Detroit Pistons: These 2 players have made the most of Summer League


Detroit Pistons: These 2 players have made the most of Summer League

Sekou Doumbouya #45 of the Detroit Pistons (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

The Detroit Pistons have been one of the most talked about teams in Summer League, mostly because of Cade Cunningham.

The Pistons are going to have to get used to this, as having the number one pick in the draft means a lot of extra attention that can sometimes overshadow other guys.

Cunningham has had a very good Summer League, blowing up for seven threes in the last game he played in (he sat vs. the Lakers) and easing some way-too-early fears that the Pistons may have taken the wrong guy.

Cunningham looks like a star, a leader and the guy who could finally save the Pistons from decades of mediocrity.

Even though all eyes were on Cunningham, there were other Pistons that grabbed my attention for various reasons.

Detroit Pistons: Summer League hasn’t all been good

I was disappointed that we didn’t get to see Isaiah Stewart in Summer League after he injured his ankle playing for the Olympic Select team.

I don’t think this will ultimately be a big setback for Beef Stew but it would have been nice to see him get those extra reps with his young teammates to continue to build upon the chemistry they started last season.

Same with Sekou Doumbouya, who had to leave Summer League for a family obligation. He played good defense in the games he played in, but had to miss the final three. He is hoping to prove he can make an impact defensively and needed those Summer league reps as well.

However, there were two players who have stood out so far. One who only confirmed that he is a rising star and one who is hoping to make team.

Detroit Pistons: These 2 players have made the most of Summer League

Sekou Doumbouya #45 of the Detroit Pistons (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

The Detroit Pistons have been one of the most talked about teams in Summer League, mostly because of Cade Cunningham.

The Pistons are going to have to get used to this, as having the number one pick in the draft means a lot of extra attention that can sometimes overshadow other guys.

Cunningham has had a very good Summer League, blowing up for seven threes in the last game he played in (he sat vs. the Lakers) and easing some way-too-early fears that the Pistons may have taken the wrong guy.

Cunningham looks like a star, a leader and the guy who could finally save the Pistons from decades of mediocrity.

Even though all eyes were on Cunningham, there were other Pistons that grabbed my attention for various reasons.

Detroit Pistons: Summer League hasn’t all been good

I was disappointed that we didn’t get to see Isaiah Stewart in Summer League after he injured his ankle playing for the Olympic Select team.

I don’t think this will ultimately be a big setback for Beef Stew but it would have been nice to see him get those extra reps with his young teammates to continue to build upon the chemistry they started last season.

Same with Sekou Doumbouya, who had to leave Summer League for a family obligation. He played good defense in the games he played in, but had to miss the final three. He is hoping to prove he can make an impact defensively and needed those Summer league reps as well.

However, there were two players who have stood out so far. One who only confirmed that he is a rising star and one who is hoping to make team.

Detroit Pistons: These 2 players have made the most of Summer League

Saddiq Bey #41 of the Detroit Pistons (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Detroit Pistons: Saddiq Bey has outgrown Summer League

One thing has been made crystal clear in the Pistons’ four Summer League games: Saddiq Bey shouldn’t be in Summer League.

The 22-year-old has been filling the stat sheet and also showing that he is trying to add some nuance to his offensive game.

Bey was widely regarded as a 3-and-D guy who wasn’t going to make many plays off the dribble. He is still that guy, but has been more aggressive with the ball in Summer League, showcased a few mid-range moves and has made some nice passes.

Diq had a nice take vs. the Lakers, got into the lane, and when the defense collapsed, found Luka Garza who finished and got fouled.

Bey had a team-high six assists against the Lakers and also swiped four steals in the win.

I was somewhat surprised that Bey was even out there considering it was a back-to-back, but Bey seems unfazed by big minutes and I love the fact that he wants to play.

Bey was already an All-Rookie last season but he has a whole other level if he can make plays off the bounce and continue to grow as a defender.

Bey has nothing left to prove in Summer League and I wouldn’t be surprised if we don’t see him there again.

Next: Trying to earn a roster spot...
Detroit Pistons: These 2 players have made the most of Summer League

Luka Garza #55 of the Detroit Pistons (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Detroit Pistons: Is Luka Garza more than a Summer League legend?

Look, I thought Luka Garza would be good in Summer League as he already has a polished offensive game and would mostly be competing against younger players and second-tier guys.

But could Garza be more than just a Summer League legend?

It’s too early to say, as we still haven’t seen what Garza can do defensively against a team full of real NBA players, but so far the signs are positive.

Garza has at least begun to answer some of the questions people have about his foot speed and ability to defend at the NBA level.

He had 20 points, 14 rebounds and three assists vs. the Lakers, moved well without the ball, and didn’t get torched on the defensive end.

If Garza can at least hold his own on defense and the boards, then he should win the 3rd center spot over Jahlil Okafor, who is a one-trick pony whose only skill is scoring in the post.

Garza has looked like a poor-man’s Kevin Love in Summer League, but remember, so did Henry Ellenson, so I am going to temper my excitement.

At this point, I wouldn’t bet against Garza, who is shaping up to be the next great Troy Weaver draft pick.

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