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DaJuan Summers may not have been prepared for a small role with his Italian team, plus updates on Austin Daye and Kyle Singler

Last week, Yahoo!’s Marc J. Spears reported that Pistons free agent DaJuan Summers didn’t have a positive experience playing professionally in Italy. Writing for Sheridan Hoops, Nick Gibson speculates why that could be:

On the one hand you’ve got Siena, fresh off a Euroleague Final Four appearance as well an Italian Championship, their sixth in as many years. On the other, DaJuan Summers, a 23-year-old whose physical gifts far outweigh any sprinkling of success he’s seen in an uneventful two years with the Detroit Pistons.

However, with the departure of Malik Hairston, Montepaschi needed a scorer; and with the departure of the NBA, DaJuan needed a job. So they ignored the blaring sirens of incompatibility, covered their ears and partnered up.

But when you’re an elite team whose only real need is a shot maker on the perimeter, your big acquisition is supposed to make shots on the perimeter. Instead of encouragement (“You’ll hit the next one, DaJuan!”), it’s an ultimatum (“You better hit the next one, DaJuan.”).

There’s no room for slumps or mental lapses on a club that views losing as a sickness. Once the staff identifies the cause of the infection, they’ll cut it out. Out of the starting lineup, out of the rotation, or out of the team’s plans altogether.

Gibson hints that culture shock and adjusting to situations where players could be forced into limited minutes or roles are things that agents should prepare clients for before choosing a team overseas.

Gibson also provides updates on two other Pistons playing overseas, Kyle Singler and Austin Daye. On Singler, who is playing in Spain:

Kyle Singler, the man Detroit selected to be DaJuan Summers’ replacement, has cooled down after an alarmingly white hot start in the Spanish League. He’s still among the ACB’s scoring leaders (16.4, 7th), however, and Lucentum Alicante is 4-1 and off to one of their best starts in years.

And on Daye, who is playing in Russia:

Daye’s putting up 5.5 points in nine minutes per game behind names like Sergey Monya (Trailblazers and Kings in 2005-06), Zoran Planinic (Nets from 2003-06) and the Denver Nuggets’ Timofey Mozgov, who is thriving in his return to Mother Russia.


  • Nov 8, 201110:07 am
    by Murph


    Daye’s performance so far in Russia is certainly disappointing, so far.  Hopefully, this is not an indication of how he’ll perform in the NBA this year, if the lockout is ever settled. 

    Based on their over-seas performances, Daye might have trouble beating out Singler for minutes at SF.

    I’m not sure how this refects on Joe Dumars’ drafting record.  On one hand, Daye seems to be developing into a disappointing 1st round draft pick.  On the other hand, Singler seems to be developing into another promising 2nd round draft pick.

    • Nov 8, 201111:49 am
      by tarsier


      Daye won’t hurt Joe’s status too much either way. You have at best a 50/50 shot when drafting 15th. But I still think he has a brighter future than Singler. Success in Euro ball and NBA don’t correlate nearly as well as you could hope.

      • Nov 9, 20118:47 am
        by Murph


        For Autin Daye’s sake, I hope you’re right that there’s little or no correlation between success in Europe and the NBA.

        Daye is one of those guys that seems to have a ton of potential; he certainly has a nice shot.  But here we are, three years into the Austin Daye experiment, and he still isn’t playing well. 

        I know that there are many extenuating circumstances.  He’s never had a good coach on the NBA level, he was played out of position at PF at the beginning of last season, and he’s struggled for minutes playing behind Prince at SF.

        Still, it’s getting close to “put up or shut up” time for Daye.  He really needs to start proving himself, and one of the ways Daye needs to prove himself is by beating-out Singler for minutes at SF.

        Otherwise, it might be difficult for Joe to justify picking up his $3 million option next year. 

        • Nov 9, 20113:35 pm
          by tarsier


          I wouldn’t say little or no correlation. There is definitely some. It’s just not that strong. But Daye is continuing to disappoint. Unless you are detroitpcb, you have to realize that while he has potential, he doesn’t look super likely to ever capitalize on that potential. But picking up his option will be a no-brainer for Dumars. Otherwise, he can’t use that money on someone else anyway. So give Daye a bit longer to try to prove himself, there’s nothing to lose. But he is one of those guys who really probably should have stayed in college a bit longer.

  • Nov 8, 201111:47 am
    by Adrià


    Sometimes it happens; some stars over here, in Spain, went to the NBA and it was a disaster. Some others, succeed.
    I think it happens the same with Daye (Ok, he’s not a star): maybe it’s a question of systems. For example, in NBA it’s unusuall to run the floor. In Europe it’s really hard to do it, usually you get fouled at midcourt. I think it’s absolutelly a quiestion of systems: Singler is not, already, as that good, as Daye is not as that bad. Also, here, there’s not too much help in orther to adapt american players. We prefear extreamly ordenated systems: hardly ever you see a player on a 1 on 1. That’s why Daye doesn’t score a bunch of points as Singler does. 
    Dajuan is another history.

  • Nov 8, 201112:54 pm
    by dvs


    I wasn’t expecting great things from Daye going over seas. He’s still learning the NBA game, how can you expect him to flourish when he now has to learn a whole new system?
    I’m just happy he’s getting out there, however the experience turns out, it’s a good learning experience.
    Singler is definitely impressive. He seems to be the all round guy that can slide into whateer role necessar. Good for him and us.
    Summers is a strange case.
    i remember when we drafted him he was viewed as one of the most “NBA ready” guys in the draft, but didn’t get any minutes. then in the little minutes he did get he tried to do too much. He was trying to score at every opportunity instead of playing naturallly.
    I still thik he could become a useful role player in the right situation.

    • Nov 9, 20119:03 am
      by Murph


      The odd thing about Summers was that he had an insanely low number of rebounds for a man his size.  He’s averaged less than a rebound per game for his NBA career.  And there was one four month period last season where Summers only had 1 rebound total.  Let me repeat that.  From Nov. 3rd last season, until Feb. 25th,  Summers only had 1 rebound.  And the only reason he ended his reboundless streak was the infamous 76ers game on Feb. 25th, in which he played 39 minutes.

      In other words, Summers makes Charlie Villanuava look like Bill Russell on the boards.

      Couple that with the fact that Summers has a career FG% of 37%, and the fact that he was a defensive liability, and you pretty much have one of the worst basketball players in the NBA.

      • Nov 9, 201110:29 am
        by dvs


        i’m not sure if you actually watched summers play, but he was hardly a defensive liability and he was also a perimeter player getting very few minutes. How is he meant to be a good rebounder with little to no opportunity??
        I’m not saying he was good, i’m not saying he should still be on the team I’m just saying he wasn’t given a chance and could be good for a team willing to give him one.

        • Nov 9, 201112:01 pm
          by Murph


          “i’m not sure if you actually watched summers play, but he was hardly a defensive liability and he was also a perimeter player getting very few minutes.”

          Summers should not have been a perimeter player.  He’s listed as a 6’8, 240 lb forward.  In college, he played PF.  I always thought of him as a ‘tweener…somewhere between a SF and a PF.

          Why he played on the perimeter for the Pistons is a mistery to me.  It’s not as if he could shoot.  The fact that Summers played on the perimeter was either due to bad coaching or poor positioning on his part.

          Look…I don’t mean to pick on Summers.  By all accounts he’s a good kid.  He was quiet and followed the rules…one of the few players to stay out of trouble last year.  But in the NBA, you need to be more than just coachable; you need to bring something to the team, such as rebounding, defense, playmaking, scoring at an efficient rate, etc.

          BTW, why the heck is the Pistons roster filled with these guys who should be playing forward, but really play SG, such as CV, Daye and Summers?

          • Nov 9, 20112:16 pm
            by dvs

            i can’t argue with any of the points you make there…
            he should have given more oppotunities at PF given Jonas was out and no one else was doing any good there, but Kuester didn’t play him there. He was almost always at SF.
            Kuester never utilized the guy.
            As for our roster…. well…… I don’t think anyone knows what the hell is going on there.
            CV is such a talented post scorer, but never goes in there. i don’t know what to say. he’s soft and lazy.
            Daye doesn’t have the strength to bang inside, so I’ll excuse him….

  • Nov 9, 201111:18 am
    by Laser


    PT is king, and daye/summers didn’t get nearly what they needed. i reject the notion that the pistons were smart not to play summers based on his italian performance; it’s not like they accomplished a damn thing, and they may as well have gotten the kid some burn. as for daye, i’d call him a disaster SO FAR; you can’t just shrug off his failures because he was picked 15th, without considering the available options (PG) and the team’s needs (PG). there’s a healthy causation/correlation debate to be had here.

  • Nov 9, 20112:23 pm
    by dvs


    ^^ i think calling Daye a disaster so far is a bit much.
    He was picked as a project player.
    regardless of whether he was picked at 15 or 51, a project is going to take time and if anything Daye has shown enough to give Joe and the coaches some faith that he’ll be a player.
    Daye just needs to work on his strength and defense, and both will come with time.
    would you not start Daye next season if Prince leaves???

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