units better. With Ivey starting and Bey or Bojan on the bench, the starting unit would only have one above average outisde shooter on the floor with Cade/Stew/Bagely for the first 6-7 minutes of each half. I trust Beys outside shot more then i trust Ivey's at this point so therefore i see him as a better fit along with Bojan to play those minutes with Cade/Stew/Bagley. A second unit fronted by rookies Ivey & Duren with Burks, Livers and one of either Cade, Bojan or Bey on the floor with them could be outstanding.

3. The size of this starting lineup really intrigues me. I think a big part of my reason for liking this lineup so much was watching an undersized Pistons team struggle to defend and rebound earlier this season while both Duren and Bagley were out with injuries. Bey is quick enough to guard 2's and if/when a quicker wing does drive past Saddiq or Bojan they'll have both Stewart and Bagley (or Duren) waiting for them in the paint.

Keep in mind that this starting lineup would likely only play together for the first 6-7 minutes each half. I see Ivey getting at least 28 minutes per game in this role and being in the closing lineup (in place of Bagley or Stewart) anytime the game is on the line.


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