If Detroit Pistons forward Isaiah Stewart is to reach his full potential, he's going to have to continue to develop his three-point shot.
A stretch-4 is vital in today's NBA, and if Stewart doesn't become that for Detroit, there's not another big man on the roster who can consistently shoot. The problem for the Pistons? It's not yet been proved that Stewart can consistently shoot the long ball himself. General manager Troy Weaver obviously believes in the 22-year-old's development, though, as it was recently reported that Stewart and the Pistons had agreed to a four-year, $64 million rookie-scale contract extension.
"Stewart is Detroit’s most versatile defender and has shown improvements as a floor spacer," The Athletic's James Edwards III wrote in his report. "The entire organization views him as the heart and soul of the rebuild. Stewart just turned 22 in May and has, arguably, shown the most improvements from anyone on Detroit’s roster."
Stewart has undoubtedly grown in his time as an NBA pro.
He came into the league (No. 16 pick in 2020) as an undersized big man with massive hustle, a strong defensive presence and "heart of the team" leadership potential. He's shown all three traits in Detroit over the past three seasons but was really pushed to start developing into more of a deep threat last season. He shot 33.3% from three-point land on 63 attempts in year one and 32.6% in year two on just 46 attempts.
He put up 205 three-point shots in 2022 as he tried to get comfortable in his new role, shooting 32.8% from deep.
Again, a 4 who can shoot the three is a massive need in today's NBA, and it was speculated that Stewart was the answer in that role after the Pistons declined to go after restricted free-agent forward Cam Johnson of the Brooklyn Nets (39.3% career three-point shooter) late last month.
Shooting 32.8% is obviously not good enough for a floor-spacing 4, but this new contract from Detroit suggests that the Pistons are all-in on Stewart's continued development from deep.