Most Detroit Pistons observers figure that their current roster won’t change with the next three months when the NBA season commences. Right now, based on his Summer League appearances, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope appears ready to make a strong contribution in his rookie season with the Pistons.
In past seasons, the Pistons have usually relied on their No. 1 pick to make a key contribution to the team as Andre Drummond, Brandon Knight and Greg Monroe have demonstrated.
With Knight and Chauncey Billups in the backcourt as probable starters, Caldwell-Pope is expected to get his minutes from off the bench, which he would prefer in his rookie season. Depending on how he develops, Caldwell-Pope could emerge as the No. 2 shooting guard behind Knight.
Caldwell-Pope started out shaky in the Summer League before settling down and shooting at the percentages expected of him.
In five total summer league contests, he averaged 13.8 points, 3.8 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.8 steals in 28.6 minutes per game. The Pistons are very impressed with his potential and figure he’ll be a key contributor next season.
Caldwell-Pope demonstrated during his college days that he’s an excellent shooter and has a quick release on his jump shot, which is a huge asset for playing against NBA defenses.
A productive season by Caldwell-Pope would simmer down Pistons fans’ frustrations, if it hasn’t already, that Detroit didn’t use its No. 1 pick on Michigan‘s Trey Burke. If Caldwell-Pope would have a poor season and Burke a tremendous one, the heat from the fans toward the Pistons’ team president Joe Dumars could intensify. But that exact scenario seems unlikely right now.