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Las Vegas Summer League

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IMO, not trading Rip will be a disaster.

I do not want to see Rip and Ben Gordon trying to co-exist. I can see Gordon saying "hey - I'm willing to do whatever" - and MEAN IT.

...But NOT Rip...

(Joe is really starting to get on my nerves)

Then you don't know Gordon's past. I'm not saying he won't do whatever it takes now but in the past he's been accused of being selfish, bringing his contract troubles to the court and being enough of a malcontent that he would find his way to the end of the bench. How does he earn all of this integrity in your eyes now?

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HOOPSWORLD

Vegas: Summers Came to Play

The 2009 Las Vegas Summer League kicked off yesterday with a 55-game schedule ending July 19th. In the second game Friday, fans were treated to a terrific showing by rookie DaJuan Summers who led the Detroit Pistons to a convincing win over the Sacramento Kings 86-77.

Former Georgetown forward Summers played 32 minutes, scoring 24 points an 9-of-15 shooting with seven defensive rebounds, and going five-for-seven at the free throw line. He also had one assist, two steals, and one block.

Detroit stole him in the second round with the 35th overall pick in the 2009 NBA draft. Many were surprised he slipped so far down as he definitely has an NBA-ready body and sufficient skills to warrant landing in the first-round.

HOOPSWORLD spent some time with Summers after the game where he touched on a variety of subjects. Not only did we wonder how he lasted to No. 35, but Pistons Assistant Coach Darrell Walker, having never seen him play in college or in workouts, was also mystified. Summers wondered as well. "The draft, it's just one night. I think you got to look at your career in the NBA more so than just the draft night. It was unfortunate for me from a goal standpoint to go in the second-round but I got someplace I wanted to be at so I'm still happy."

At Georgetown last season, Summers averaged 13.6 points per game and 4.1 rebounds, mostly playing power forward. He's known as an athletic, explosive player exhibiting solid basketball fundamentals. Although his size is more suited for a typical NBA small forward, there's been a lot of talk whether he's a three or four player. Summers has no preference.

"I feel like I'm just a ballplayer, between a three or a four," he said. "You gotta put the ball in the basket, you gotta stop your man, so it doesn't matter what position they put me in."

Summers believes that he has an advantage against bigger guys when he's playing the four. "Most big guys can't check me even off the short-block. A little jab series and the drive, just opening the game up and being able to be versatile, I think that will help a lot."

Now that Summers isn't limited by the Princeton offense used at Georgetown, he should be able to showcase his full skill set. In this first LVSL game, he seemed to shake the system mode at Georgetown and rely on instincts. "It's just natural for me, when you miss a play, to get back in the flow of things. It's easiest for pick-and-roll, it's simple, the game is just simplified. The game has always been simple, you just got to make the right read."

During this summer league, Summers is trying to heed the coaching staff's advice. "They just told us to do what got us here. Clearly everybody out here is talented, so they just said go out and be comfortable and play our game, so that's what I did."

He was not particularly pleased about all his fouling (five) and lack of offensive rebounds in this game. "I'm a scorer. I think there's no doubt about that. Rebounding and defense are what's on my mind."

But he did stand out in his first NBA outing. It seemed as though the Kings just couldn't match up with Summers. Why did he think he had such a great night?

"I think just taking my opportunities. From college to this, it's just so much different, the game is more open, more looks, you can show your talent more so it's just an open game."

It looks like the Pistons are hoping that Summers, along with no. 15 draft pick Austin Daye from Gonzaga, can develop into the new frontcourt face now that Rasheed Wallace and Antonio McDyess are gone. However there are three rookie forwards (including draftee Jonas Jerebko) that can play both spots. How will the pecking order be established?

"It's tough to say because I could have easily come out here and had a bad game and it would have been the other way around," Summers replied. "So you just gotta play basketball, you gotta stay level-headed. I know from last season, that's the biggest thing I learned from my college career, you gotta stay level-headed. We had a lot of good games and a lot of bad games, so just staying even-keeled, I think is the biggest thing."

He admits that he plays with a bit of a chip on his shoulder from as far back as high school, which may rear its head when playing against passing teams. "I keep using it as an adversity, keep building off of it. I don't dwell on it, but I do think about it."

DaJuan Summers has his sights on being a rotation player with Detroit next season. "I want to do whatever I can do to help the team. If doing those things gets me some playing time, that would be great."

He's off to a good start.

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If those 3 guys can get into the rotation... it puts a higher value on moving Maxiell than on moving Afflalo. Not to mention, a higher cap relief amount... Which probably makes Maxiell the harder guy to trade of course... but, just my 2 cents.

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Piston Deron Washington improves by leaps, bounds | Freep.com | Detroit Free Press

Piston Deron Washington improves by leaps, bounds

2008 2nd-round pick shows athleticism in Vegas

LAS VEGAS -- It took a little time, but Deron Washington finally got a chance to display the athleticism that has made him a YouTube star and could lead to a spot on the Pistons' opening-night roster in the fall.

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Midway through the third quarter of the first game of the summer league Friday against Sacramento, point guard Andre Owens took a shot that was slightly off.

Washington, a 6-foot-7 swingman, flew over the other earthbound players to flush the dunk and draw gasps from the crowd at the Cox Pavilion on the campus at Nevada-Las Vegas.

While Washington managed only five points on 2-for-9 shooting in 24 minutes, the Pistons were impressed by their 2008 second-round draft pick during practices last week.

The athleticism has always been there, and Washington was an NBA-ready defender last summer. But on offense, he showed that his season in Israel helped and he is making the leap from being a great athlete to a good basketball player.

"Looking at him early in the practices, you can see where he's benefitted," director of personnel George David said. "He's a lot more polished in some areas, and his confidence has really grown a lot.

"His decision-making has become better. I think he doesn't force as many things as before he went over there. He takes his time a little bit more. He doesn't rush things and doesn't force himself into bad situations. I think that's where he benefitted the most."

After last summer's Vegas league, the Pistons suggested Washington spend a year overseas.

"I look at it as a stepping-stone," Washington said. "I looked at it that I just got to come in and work my behind off and maybe I will get a chance.

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Austin Daye impresses Pistons in 40-minute outing | detnews.com | The Detroit News

Austin Daye impresses Pistons in 40-minute outing

Chris McCosky / The Detroit News

Las Vegas -- Darrell Walker, Pistons Summer League coach, wanted to put rookie Austin Daye into some situations that he might not have experienced much while at Gonzaga.

He wanted to put Daye in pick-and-roll situations where Daye was the ball-handler and decision-maker. He wanted Daye to initiate the offense some, similar to the way Tayshaun Prince occasionally does from the small forward position. He wanted to test Daye's defense, matching him up with Raptors first-round draft pick DeMar DeRozen.

Mostly, he wanted to test the slender rookie's endurance.

By all measures, Daye passed. He and fellow rookie DaJuan Summers each scored 19 points in the Pistons' 91-87 victory over Toronto, raising their record to 2-0 in the Vegas Summer League.

Daye hit 8 of 14 shots, two of his four 3-point tries, and had eight rebounds and two assists. And get this: He played all 40 minutes.

"It was different," said Daye, who played just 19 minutes Friday. "I think they wanted to see how I can handle playing longer stretches, and I wound up playing the whole game. I was kind of surprised that I was in that good of shape."

He set the tone immediately. Running the pick-and-roll on the first possession, he made a nice pass to center Trent Plaisted for a layup. Then he lost DeRozen with a show-and-go move and scored a layup. Two possessions later, he made a 3-pointer and followed that up with a pretty pass through traffic to a streaking Summers.

"He was a bright spot," Walker said. "We wanted to see what he has, just leave him out there. Sometimes it's hard to get in the flow when you play 17, 18 minutes. He handled it well. He's got a chance to be a nice basketball player. All he needs is to get stronger and that will come with age and Arnie (Kander, Pistons strength and conditioning coach)."

As for Daye's defense, DeRozen produced 20 points, but Daye kept him in front of him most of the game. DeRozen had to take 20 shots (making nine) to get his 20 points.

"This was a good start for (Daye)," Walker said. "But this is summer league. Let's not get carried away. When we get to training camp in October, he will have to play against more physical players in exhibition season. Then we will judge him again. But I like everything about him."

Jerebko at center?

Rookie Jonas Jerebko has played small forward the past three seasons overseas. Thus far in summer league he's been getting his minutes at center.

"I just want to get him some minutes," Walker said. "He's a four-five (power forward-center) more than a three-four (small forward-power forward) as far as I'm concerned. I just want to put him out there and he's played well.

"He can run and obviously he can finish. He reminds me of (New York Knicks forward) David Lee a little bit."

Jerebko is 6-foot-10 and he does like to fight inside. Playing against 7-foot Patrick O'Bryant Saturday, he had 12 points, seven rebounds and eight fouls (10 is the limit in summer league). More impressively, O'Bryant was relatively quiet (10 points, 3 for 9, 10 rebounds, six fouls and five turnovers.

"I've never done it before (play center), so it's a new experience," Jerebko said. "It's physical but I like it. I don't like to play the five, but to get minutes, I will do it."

Backing it up

Summers has now scored 43 points and made 16 of 32 shots in two games.

With the Pistons clinging to a three-point lead in the final three minutes Saturday, Summers hit a clutch jumper and two free throws to secure the victory.

"He's just a basketball player," Walker said. "He's been coached real well, I can tell you that. He's got a skill level that for a lot of guys it takes two or three years to get to at this level."

Washington hot and cold

Deron Washington, the fourth rookie expected to make the Pistons roster in the fall, had another up-and-down day. He made two spectacular putback dunks and grinded out 13 points, despite missing 7 of 11 shots. Worse, he missed 8 of 12 free throws.

Auditions

The Pistons are auditioning players for a third point guard spot. Two players with NBA experience, Sean Singletary and Andre Owens, are splitting most of the minutes thus far.

Owens has 13 assists and just one turnover in two games, though he's not shot much. Singletary, who has been starting, has 13 points, seven assists and four turnovers. Jeremy Pargo, rookie from Gonzaga, was a late addition to the roster and hasn't played yet.

chris.mccosky@detnews.com (313) 222-1489

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"There is more space here (in the lane), so I feel more comfortable taking the ball to the basket," he said. "In Europe, it seems like there's 18 people in the paint waiting for you. Here it's more open and easier to get a shot off."

Interesting thought from Jerebko. I would have thought there'd be more space in international play because of the wider lanes, but I guess it makes sense that wider lanes means more people in there too.

Any one know why Bynum didn't get any playing time, other than they kinda already know what they have in him?

Pistons win game #1, 86-77.


[B]Pistons (0-0)
Field Goals Rebounds
pos min fgm-a 3pm-a ftm-a off def tot ast pf st to bs pts[/B]
A.Daye F 19:18 3-9 1-3 1-1 0 2 2 2 1 2 0 0 8
D.Summers F 32:36 9-15 1-1 5-7 0 7 7 1 5 2 1 1 24
T.Plaisted C 19:46 2-4 0-0 1-1 2 1 3 1 5 0 1 0 5
D.Washington G 24:16 2-9 1-3 0-2 3 1 4 0 3 1 3 0 5
S.Singletary G 18:43 1-2 1-1 3-4 2 0 2 3 4 1 2 0 6
M. Bramos 15:24 5-6 1-1 2-3 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 1 13
M.Gray 16:36 2-6 0-0 3-3 1 0 1 0 6 0 2 0 7
D.Jones 03:38 1-1 0-0 0-0 1 1 2 1 3 0 0 0 2
J.Jerebko 12:46 1-6 0-1 0-0 0 3 3 1 5 3 2 1 2
A.Owens 21:17 0-3 0-0 3-4 3 1 4 4 1 1 0 0 3
C.Tucker 15:40 5-7 1-2 0-0 0 0 0 2 1 1 0 0 11
W.Bynum - - -
I.Jaaber - - -
W.Sharpe - - -
T.Walton - - -
Total 200 31-68 6-12 18-25 12 16 28 16 35 11 11 3 86
45.6% 50.0% 72.0% Team Rebs: 7 Total TO: 12
Kings (0-0)

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Any one know why Bynum didn't get any playing time, other than they kinda already know what they have in him?

They wanted to at least give other players hope of taking a shot...

Being serious now, I think he is dinged up a little bit.

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They wanted to at least give other players hope of taking a shot...

Being serious now, I think he is dinged up a little bit.

I guess I didn't realize that Mr. B had that reputation.

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Austin Daye impresses Pistons in 40-minute outing

Chris McCosky / The Detroit News

I watched about 20 minutes of the 1st half and Daye was easily the best player on the floor. Blocking shots, nailing 3's, threading nice passes, and dunking in offensive rebounds. I was certainly impressed.

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I watched about 20 minutes of the 1st half and Daye was easily the best player on the floor. Blocking shots, nailing 3's, threading nice passes, and dunking in offensive rebounds. I was certainly impressed.

I saw every one of his college games and saw quite a bit of that. He has remarkable reflexes and instinct (it seems) in blocking shots and just has the look of smoothness to everything he does. A fun player to watch.

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I watched about 20 minutes of the 1st half and Daye was easily the best player on the floor. Blocking shots, nailing 3's, threading nice passes, and dunking in offensive rebounds. I was certainly impressed.

Yes, all 3 of these draft picks are future allstars . . . in the summer league. I'm just hoping they get some playing time this year, and they don't just rack up DNP's all year long.

I'm thinking the Pistons will probably be the youngest team in the league next year.

Edit: well it will be close, Sacramentio/Memphis/OKC/GS/Portland will carry a similar average age, depending on who they sign to fill out their rosters. Get rid of old man Hamilton, anybody over 30 must go for renewal.

Edited by DrWho17

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Yes, all 3 of these draft picks are future allstars . . . in the summer league. I'm just hoping they get some playing time this year, and they don't just rack up DNP's all year long.

I'm pretty sure that's not what he said or meant.

The summer league is not a big deal, however, I'd much rather have my number one pick playing excellent basketball and being the best player on the floor than being a nobody.

I think Daye's play is encouraging.

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I'm pretty sure that's not what he said or meant.

The summer league is not a big deal, however, I'd much rather have my number one pick playing excellent basketball and being the best player on the floor than being a nobody.

I think Daye's play is encouraging.

The feeling you get when you watch him a few times is that he has a very nice "feel" for the game. I offer as the opposing example Juan Encarnacion (baseball player) who had a ton of athletic talent but seemed to not be as smooth at the game as someone like Ken Griffey Jr. Talent is a crucial element but this is a thing that gives a guy a leg up on others if he has it.

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I'm pretty sure that's not what he said or meant.

The summer league is not a big deal, however, I'd much rather have my number one pick playing excellent basketball and being the best player on the floor than being a nobody.

I think Daye's play is encouraging.

I hear what you are saying, but I've watched Amir Johnson and Cheik Samb dominate the summer leagues before too, it's just a very low level of competition, and I take almost nothing from it. It's the only thing going on right now though, and people make a big deal out of it.

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Wish they would have kept this guy, then they could have drafted 4 projected 1st rounders.

Chase Budinger bounced back from a shaky first game to drop in 25 points on 9-for-10 shooting.

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Daye almost had a quadruple double 11 points 11 rebounds 8 TO 8 Fouls vs GS last night.

Someone has been watching the Amir Johnson tapes on fouling.

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Someone has been watching the Amir Johnson tapes on fouling.

it's a fully accredited instuctional CD set now. "Fouling the Johnson way"

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it's a fully accredited instuctional CD set now. "Fouling the Johnson way"

He had trouble staying in games at Gonzaga in the games I watched. Not that surprising, really.

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[B] Field Goals Rebounds
pos min fgm-a 3pm-a ftm-a off def tot ast pf st to bs pts[/B]
J.Jerebko F 35:04 5-11 0-0 3-5 4 8 12 1 2 0 2 0 13
D.Summers F 35:21 11-21 1-3 3-4 2 6 8 1 3 1 2 1 26
A.Daye C 36:23 9-17 1-4 8-10 2 11 13 0 5 1 5 1 27
D.Washington G 37:32 2-3 1-1 0-0 1 4 5 2 4 1 1 0 5
S.Singletary G 20:15 5-8 1-1 4-6 2 3 5 6 2 2 1 0 15
C.Tucker 06:05 2-3 0-0 0-0 0 1 1 0 2 0 0 0 4
T.Plaisted 09:35 0-2 0-0 2-4 1 3 4 0 4 0 1 1 2
A.Owens 09:45 0-2 0-0 0-0 2 1 3 2 0 0 0 0 0
J.Pargo 10:00 2-2 0-0 0-1 0 0 0 3 0 0 0 0 4
M. Bramos - - -
M.Gray - - -
D.Jones - - -
W.Sharpe - - -
T.Walton - - -
Total 200 36-69 4-9 20-30 14 37 51 15 22 5 12 3 96
52.2% 44.4% 66.7% Team Rebs: 8 Total TO: 14

I know its just summer league. But its nice to see those guys playing well instead of stinkin the place up.

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Daye and Summers had big games today (Knicks...):

26+ points and 12+ rebounds each.

Just more good reasons to unload Tayshaun and continue overhauling/rebuilding this team. The Pistons have made the mistake the last few years of not playing their young guys enough because we were contenders and needed to win. Next year, we won't have that problems and can endure the growing pains. I would love to see Summers and Daye get all the minutes at the small foward position.

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