Even though he has played sparingly, Peyton Siva has played more than expected so far this season. Don’t be fooled, though. It isn’t because he is playing particularly well. Injuries to Will Bynum and Chauncey Billups have forced Maurice Cheek’s hand, and he has had little choice but to play Siva for a few short spells here and there. However, once Bynum and Billups return to the Detroit Pistons‘ lineup, there will be no room for Siva on the bench, and sources say he could be headed for the NBA D-League.
Fresh off leading the Louisville Cardinals to the 2013 NCAA Men’s Basketball National Championship, Siva has split die-hard Pistons fans almost completely down the middle. He struggled a bit in summer league, but had enough impressive moments to earn himself a roster spot and strong affection from some Pistons fans. Other fans, who would probably claim to be realists, never saw much evidence to support any theories for his success.
The early results from this season seem to indicate that the “realists” are on the winning side of the argument. Through just 11 games and 62 minutes of playing time, Siva does not appear to be an NBA-ready point guard. Other than minutes played, the only statistic Siva is averaging more than one per game of is turnovers (1.1). While he hasn’t played enough minutes to rack up stats, his turnover ratio is well below where it should be for a productive point guard in the NBA.
It wouldn’t necessarily be a death sentence for Siva if he heads to the D-League, but it should be cause for concern for the Siva supporters out there. Fellow Pistons rookie Tony Mitchell hasn’t seen much playing time either this season, but Detroit hasn’t shown any intentions of sending the athletic forward down with Siva. In fact, an article from the Detroit Free Press’ Vince Ellis suggests the Pistons plan on having him travel with the team for most, if not all, of this season. The thinking from Detroit’s staff is that Mitchell is better off facing a higher class of competition in practice than he is seasoning his skills against lesser opponents.
It is not impossible to build a successful career after trips to the developmental league. Former Piston Amir Johnson is a prime example that some players need more ripening in a lower league before they can become a strong piece of an NBA roster. However, if the Pistons are willing to send Siva down while keeping Mitchell with Detroit, it is a pretty clear indication that the front office doesn’t see much of a future for Siva in Motown.