He has come that far in the offseason. The expected starting lineup is expected to consist of Andre Drummond, Greg Monroe and Josh Smith in the front court and Brandon Jennings in the backcourt. That leaves one open guard spot with the expected Pistons strategy to put Caldwell-Pope or Rodney Stuckey in it.
Pistons fans had hoped last June that Trey Burke would be selected as the team’s No. 1 pick. Caldwell-Pope got the nod instead. After a slow start in the Summer League, Caldwell-Pope has picked things up to the extent that he’s now expected to contribute significantly with his talents.
The key for Caldwell-Pope will be to effectively determine when to take a shot and when to pass. He has scoring and passing abilities which may take time to mature, but he’s caught coach Maurice Cheeks‘ eyes to become a significant contributor to the 2013-14 Pistons attack. He’s from Georgia, not exactly a college basketball hotbed, but Caldwell-Pope was solid as sophomore, averaging 3.9 minutes, 18.5 points. 7.1 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 2.0 steals per game.
With the Pistons, he may not be the NBA’s Rookie of the Year, but he’ll put up some good numbers. He could eventually turn out to be one of the team’s deadliest outside shooters since the early days of Chauncey Billups, who will be battling Caldwell-Pope and others for time at the guard spot. He will also play good defense and be a top-notch passer.