The Detroit Pistons will open their four-game slate in the Orlando summer league on Sunday with some familiar faces and some that might not be as familiar.
Andre Drummond, the Pistons first-round draft pick in 2012, headlines the roster and he will be joined by all three of the team’s selections from the just-completed 2013 NBA Draft. First-round pick Kentavious Caldwell-Pope from Georgia will play, along with second-round selections Tony Mitchell of North Texas and Peyton Siva from Louisville.
The Pistons play the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday, the Boston Celtics on Monday, the Oklahoma City Thunder on Tuesday and the Miami Heat on Wednesday. The Orlando circuit wraps up with the championship game on Thursday.
Here’s a closer look at the summer league roster, in alphabetical order:
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, SG
6’6”, 205 lbs, age 20
Drafted: 1st round by Detroit Pistons (8th overall), 2013, out of Georgia
2012-13: Georgia (NCAA): 32 G, 34 mpg, 18.5 ppg, 7.1 rpg, 2 spg, 43.3% FG, 37.3% 3-pt, 79.9% FT
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope was the Player of the Year in the Southeastern Conference despite playing for a Georgia team that was sub-.500. He’s a solid pull-up jump shooter who can have some difficulty finishing around the rim because he lacks elite athleticism. Still, he knows how to score and that’s an attribute the Pistons can use. He also plays solid defensively, which is an unusual trait in a young scorer.
Andre Drummond, C
6’10”, 270 lbs, age 19
Drafted: 1st round by Detroit Pistons (9th overall), 2012, out of Connecticut
Pro experience: One NBA season
2012-13: Detroit Pistons (NBA) 60 G, 20.8 mpg, 7.9 ppg, 7.6 rbg, 1.6 bpg, 60.8% FG, 37.1% FT
Andre Drummond made the NBA All-Rookie second team last season despite missing 22 games with a back injury. In the 60 games he played, Drummond showed great athleticism and rebounding ability—13.2 rebounds per 36 minutes—but he’s still very raw at the offensive end. Still he posted a player efficiency rating of 21.6 and his defensive rating was a solid 99 (points allowed per 100 possession). And as bad as his free-throw shooting was for the Pistons last season, consider that it was an improvement from his lone collegiate season at Connecticut in 2011-12, when he was just a 29.5 percent shooter.
Kim English, SG
6’6”, 200 lbs, age 24
Drafted: 2nd round by Detroit Pistons (44th overall), 2012, out of Missouri
Pro experience: One NBA season, some D-League time
2012-13: Detroit Pistons (NBA) 41 G, 9.9 mpg, 2.9 ppg. 37.5% FG, 28% 3-pt, 72.4% FT
Fort Wayne Mad Ants (NBADL) 3 G, 36.7 mpg, 18 ppg, 5 rpg, 5.7 apg, 1.3 bpg, 42.9% FG, 38.5% 3-pt, 86.7% FT
Kim English played sparingly as a rookie last season and will spend his offseason trying to add more strength. While in Orlando, English will be tasked with working on his ball handling and his perimeter shot. He could earn a spot in Detroit’s rotation next season, given the uncertainty surrounding incumbent guards Will Bynum—a free agent—and Rodney Stuckey.
Ryan Evans, SG/SF
6’6”, 212 lbs, age 23
Drafted: Not drafted in 2013 out of Wisconsin
2012-13: Wisconsin (NCAA) 35 G, 29 mpg, 10.1 ppg, 7.3 rpg, 2 apg, 39.6% FG, 8.3% 3-pt, 42.6% FT
Ryan Evans is an undrafted free agent out of Wisconsin with a chance somewhere between slim and none of making the actual roster without an amazing showing in Orlando. Evans turned some heads while at Wisconsin last season when, in the midst of a horrific free-throw shooting slump, broke out the Hal Greer-style jump shot from the line. He did finish strong for the Badgers, earning a spot on the Big Ten All-Tournament team last March. He’s a swingman without a perimeter game … usually a one-way ticket out of the NBA.
JaJuan Johnson, PF
6’10”, 221 lbs, age 24
Drafted: 1st round by New Jersey Nets (27th overall), 2011, out of Purdue
Pro experience: One NBA season, one D-League season
2012-13: D-League (3 teams) 42 G, 23.3 mpg, 9.4 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 1.4 bpg, 43.7% FG, 78.4% FT
JaJuan Johnson played all of last season in the D-League, splitting time between the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, Canton Charge and Idaho Stampede. That came after a rookie year in 2011-12 spent at the end of the Boston Celtics’ bench after he was acquired in a draft-night trade. Johnson was one of the many pieces in a trade in July 2012, winding up with the Houston Rockets along with E’Twaun Moore, Sean Williams and a 2013 second-round pick. But Johnson was cut in late October by the Rockets. He needs to get stronger—he’s just undersized at 221 pounds—and can’t play the stretch 4 at this point. A long shot to make a roster.
Viacheslav Kravtsov, C
7’, 260 lbs, age 25
Drafted: Not drafted in 2009 out of the Ukraine; signed with the Detroit Pistons in July 2012.
Pro experience: Seven seasons in Ukraine, one NBA season.
2012-13: Detroit Pistons (NBA) 25 G, 9 mph, 3.1 ppg, 1.8 rpg, 71.7% FG, 29.7% FT
Viacheslav Kravtsov did well enough in his limited minutes last season for the Pistons to guarantee his $1.5 million salary for 2013-14, per Vincent Ellis of the Detroit Free Press:
For those who have asking, Kravtsov is still on the roster. $1.5M guaranteed for next season. #Pistons
— Vincent Ellis (@Vincent_Ellis56) June 30, 2013
He showed flashes, including a double-double out of nowhere on Feb. 22 in a blowout loss to the Indiana Pacers, when he scored 14 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in 29 minutes. He’s big, but not athletic, but he’ll keep getting shots because you can’t teach height and bulk.
Korie Lucious, G
5’11”, 170 lbs, age 23
Drafted: Not drafted in 2013 out of Iowa State after transferring from Michigan State in 2011
2012-13: Iowa State (NCAA) 35 G, 31.0 mpg, 10.1 ppg, 5.6 APG, 37.7% FG, 36.6% 3-pt, 80.3% FT
Korie Lucious bounced back nicely after sitting out a year following his dismissal at Michigan State in 2011. But he’s an NBA long shot—a point guard with decent handles, decent passing skills and almost no shooting ability from the perimeter. He went undrafted after working out for several teams in advance of the draft, including the Pistons, Phoenix Suns and Milwaukee Bucks.
Khris Middleton, SF/SG
6’7”, 215 lbs, age 21
Drafted: 2nd round by Detroit Pistons (39th overall), 2012, out of Texas A&M
Pro experience: One NBA season, some D-League time
2012-13: Detroit Pistons (NBA) 27 G, 17.6 mpg, 6.1 ppg, 1.9 rpg, 44% FG, 31.1% 3-pt, 84.4% FT
Fort Wayne Mad Ants (D-League) 3 G, 26.3 mpg, 11 ppg, 7.7 rpg, 3 apg, 34% FG, 14.3% 3-pt
Khris Middleton showed some flashes despite missing time with a knee injury as a rookie. When healthy, Middleton was a solid defender with some scoring ability and will focus on adding bulk this offseason. He finished the season in the rotation under former coach Lawrence Frank and if he can add some size to his frame has a good chance to open the season in the rotation under new coach Maurice Cheeks.
Tony Mitchell, SF/PF
6’9”, 236 lbs, age 21
Drafted: 2nd round by Detroit Pistons (37th overall), 2013, out of North Texas
2012-13: North Texas (NCAA) 32 G, 32.4 mpg, 13 ppg, 8.5 rpg, 2.7 bpg, 44% FG, 30% 3-pt, 67.5% FT
Tony Mitchell had one of the most precipitous falls of any prospect on draft night. At one point, Mitchell’s name was being thrown around as a lottery pick, but after a sophomore season at North Texas where his stats fell across the board followed by a draft combine that had scouts questioning his desire, Mitchell wound up in the second round. Mitchell is an amazing athlete and could be a steal at No. 37 overall, but he comes with some huge red flags. Summer league is where he will begin the process of rehabbing his reputation.
Travis Peterson, PF/C
6’10”, 240 lbs, age 28
Drafted: Not drafted in 2008 out of Samford
Pro experience: Five years in Europe
2012-13: Hovaria (Ukraine) 43 G, 26.1 mpg, 13.6 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 49.3% FG, 32.2% 3-pt, 77.2% FT
Travis Peterson has bounced around Eastern Europe since going undrafted in 2008, playing three years in Bulgaria and one each in the Czech Republic and the Ukraine. He’s a versatile offensive player with decent shooting range who is still looking for his elusive first shot at the NBA. The summer league will give him a chance for another audition, if not for the Pistons then perhaps with another team.
E.J. Singler, SF/SG
6’6”, 215 lbs, age 23
Drafted: Not drafted in 2013 out of Oregon
2012-13: Oregon (NCAA) 37 G, 31 mpg, 11.7 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 2.8 apg, 41.2% FG, 35.9% 3-pt, 78.6% FT
The younger brother of Pistons forward Kyle Singler will get a look in the summer league after going undrafted last month. He was a so-called “glue guy” for the Ducks last season, but faces an uphill climb to make a roster because he’s not as athletic as his older brother, who is not extraordinarly athletic himself by NBA standards.
Kyle Singler, SF
6’8”, 230 lbs, age 25
Drafted: 2nd round by Detroit Pistons (33rd overall), 2011, out of Duke
Pro experience: One NBA season, one season in Spain
2012-13: Detroit Pistons (NBA) 82 G, 28 mpg, 8.8 ppg, 4 rpg, 42.8% FG, 35% 3-pt, 80.6% FT
Kyle SIngler started 74 games at the 3 for the Pistons as a rookie, but needs to get stronger and develop more stamina. He was a second-team All-Rookie selection after spending a season with Lucentum Alicante and Real Madrid in Spain. Singler could be a rotation player, but a future as an NBA starter seems like an outside shot, at best.
Peyton Siva, PG
6’, 185 lbs, age 22
Drafted: 2nd round by Detroit Pistons (56th overall), 2013, out of Louisville
2012-13: Louisville (NCAA) 40 G, 31.2 mpg, 10 ppg, 5.7 apg, 2.3 spg, 40.4% FG, 28.8% 3-pt, 86.7% FT
Peyton Siva won a national championship at Louisville, he can be a pest defensively with quick feet and hands, but his size could become a liability in the post. He developed those defensive skills as he progressed at Louisville, but his offensive game didn’t progress with them. He is a poor jump shooter and a non-threat from deep, but his handling, passing and defense may be enough to find him minutes as a high-energy second unit point guard.