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Five rookies give Pistons chance for season NBA hasn’t seen in six years

Update: As astutely pointed out by Peter in the comments, I failed to account properly for rookies who played for multiple teams. I fixed the excerpt with correct stats.

Me at the Detroit Free Press:

With Khris Middleton’s recent signing, the Pistons have five rookies under contract for next season: Middleton, Andre Drummond, Kim English, Kyle Singler and Slava Kravtsov.

A team that plays five rookies isn’t unique, but it’s rare. In the last 20 years, 33 45 teams have played five rookies, including the San Antonio Spurs, New Orleans Hornets and Golden State Warriors [and Cleveland Cavaliers] last season.

Starting the season with five rookies who play is considerably rarer. The last team to do that: the 2006-07 Milwaukee Bucks.

For the Pistons, playing five rookies is uncommon. They’ve done it just nine 11 times in franchise history, including their first season in the NBA, when nearly their entire roster was comprised of league rookies.

The Pistons haven’t played at least five rookies since 1980-81 (Edmund Lawrence, Lee Johnson, Tony Fuller, Larry Drew, Wayne Robinson and Norman Black) 1982-83 (Ricky Pierce, Walker Russell, Cliff Levingston, Jim Zoet and Jim Johnstone), and they haven’t begun the season with five rookies who played since 1979-80 (Greg Kelser, Roy Hamilton, Phil Hubbard, Earl Evans and Terry Duerod).


  • Aug 17, 20121:34 pm
    by JT's Hoops Blog


    That does not spell well for the Pistons’ chncea this upcoming season.  That’s for sure.

    • Aug 17, 20121:49 pm
      by G


      Please tell me you did that on purpose

  • Aug 17, 20121:50 pm
    by RyanK


    I think three of the rookies are 24-25 years old (Singler, English, Kravtov).  Singler had 4 years of college experience and 1 year of pro experience.  Kravtov has been playing as a pro for a long time.  English has 4 years of experience and is thoughts of as an intelligent player.
    Drummond came in as a project player who the pistons are not expecting a lot out of this season.  Middleton will likely spend the entire year on the DL or in the D-League.
    5 rookies yes, from 20,000 feet…but this group has more experience when you look at the facts closer.

  • Aug 17, 20121:56 pm
    by Need4Rings


    What the rookies provide individually are team needs and with lawrence Frank getting them acclimated along with leadership of Monroe, Stuck, Max, and Prince speeding up the process will be fun. Even with just creating a role with chemistry now would be a great sign this year plus to watch them expand there games as the years progress makes the journey exciting

  • Pingback

    Aug 17, 20126:18 pm
    by Court Vision | The Point Forward


    [...] • The Pistons could have five rookies on the roster this season. How unusual is that? [...]

  • Aug 18, 20128:29 pm
    by DasMark


    Middleton is going to be a starter this upcoming season. 

    Except it will be in the D-League.

    There’s simply no minutes for him at all at the 3, or even the 2. Nor is their enough roster space. He will come over for the 2013/14 season at the earliest.  

  • Aug 22, 20122:08 pm
    by Peter


    Mr Feldman you are wrong. In 1982-83 season Pistons had 5 rookies: Jim Johnstone, Cliff Levingston, Ricky Pierce, Walker Russell and Jim Zoet. All played in that season. Regards from Poland.

  • Aug 22, 20122:21 pm
    by Peter


    OK, my mistake. Johnstone wasn’t drafted by Pistons, but was in the roster and played in 1982-83 season.

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