The preseason will present Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy with an opportunity to tinker with the lineup a little bit.

The first nine days of training camp have given him some indication of what he’d like to do in terms of a playing rotation, but there’s still plenty more to determine in locking down which players will get the majority of the playing time.

Van Gundy generally likes to have a core rotation of about nine, but the depth the Pistons have in camp this year could push that number to 10 or more, depending on the circumstance.

“With having Avery (Bradley), Langston (Galloway) and Luke (Kennard) and Henry (Ellenson) emerging and Anthony Tolliver back, we have a lot of new people and a lot of depth — which is a blessing — but trying to figure out how they fit together best is not going to be easy,” Van Gundy said before Wednesday’s preseason opener against the Hornets at Little Caesars Arena. “We’ll certainly need the rest of these two weeks leading into the first (regular-season) game to do that.”

The five-game preseason will allow some in-game assessment of the progress the players are making from their work in training camp. But the offseason acquisitions are going to make some of those decisions a bit tougher.


Adding perimeter shooting will make for some increased depth, but inevitably, some players are going to have to distinguish themselves to get more playing time.

“(Depth gives) more versatility but you eventually would like to settle on eight or nine guys who are going to be out there every night and use the other guys as situations arise,” Van Gundy said. “I’m nowhere near being able to do that right now.”

Van Gundy was planning on using a starting lineup of Reggie Jackson, Avery Bradley, Stanley Johnson, Tobias Harris and Andre Drummond, but Jackson’s sore groin put Ish Smith into the starting lineup for Wednesday’s opener.