The Detroit Pistons are reportedly considering moves to boost their roster and fill vacant spots, and one player who is attracting their interest is free agent Jaylen Nowell. The 24-year-old was solid coming off the bench at the Minnesota Timberwolves last season, averaging over 10 points a game, and is seen as an affordable replacement for Alec Burks.
Monty Williams was ushered in to take over as coach at the Little Caesars Arena after a run of five seasons under Dwane Casey, each of which was a little bit worse than the one before, with 2022/23 seeing the Pistons fall to a new low with just 17 regular season wins, the fewest the franchise has managed since 1979/80.
Williams proved successful during his four-season stint at the Phoenix Suns, taking the team to post-season on three occasions and the NBA Finals in 2020/21, when they narrowly lost to the Milwaukee Bucks in six games.
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In terms of Detroit’s push to improve their roster, a move for Nowell is starting to increase.
Nowell is clearly a player with a drive to deliver on his obvious potential. Back in January, when asked about his form in the season, to that point, he responded honestly by replying;
“Not going well,”
When pressed on how he could improve his game, he replied,
“Just get in the gym more,”
“Watch more film, see where the spots are at, and just continue to work.”
Timberwolves coach Chris Finch, at that time, was of the impression that Nowell was very much trying to force the issue with regards to getting his game up to scratch, stating;
“I think he’s trying to force himself into the game,”
“What it’s doing probably is bleeding over into the great looks that he’s getting. He’s trying to get himself going by taking some tough shots out there with a lot of hands in his face and then when the ball comes back, or a different situation where he’s shooting it open, particularly from three, he hasn’t seen that go in.”
Nowell was the 43rd overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, and he has seen his playing time gradually increase over the course of his four seasons with the Timberwolves. In 2022/23, he made two starts but played in 65 regular season games plus another six across the Play-in tournament and Playoffs.
His 10.8 points per game record was his best yet, and his minutes per game crept up to just below 20, showing a player moving in the right direction in terms of his maturity and effectiveness.
These are clearly factors that interest the Pistons, and it will be interesting to see if the Seattle-born guard makes that move.