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Kentavious Caldwell-Pope awakens at Orlando Summer League

ORLANDO — It seemed as though the Pistons had Tuesday’s game against the Thunder well in hand, leading by 11 points entering the fourth quarter.

Well, with this being Florida, that all changed when the hurricane of all hurricanes struck — Hurricane Reggie Jackson — and with it came an array of jumpers, trash talking and an eventual Thunder victory, 79-75.

The third-year guard is far-and-away the most accomplished player in Orlando this week, and it showed in the fourth quarter when he just willed the Thunder back. Jackson isolated, and isolated, and what do you know, isolated some more. He playfully yapped at the Pistons’ bench and those who tried to defend him, Kim English, among others, barely fazed him.

That’s fine and dandy, but this is the NBA Summer League; guys like Jackson and Drummond should toss up huge numbers.

There are normally two things to expect when it comes to summer league: real, genuine effort from fringe guys basically trying out for 30 teams in one week and conversely sloppy basketball.

Tuesday’s game provided a little bit of both, and shockingly (sloppily) enough, the Pistons’ extremely meaningful summer league loss was actually an extremely entertaining one thanks, in part, to the quiet coming out of rookie Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope

It was only a matter of time before he brushed off the first-time nerves and started showing glimpses of why the Pistons drafted him with the No. 8 pick in June. He was streaky — doing most of his damage in the third quarter where he score 11 of 19 points — but when he was on during that stretch, he was really on.

You’d like to see him not settle for jumper after jumper and drive a little, but he’s showing some confidence in his shot. I’ll have a more in-depth post about KCP after talking to him today, too. Oh, and for those keeping score on this at home, Trey Burke shot 5-for-15 today with five turnovers in a Utah loss to Houston.

Peyton Siva

I always liked Siva during his days at Louisville because he never seemed rattled. From Big East championship game at Madison Square Garden to the National Title Game at the Georgia Dome, Siva always plays within himself.

That was the same vibe I got after he dropped an efficient line of 12 points, seven assists and just one turnover. He’s not the biggest, but he’s as quick as advertised with the ball and once he gets a pick — especially the monstrous-sized ones via Andre Drummond — he knows exactly where he wants to go with the ball after. He made two of four from deep two, a good sign for a guy with a questionable jumper.

Andre Drummond

He wasn’t dominating like he was in the team’s summer-league opener, but he was still a force on the boards. There were plenty of times where he tried to dribble-drive and shot those baseline fadeaways that make you groan, but he, like the rest of the team, picked up the energy in the second half.

Thunder rookie Steven Adams did an admirable job bumping Drummond around, but once the second half rolled around, Drummond’s energy cranked up and the entire team kind of followed suit. He’s still got work to do as a player, but physically he’s a man among boys here in Orlando.

Ryan Evans

Dan said it yesterday, but he’s got some real skills (and a great baby-sized, high-top fade) but he just doesn’t have enough range to stick around. I love his effort, he’s not afraid to body up on anyone and he seems to have a high IQ when it comes to court awareness, knowing where to be, etc.

He’s one of those guys who you kind of want to see succeed — possibly because you know it’d be like rooting for the underdog of all underdogs.

Travis Peterson

Big, tall, shoots 3-pointers. He’s basically the pasty reincarnation of Rasheed, right?

EJ Singler

Known as “#ThreeJaySingler” to some folks at the University of Oregon, Kyle’s little brother got his first real action with Khris Middleton out with an ankle injury. He, like Peterson, won’t be making the team, and he suffers from the same problem, albeit more so, that his older brother does — he’s not athletic enough to be a real contributor. Every summer league team needs some nepotism or family though, right?

Korey Lucious

If you told me four years ago that Kalin Lucas’ backup at Michigan State, then Lucious, would be competing for an NBA roster spot today, I would have laughed at you. Lucious doesn’t stand a puncher’s chance of making the Pistons, but he played pretty well on Tuesday.

He’s a little lackadaisical with the ball — but all point guards in summer league kind of are because of the sloppy plays and confused players running them — but his shot has been pretty consistent. He’s not afraid to take an open shot though, and unlike some guys in summer league, he’s pretty confident in showing what he can do. He knows his situation, so I applaud him for being able to just play.


  • Jul 9, 201311:11 pm


    Wish they had put Pope in on Jackson….. 

    • Jul 10, 20131:01 pm
      by frankie d


      that is exactly what i was thinking.
      he seemed like the perfect option to put on jackson, after it became obvious that english could not do anything with him. 

  • Jul 9, 201311:34 pm
    by jacob


    ESPN seems to think now that we signed Luigi that we will in fact amnesty Charlie V.

    • Jul 9, 201311:58 pm
      by tarsier


      It would make sense to amnesty CV either way. but by now, I’ve come to the conclusion that I can’t assume the Pistons will do something just because it makes sense.

    • Jul 10, 201312:05 pm
      by koz


      The “Italion Stallion”

  • Jul 10, 201312:29 am
    by Timetodienow1234567


    We need to trade for Mario Chalmers now that we have Luigi. 

    • Jul 10, 20133:04 am
      by gmehl


      That joke has already sailed my friend

    • Jul 10, 20138:45 am
      by Crispus


      We need to sign Bowser Johnson and Toad Washington!

      The Pacers need to sign John Ringo!

  • Jul 10, 201312:30 am
    by Ryan Kelly


    Kcp did a nice job of gunning today.  Good to see his struggles don’t own him and He can bust out.   I was a little surprised how awkward Drummond looks in the post.   I mean his footwork was terrible.  He would back down and get himself stuck on the wrong pivot foot making any move difficult.   And indeed he ended up shooting a weird looking turnaround which was thrown over the rim.  He did that twice.  His last jump hook finally looked normal.   He has a ways to go to become a real threat in the post.   I guess it’s good he makes such an impact without having a post game.  

    • Jul 10, 201311:59 am
      by koz


      This is why you don’t unload monroe for rondo, and then get stuck with an unproven player like drummond. Sure to have a HEALTHY RONDO would be sweet, but who knows where he will be healthwise in the end. And drummond as much potential as he possesses has alot to learn about playing the post. Teams will figure him out and start hammering his weaknesses the best they can, can he handle it? It remains to be seen in my opinion.

  • Jul 10, 201312:39 am


    We need to start a Hashtag for drummond  #UR6’112800PlayLikeIt

  • Jul 10, 20131:13 am
    by RP


    1st Quarter:
    6 minutes in
    2nd Quarter:
    5 minutes in
    8 minutes in:
    3rd Quarter:
    6 minutes in:
    4th quarter:
    6 minutes in:
    Minutes Breakdown:
    Knight: 31
    KCP: 31
    Smith: 34
    Monroe: 31
    Drummond: 30
    Stuckey: 23
    Singler: 20
    Datome: 16
    Bynum: 11
    JJ: 11
    Smith, Monroe, and Drummond all need to be starters if for no other reason that to appease their egos and the fans. They would need good outside shooters alongside them Knight and KCP would play that role.
    In this scenario…
    The “Big 3? are only on the floor together for 12 minutes a game and always surrounded shooters. Yet two of the tree of them are always on the floor.
    Josh Smith only plays 12 minutes a game at SF. So stop freaking out.
    Drummond plays 30 mins a game, those hoping he would play more are being irrational, he plays hard and is huge. 30 minutes a game is about the max we could expect from him this year. 
    Stuckey is essentially our 6th man; obviously everybody hates Stuckey, but this is a fair role for him.

    I didn’t include Mitchell or Siva, because I am unsure of whether or not they will get PT immediately. Hopefully Mitchell will, and if that were the case he would take Singler’s slot once at SF and JJ’s slot once and play 11 minutes a game. I don’t see Siva or Middleton playing very much except in garbage time. No team has a 12 man rotation.

  • Jul 10, 20131:17 am
    by Travis


    CV won’t be amnestied because Joe Dumars won’t just let an expiring contract and healthy player walk away before trying to unload him in a trade. 

    • Jul 10, 20133:02 am
      by Dan Feldman


      CV won’t be amnestied because Tom Gores wants more money. That’s the ONLY sensible reason not to amnesty him.

      That in itself is not a bad reason, and I don’t blame Gores for wanting more money. But understand that’s the reason. 

      • Jul 10, 20133:10 am
        by gmehl


        He’s going to have to pay him eventually so he might as well do it a season earlier. I mean he already doesn’t show up to games with the performances he puts in so I say turn the page and close the book on what was a failed free agency last time around. At least if he is not there anymore it will be easier to forget about. If he is showing up and taking time off of Mitchell, Jerebko and others then fans will be pissed.

        • Jul 10, 20137:46 am
          by tarsier


          I don’t know exactly how it works. but I don’t think CV would be paid any earlier. The difference is that, after paying CV, he’d have to pay another guy too to capitalize on the value of amnestying CV. Unless the only value exploited is addition by subtraction or opening up a roster spot for a second rounder.

          • Jul 10, 20139:03 am
            by Dan Feldman

            When Villanueva gets paid would not change if he’s amnestied.

        • Jul 10, 20138:16 am
          by Jeremy


          He isn’t taking the time of any other players. The guy only averaged 16 minutes per game. Jerebko averaged 2 more minutes per game last year – hell, Jerebko’s career average for minutes per game is nearly 24 per. The only thing affecting Jerebko from hitting the floor is the fact that he just isn’t good. Mitchell isn’t guaranteed minutes at this point and really needs to out perform CV to make the case for minutes. You have to remember that the Pistons have 4 legit big men (Smith, Monroe, Drummond, and Slava) that are going to get minutes before you even begin to think of Jonas, CV, or Mitchell.
          Amnestying CV at this point is the worst possible idea at the moment. He needs to be thought of as a savings account that doesn’t earn any interest. Next year’s free agent class has the potential to be one of the best ever if several players opt out of their deals (and they usually do to get a pay raise). Team needs to save his expiring deal and fans need to move on over the fact that CV got paid in 2009 for having a career year the year before. It happened and it will be over in 12 months or less if they can find someone looking to get out of a bad deal.

          • Jul 10, 201310:25 am
            by tarsier

            Don’t you get it? Amnestying him would not hurt the Pistons ability to make a trade as though he were an expiring deal. It’s just that the cap space will be even more desirable to a trade partner. The Pistons can still absorb a large contract without sending one back. But they can also get extra assets by helping a team dodge the luxury tax in the current season.

            Besides, the Pistons will still have an expiring contract in Stuckey to trade if they so choose.

            I think you have some major misconception about the CBA or the amnesty clause.

      • Jul 10, 20138:19 am
        by Steve K


        I think this is correct. Gores/Dumars could’ve amnestied Gordon. In essence, dumping his salary from the books without sacrificing a first round pick.
        If amnestying were ever an option, that would’ve been the time.

      • Jul 10, 20139:26 am
        by Travis


        Dan – I agree with Gores not wanting to pay to have CV play for another team and also pay the player that takes his roster spot. Amneysting CV may be a wise basketball decision, but it is not a wise financial decision.  At best this season, CV is the third option at PF – Monroe, Smith, and then CV. $10.5M is a lot to pay a third-string bench player.

        • Jul 10, 201310:03 am
          by tarsier


          If someone doesn’t want to spend what ti takes to run a basketball team right, he shouldn’t be buying a basketball team.

          And Gores wouldn’t be paying CV to play for another team. he’s paying CV’s contract either way. In fact, he would probably be best off financially by amnestying him either way. Because if another team picks up CV, I believe however much they pay him is subtracted from what the Pistons owe (can you confirm this, Dan?).

          But it’s true that using the flexibility created by said amnesty would cost money. Failing to amnesty CV and do something with the space, though, would be like just spending up to the cap floor and no higher in order to save a buck. 

  • Jul 10, 20131:47 am
    by FutureMogul


    PG: W. Bynum 22mins/ B. Knight 13mins/ Billups 13mins 
    SG: Rudy Gay 23mins/ KCP 12mins/ B.Knight 10mins/ Luigi Datome 3mins 
    SF: J.Smith 25mins/ Rudy Gay 8mins/ Luigi Datome 12mins/ KCP 3mins 
    PF: G.Monroe 25mins/ J.Smith 10mins/ J.Maxiel 13mins 
    C: Drummond 28mins/ G.Monroe 12mins/ Jerebko 8mins 
    Pistons still have even more qualified bench contributors that didnt even make this list: 
    LAST SEASON K.Singler avg 28mins, K.Middleton avg 17mins, C. Maggette avg 14min. Roster competion is at an all-time high for Pistons as Maxiel avg 25mins, Jerbko avg 18min Last Year
    Expect Drummond, Datome and KCP minutes to increase as season goes on.
    Main/ 3pt TriggerMen: Billups, Datome, Knight
    Pistons stills wont be good 3pt team, but will have many Free Throws & Dunks & Rebounds
    In 2-3 years pistons will either be East Title contending or a team with a lot of Young Assets & Cap Space

  • Jul 10, 20132:56 am
    by Ryan P


    what is up with jajuan johnson?  hurt?  

    • Jul 10, 20133:29 am
      by Who Is Us


      I was wondering the same thing about Kravtsov.

  • Jul 10, 20133:26 am
    by Who Is Us


    In the ever-present, and ridiculous Pope v. Burke comparison one thing the article failed to mention is that Burke couldn’t stay in front of Eric Beverly at all! Same with the other quick little PG Houston had on their team. Both consistently drove right by him. Pope on the other hand had another very good defensive performance and it was a little disappointing that the Pistons’ coaches did try him on Reggie Jackson once he caught fire.

  • Jul 10, 20134:17 am
    by Javell


    Pope has had a steal and dunk each summer league game and finish strong! Amazing

    • Jul 10, 20136:05 am
      by Vic


      I love that, Drimmond had that too in his NCAa highlights… And he delivered it seemingly once a game.

      Pope had that in his highlight package, I look forward to him delivering it too. Our defense is going to be exciting. 

  • Jul 10, 20136:25 am
    by Derek AKA Redeemed


    Great to see KCP turn things around with his shooting.  I’m even more impressed with his consistent effort and defense.  He’s constantly hawking his man and jumping the passing lanes.  The guy has meshed things well with deep outside shots and slashes to the basket.

    Siva has been a really sure handed floor general.  He doesn’t get rushed or rattled.  I was expecting him to use his speed primarily, but he’s been demonstrating the strength and savy required to hold off your man and dribble past your man with slick manuvers.

    Tony Mitchell can jump!  His offensive game is RAW.  It looks like he’s used his strength and leaping to get him over.  That’s not going to fly (no pun intended) in the league.  He’s got to get with Sheed and learn how to make basketball plays (box out, drop step while maintaining balance, moving without the ball, etc.).

    Middleton’s game is so silky its ridiculous!  I wanted to see more of him this summer.  Hopefully he can come back from his injuries and play a little more.

    Kim English looks like the odd man out.  He has distinguished himself or developed enough over last year to warrant a return to the Stones this season.  I see him going over seas to develop.  The D-League isn’t the place for Kim.  I think he knows enough of how to pick his spots to be productive in the D-League.  The intense emphasis on fundamentals overseas should help him grow.

    Slava looks BAD.  No further commentary required.

  • Jul 10, 20138:04 am
    by RyanK


    Burke was credited with 4 turnovers, not 5…  I’ve seen more than once where a player doesn’t get credit for something he does though…whether it’s a rebound, block, turnover, or steal.  Points are the only thing that seem to be accurate consistently.

  • Jul 10, 201312:17 pm
    by EarnLikeAPro.com


    Andre Drummond & Josh Smith are going to be fun to watch toegether. Two long athletic bigs. Good look scoring down low on the Pistons this year.

  • Jul 10, 20135:10 pm
    by MSU Fan


    It’s Korie Lucious not korey

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