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The Big Question: DaJuan Summers

With a cloud uncertainty thunder-storming, snowing and hailing on the Detroit Pistons, we wanted our Pistons preview series to capture that. So for each Piston, Patrick Hayes and I will identify and explain what we each see as the biggest question surrounding him entering the season.

DF: Can he do one thing very well?

DaJuan Summers is an alright shooter, alright slasher, alright passer, alright rebounder, alright defender… you get the idea. At Georgetown, that’s great. As the 13th man (at best) on a deep Pistons squad, it doesn’t cut it.

Barring injuries in front of him, Summers will need to develop a specialty if he wants to play much this year.

PH: Why isn’t he better?

Last year, I believed one thing would get DaJuan Summers on the court over fellow rookies Austin Daye and Jonas Jerebko: defense. Summers has a legit NBA build. He’s athletic, he’s strong, he’s tall, plus he played in the Big East against tough competition in college. And yet, he couldn’t get a sniff of the regular rotation even with all of last season’s injuries.

A year later, Summers still has all of those physical tools, but with improved health and the addition of Tracy McGrady, his chance to figure into the team’s long-term plans might be over.


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  • Oct 8, 20104:05 pm
    by frankie d


    summers has not had a legitimate chance to show what he can do.
    in the limited time he played last year, i saw a young player who could shoot, handle the ball fairly well, and defend some of the power 3′s that populate the league.  in limited time, this fan saw him physically stand up to some of the 3′s who have literally run over tay the last few years.
    but it is impossible for any player to really show what he can do in the limited and irregular time that summers was given on court last year.  making judgments about what he can or cannot do is extremely unfair, considering the numbers game he is stuck in.
    if detroit jettisons a young player with acknowledged talent, in order to ultimately hang on to a has-been like mcgrady, the utter incompetence of management will have been shown.

  • Oct 8, 20104:18 pm
    by Patrick Hayes


    @frankie d:
    Something we don’t get as fans, though, is what happens behind the scenes.
    There were two stories that I remember at different points last season that detailed how Austin Daye and Jonas Jerebko had been hanging out a lot with Ben Wallace in the weight room, both trying to get stronger. There were no such stories about Summers. Not saying he wasn’t doing those things, but that could be one explanation for why he hasn’t been given opportunities to play like Jerebko and, to some extent, Daye have.
    It also jibes with Summers’ rep at Georgetown, where he was known as a bit of an underachiever.

  • Oct 10, 20102:21 pm
    by Laser


    i don’t buy it, hayes. the story that sticks out in my memory is that he was in prince’s ear all season long while glued to that bench. asking questions, learning why things unfolded like they did in the game, absorbing as much information as he could from the smartest piston. langlois did a piece about it you might have missed.
    more likely why he hasn’t had the opportunity is that there are a bunch of guys in front of him and only so many minutes. daye was the draft pick with unlimited potential, and you didn’t pass on a lot of talent to leave him undeveloped, and jonas was an all-rookie player. every time i ever saw summers take the floor he looked great. nice little defensive sequences, a great stroke. he sure has the size and strength. i’ve never heard any rumblings about him being anything less than a model citizen, but if he developed a bad attitude, i think he’d be totally justified. i think he’s been given the short shrift by this bogus organization.
    and the thing i REALLY don’t get is this standard about him needing to do one thing very well. first off, stuckey was never held to such a standard. he doesn’t do anything well except penetrate, but he’s a VERY weak finisher, so how can that be enough? he’s a good scorer but inefficient. why not hold him to the same standard? i’ll take a team player with the body of lebron james who does everything “pretty” well and doesn’t stink at anything. give him a chance at some extended minutes and see what he can do, since you’re not winning anything anyways. and the kid can obviously score, and has great range. so how does that not qualify?
    also, i’ve said this before, but i no longer trust this organization’s player evaluations and personnel decisions anymore. there was a time in the past when i’d abandon all thought and judgment and just assume the team was making good choices. not anymore. joe overvalues everyone except the guys he criminally undervalues. he trades our best player for cap space, gives away amir and afflalo for nothing (there was a time amir johnson would have gotten us a nice return). extends rip with an absurd, unmovable salary and signs gordon to a similar one. i’m all out of faith.

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