Going into the upcoming NBA season, the Pistons have most roles on their roster already determined before even going into training camp. However, there does look to be a battle brewing in the back court as two guys are fighting for the right to call themselves the third string point guard. Lorenzo Brown and recently added Ray McCallum both have a shot to be Detroit’s third string point guard on what’s expected to be one of the more competitive teams in the Eastern Conference. Here’s what each guy brings to the table.
At this point, Brown is probably the fan favorite to win the job. He is fresh off a very impressive showing in the Orlando summer league; where he was not only the best player on the Pistons, but one of the best players in the Orlando league. There he averaged 14.2 points per game on 53% shooting and 37% from three. Brown looked unstoppable at times, penetrating and scoring at will. He also put up 3.4 rebounds per game, 2.0 assists per game, and 3.6 steals per game. It also helps that Brown has been apart of the Pistons system for longer. He knows Van Gundy’s offense better and knows exactly what’s expected of him. He spent most of the second half of the season with the Pistons, although he never appeared in a game. However, just because Brown is the incumbent who is fresh off a very impressive performance, doesn’t mean he’s a lock to win the job.
Ray McCallum has been more impressive in just about every way during his NBA career. He averages more points, assists, rebounds, has a higher shooting percentage, three-point percentage and free throw percentage over his career averages. McCallum also has nearly 100 more games of NBA experience under his belt where he has seen significantly more playing time. To see what McCallum brings to the table, look no farther than the final month of last season where he saw significant playing time with Memphis. Over those ten games he averaged 21.9 minutes per game, 6.9 points per game, 2.7 assists per game and shot 38% from three. While these numbers aren’t spectacular, it’s obvious he can run an NBA offense and clearly has the ability to be the third string point guard in Detroit.
One thing that may play a factor in the final decision is the contact situation. It’s worth noting that Brown is owed no guaranteed money next year and it wouldn’t hurt the Pistons in any way to part ways with him. However, nearly all of McCallum’s contract would count against the Pistons cap if he were to be cut. While that is only around a million dollars, it still might be an indication of how the team views the pecking order of these two potential depth guards.
At this point, either guy could win this job. If I had to pick a guy who had the edge right now, and it’s a very small edge, I would go with McCallum. He has more game experience in the league and seems to have the type of skills that Van Gundy values. However, if Brown continues to show the ability he flashed in the Summer League then he can absolutely run away with this job, but he has to prove he can do that first.
Who should the Pistons keep as their third string point guard, vote now.
Featured image via: USA Today Sports