The Detroit Pistons will open fall camp next week with the annual NBA tradition of bringing in additional players to try out and see if maybe they can push the current players to be more self-motivated to win a roster spot.
Case-in-point for the Pistons was the signing last week of Terrence Williams to the NBA minimum non-guarantee contract.
Williams, the former Louisville standout, was drafted No. 11 overall in 2009 by the New Jersey Nets and averaged 8.4 points in 78 games with only nine starts. He went to Houston but didn’t get along with the coaching staff and then had stints last year with Sacramento and Houston. He averaged 8.8 points per game with Sacramento and 4.5 points in 12 games with Houston.
In preseason games, Piston coaches will give Williams a chance to play and see if he still is worth being given another chance. If they look at him serious enough, he might give a few rookies a run for their money.
There’s also talk former NBA lottery pick Jonny Flynn will be invited to training camp. Flynn had played only three seasons and has averaged 9.2 points and 3.9 assists per game with three teams, including, most recently, the Portland Trailblazers.
The Pistons have five rookies on their current roster and aren’t likely to keep more than three, if that many. Andre Drummond, the No. 1 pick from Connecticut is safe. But there will be some strong competition from fellow rookies Kyle Singler, Kim English, Khris Middleton and Vlacheslav Kravtsov for roster spots.
It’s unlikely someone like Flynn or Williams will knock out a rookie or another veteran player from the roster, even if they have a great preseason. Both have been too inconsistent and bounce around with teams more often than with a basketball.
Yet, they’ll both push rookies, and perhaps other veteran players who struggled last year, mainly Austin Daye, to work harder than they ever have in their life and give coach Lawrence Frank the notion that not only are they worth keeping on the roster but they will give him quality minutes during the 82-game regular season.