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Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Rookie of the Year?

ESPN’s David Thorpe:

KCP finished with a flourish in Orlando, looking every bit the part of a strong and athletic player who can impact the game at both ends. He’s going to be dealing with a number of talented, veteran guards in the rotation, but he’s got the best long-term potential of the group as a shooting guard.

Thorpe’s early grouping of Rookie of the Year candidates lists Caldwell-Pope in a pretty diverse group of guys in the running.

However, he’s listed as one of three rookies who, despite impressing in Summer League, won’t be in the running for the award; joining Atlanta point guard Dennis Schroeder and Phoenix shooting guard Archie Goodwin.

Considering Caldwell-Pope played pretty poorly for half of the games in Orlando, it’s actually a pretty positive take from Thorpe. What people have kind of ignored is that, slow start aside, he really took off in the final games of the week.

His role is simple; he’s a role player. He’s not going to have to try to make all the plays like a Michael Carter-Williams in Philly or Trey Burke in Utah (though, that helps for this award). All Caldwell-Pope is really going to be relied upon for is defense and perimeter shooting — kind of Detroit’s version of Danny Green, if you will.

The Pistons desperately needed a 3-point shooter (or three) going into this offseason, and at this point he’s got a pretty good chance of being one of the guys Mo Cheeks throws onto the court to help give the Josh Smith-Greg Monroe-Andre Drummond frontcourt some breathing room.

There probably isn’t a great chance he ends up as the Rookie of the Year, but with the recent run of success the Pistons have had with putting rookies on the All-Rookie teams — Jonas Jerebko in 2009, Monroe in 2010, Brandon Knight in 2011 and Drummond last season — if Caldwell-Pope can hit some shots and play decent enough defense to play 20-25 minutes, he could very well slide into that.

But, if just to humor you on the idea of Caldwell-Pope being Rookie of the Year, Mike Miller did win the award back in 2001 after putting up a rather modest 12-4-2 line while playing for a lowly-seeded Magic team.

47 Comments

  • Jul 27, 201311:58 am
    by DasMark

    Reply

    Detroit don’t tend to throw their rookies out there early, often bringing them along on the bench. Look at how great of job Frank did at holding back Drummond’s bid for ROY last season. 

    KCP will likely play in the rising star challenge at all-star weekend, and I’d wager shows up on the rookie second team, unless he comes out early as an offensive force for Detroit, but I don’t believe he’ll receive that opportunity this season.  

    • Jul 27, 201312:23 pm
      by Brady Fredericksen

      Reply

      IMO, that’s more of a coaching thing than a Pistons’ thing. Go back and look at some of the young guys Cheeks had in Philly and Portland — he had no problem throwing them out there if they could contribute. 

  • Jul 27, 201312:00 pm
    by G

    Reply

    ROY usually goes to the highest scoring rookie or a playmaker, regardless of other contributions like defense & efficiency. I’d put KCP low on the list

  • Jul 27, 20131:42 pm
    by Crispus

    Reply

    As long as Trey Burke doesn’t win it. Boy would our face be red.

    • Jul 27, 20132:21 pm
      by Jon

      Reply

      burke winning roy wouldn’t change a thing unless he appears so dominant that it is clear he is going to be better than KCP long term

    • Jul 28, 20138:59 pm
      by Crispus

      Reply

      I think it would change a thing – that thing being the temperature of Joe Dumars’ seat.

  • Jul 27, 20133:15 pm
    by Vic

    Reply

    It’s all up to Cheeks. He definitely has the ability and aggression to be ROY

  • Jul 27, 20133:31 pm
    by Slap Dog Hoops (SDH)

    Reply

    All the Pistons need is a PG to bring it all together.  

  • Jul 27, 20133:56 pm
    by Max

    Reply

    Burke as ROY wouldn’t surprise me because he seems to be in the position to lead all rookies in minutes.   That said, Knight probably led all rookies in minutes or came close and he didn’t even make all first rookie team.  

    • Jul 27, 20136:56 pm
      by tarsier

      Reply

      Ummm, Knight actually did make all rookie first team.

      • Jul 27, 201311:55 pm
        by Max

        Reply

        You’re right.  I remembered that he was slighted but the slight was finishing 8th in ROY voting despite being the only rookie who started most of the season.  

        • Jul 28, 20139:30 am
          by tarsier

          Reply

          Not really a slight. He did play a lot, but he wasn’t very good, on either side of the ball. Also, the only rookie who started most of the season? I don’t know where you draw the line for “most”, but Knight only had 3 more starts than Parsons. The only guys who finished ahead of him in ROY voting who started less than half of the season were Klay Thompson and Ricky Rubio.

          Knight led all rookies in games played (6 way tie), games started, and minutes (by a very wide margin). Despite having easily the most opportunity to do so, he did not lead in any statistical category apart from turnovers nor did he even come particularly close. Consider this: both Knight and Rubio were rookie PGs. Knight played 2,129 minutes to Rubio’s meager 1,404. Knight amassed 251 assists to Rubio’s 336.

          • Jul 28, 20132:37 pm
            by Max

            And Kyrie Irving won ROY despite playing about 50 games if I remember right.   I don’t know, if it were MVP voting, at last a few of these players would have disqualified from consideration because they didn’t play enough.   Knight should have gotten more credit.   For a player to receive even a single vote for ROY when they started less than half a season seems pretty absurd to me unless the player was having a legendary run in the games they played.   Rubio somewhat qualifies.  

          • Jul 28, 201311:13 pm
            by tarsier

            It might be absurd if that level of competition were very high. but that’s the difference between MVP and ROY. Every year, there are a bunch of really good players in the league. There aren’t a bunch of really good rookies every year.

            I’d rather have half a season from a guy who could easily start on a good team than a full season from a guy who looks like he would have a hard time cracking the rotation on a good team. 

          • Jul 28, 201311:15 pm
            by tarsier

            Let’s put it this way. Irving played only 50 games but he still put up better numbers overall (not just per game) across the board than Knight. That’s a boon for him not a hit to his deserving the award.

          • Jul 29, 20139:42 pm
            by Max

            I wasn’t making any kind of claim that Knight should have won ROY but just that finishing 8th was a slight.   It seems to me that it was very much the adherence to the new advanced stats that caused the result.  Advanced stats are fine but sometimes they go too far.    Knight’s rookie year wasn’t that good and I’m as down on him as anyone now but he was the rookie who played the fullest season and only a couple of other rookies played as big a role.   That’s something.    At the time of the voting my sentiment was more shared than it is now.

          • Jul 29, 201310:17 pm
            by Max

            While we are on Knight: one thing that seems true to me that I don’t see anyone mentioning is that if Knight doesn’t prove himself very soon, his stock will never be as high again as it is now.   If it were me, I would trade him.  

          • Jul 29, 201311:44 pm
            by tarsier

            What do you think could be had for him right now? I doubt he would fetch anything more than a contender’s first rounder (if that). I think the possibility that he proves himself very soon makes him worth more than that. So I wouldn’t trade him for anything I’d expect another team to give up for him.

            Also consider that he is as good a fit in Detroit as he would be anywhere. 

          • Jul 30, 20132:43 pm
            by Max

            It only takes one team that thinks he’s worth more than a contender’s first round pick.   Personally, I’d trade him in one second for a point guard of Luke Ridnour’s caliber and I don’t think such a trade is much of a stretch.   

  • Jul 27, 20134:30 pm
    by jamesjones_det

    Reply

    Not a chance in my opinion.  Knight looked like a stud in summer league last year and didn’t do much.  To add to that I would be surprised if he started at any point this season let alone the first 20 to 30 games.
     
    I may change my opinion when I see him in preseason but as of now I would be happy with a 2nd all rookie team selection.

  • Jul 27, 20135:50 pm
    by brgulker

    Reply

    I think they are also hoping he can attack off the dribble, something they have lacked for years.

    • Jul 27, 20138:46 pm
      by gmehl

      Reply

      Unfortunately attacking the rim is one of KCP’s weaknesses. We dont need him clogging the lane anymore than it will be and IMO he just needs to hit his outside shots and finish off on the break which he is fully capable of doing. I don’t really care if he wins ROY and if he can at least finish on the 2nd team he has done well. 

  • Jul 27, 20137:47 pm
    by Ryan Kelly

    Reply

    Kcp will have to get the minutes and with that bum stuckey on the team it will be tougher.  On a side note.   Pissed off that the bucks sign Gary Neal for 3.2 mil a year for 2 years.    And we sign fricken will Bynum for not much less????    It just doesn’t make sense.   Terrible.  

    • Jul 27, 201310:33 pm
      by tarsier

      Reply

      That would be because Neal is not much better than Bynum.

  • Jul 27, 201311:38 pm
    by ToddM

    Reply

    He’s just not going to get enough minutes, not unless Stuckey disappears before the season starts, which I suppose is possible.  Depth at PG is likely Billups-Knight-Bynum, and depth at SG is Knight-Stuckey-KCP.

    Now, if Stuckey DOES get traded, since Knight is likely going to play at least 15 minutes a night at PG, that would leave at least 25 minutes available at SG where the only likely competition is Middleton or some weird lineup with Datome.  Then KCP might put up some numbers.

    Man, Stuckey really needs to go.  We’ll win more games with him and Bynum around, but if they weren’t here we’d actually get to see what we have in KCP, Middleton, and Siva.  Joe’s job being on the line means that probably won’t happen.     

    • Jul 28, 20139:34 am
      by tarsier

      Reply

      You’ve already got the Piston’s rotation all figured out, huh?

      Don’t count on Bynum playing much. Stuckey is probably ahead of him on the depth chart at PG. Unless Smith gets a ton of minutes there, count on both Stuckey and KCP getting some burn at SF. 

      • Jul 28, 201310:05 am
        by Corey

        Reply

        Yuck. I doubt – and hope I’m right – that we’ll see much of Stuckey at SF. He needs to be on the floor with some shooters. Stuckey’s best use would be at PG running P&R with Drummond while KCP, Datome, and CV spread the floor. sub in other 3 pt shooters if you prefer. Unfortunately that’s also Bynum’s best role on the team. As a plus, Stuckey could do it from the SG position with Billups or Knight spacing the floor.  With  Smith, Datome, Singler, and Middleton all looking for minutes at SF, I don’t see much reason to play one of our guards (only 5 on the roster) out of position at SF.  The SF logjam is another good reason to hope Smith gets most of his minutes at PF. 

        • Jul 28, 201311:24 pm
          by tarsier

          Reply

          Well the question is really whether any of Singler, Middleton, or Datome is good enough to really be in the rotation. Having a bunch of guys who could potentially step up doesn’t tell us much.

          At this point, apart from Smith, odds are that the guys on the roster who could best play SF are Stuckey and Pope. Stuckey is flat out better than anything we’ve seen from Singler or Middleton. I expect Pope is too. So even out of optimal position, they are probably still better if they’re not needed at SG. I have no idea what to expect from Datome.

          • Jul 29, 201310:29 am
            by oats

            I thought Stuckey was really bad at SF. I don’t have great numbers to back it up since 82games.com doesn’t really explain how it gets its data, and some of it seems flawed. Still, that’s the best reference I have for his numbers at the position, and it has him as terrible at the 3. It has him with an effective field goal percentage of 35.1%, which is truly horrendous. In fact, the 82games.com data suggests that PG was far and away his best position last year, which definitely matches up with my eye test.
             
            Stuckey just didn’t drive to the basket when playing on the wing and instead became a jump shooter. He really isn’t a guy that blows by people when he heads to the hoop, and instead out muscles his opponent to get there. He struggles at doing that with SGs, and just can’t do it with SFs. You’d think he would have a speed advantage at SF, but the increased length of the defenders allows them to minimize that. Some of this is likely a mental thing where he thinks wing players are supposed to be shooters, but I suspect he does find it harder to play his normal slashing game from the wing positions. The point is, he was a pretty useless SF last year because he was terrible on both sides of the court. I really think Singler has already shown that he is a better SF than Stuckey, and in his limited minutes Middleton also looked better at SF than Stuckey. I’d say JJ also is better there, and I’d be surprised if Pope and Datome weren’t also better SFs. I really think Stuckey should play 0 minutes at SF this year.

          • Jul 29, 201311:24 am
            by tarsier

            That’s fair. To be honest, I haven’t seen much of Stuckey playing SF. I just knew he had at times and he is definitely a better player than Singler or Middleton, so it din’t seem unreasonable to project him outplaying them even at a position which doesn’t maximize his abilities.

            But that does still leave Pope. I would hope that the 8th overall pick can outplay a couple second rounders. 

          • Jul 29, 201311:49 am
            by Huddy

            I think with the team’s front court rotation whoever is playing SF will be asked to do less.  with Smith/Drummond, Monroe. Drummond, or Smith/Monroe there is a lot of talent down low so the team really needs guys that can hit an open shot on the wing so even if Stuckey is a better all around player than Singler etc. as long as Singler, Datome, and/or Middleton can hit mid range shots and 3s they will be better suited to be in rotation at SF anyway.  I definitely wouldn’t bet on all 3 working out, but if even one does than the team has Smith at SF 15mpg and then whoever shows they can hit shots and some time for KCP as well.
             
            Personally I think Singler has already shown he deserves a spot in the rotation as long as he is not starting.  Middleton’s minutes for the team didn’t come until too late in the season and at garbage times so I’m not sure where so many people get the idea that he is going to be in the rotation next year based on his play.  Datome is a wild card, but I think he has the potential to be the best of the 3.

        • Jul 28, 201311:27 pm
          by tarsier

          Reply

          Jerebko may be a step above Stuckey/Pope at the SF position, though.

  • Jul 28, 201311:48 am
    by Johnny

    Reply

    CV? Lol he’s not gonna get any time… I’d rather see Mitchell get some time and this kid is gonna surprise everyone believe me. That’s being said, I think the lineups are gonna be tough to figure out right now and it will be a lot of trial and error. Mo Cheeks has his hands full with this club as the talent it’s there, it’s just putting the pieces in the right places at the right time. 

    i believe that jerebko, Bynum, and CV (maybe Middleton) will be the ones not gettin minutes. Rotation should be starting Billups, Knight, smith, Monroe and Drummond. Second lineup should consist of Stuckey, KCP, Singler, mitchell, and Krastov or some kind of mix of those particular players.

    • Jul 28, 20131:11 pm
      by Desolation Row

      Reply

      Kravstov starting ahead of Jonas? I have to say, I’ve seen Kravstov play and I just don’t get it; why are people so anti-JJ and so pro-Kravstov? The latter can barely even dunk and he’s like 7 feet tall. His ceiling is a warm body to collect fouls. JJ is light years ahead of him and has a legit motor when he isn’t alienated by an overwhelmed coach. 
       

      • Jul 29, 201310:47 am
        by Huddy

        Reply

        I don’t think Krastov is beating out JJ for a spot based on the better player it is more likely because he can play center.  JJ is not strong enough at all to play center.  With how much Monroe and Drummond will split time at center I could see Slava picking up some of the remaining garbage minutes (taking fouls as you said) at center.  Jerebko is likely to not find space because Monroe/Smith are ahead at PF and as much as everyone hates it I bet CV gets a few minutes to spread the floor.  At SF (where I think JJ is not as effective) He is in the mix for rotation space with Datome, Singler, KCP all of which are behind Smith as well.

        • Jul 29, 201311:45 am
          by oats

          Reply

          Honestly, I think that CV likely gets those minutes at center. I know that sounds dumb, but most teams play a fair amount of small ball with traditional PFs at center. Kravtsov might play against the handful of really big teams, but I am guessing that more often than not he is going to fail to get in. CV is likely to get some minutes to spread the floor, and I’d rather pair him with Tony Mitchell, Josh Smith, or JJ than pair him with Kravtsov even if that makes CV a center. Kravtsov played in 25 games last year, and that’s reasonably close to what I’d expect from him this year too.

          • Jul 29, 201312:01 pm
            by Huddy

            I can see where you are coming from and suggesting CV gets the minutes only sounds dumb because of the general tone of discussion about him on fan sites (someone who doesn’t watch the games would think he is the worst player in the history of basketball when in reality he is just an average limited player that was given a bad contract).  I also agree that if he is in that scenario it has to be with Smith and maybe Mitchell so that he has strength and athleticism around him and isn’t as exposed on defense. 
             
            As far as Jerebko goes I think he is just not that good at SF and being in that position he usually makes worse decisions like relying on jump shooting.  The team just has too many options above him for him to really get many minutes at all.  I really like Mitchell’s potential and the only way we are going to see what he can do is if the team shortens the list of young guys with potential that it is waiting on to be good enough to solidify in its rotation (I.E. Jerebko, Middleton, Singler, Kratov, (and now) Mitchell, Datome, Siva).

          • Jul 29, 20139:44 pm
            by Max

            I know Charlie V didn’t get amnestied but do you guys really think he will even be on the active roster?  The Pistons have 15 players but 3 of them will not be even eligible for minutes on a given night.  

          • Jul 30, 201310:18 am
            by Huddy

            Honestly I see CV as more likely to be active than JJ and the other 2 to sit would likely be 2 of Middleton, Mitchell, Krastov, Datome (not my preference just my impression of how the organization has used CV so far).  I doubt the team has 4 SFs in rotation (Smith, Datome, Middleton, Singler, JJ) and I think CV is seen as one of the more capable 3 pt shooters on the team,  which is a priority.  CV played more minutes and or games that last year’s 2nd round picks despite the fact that the team could have been planning to trade his expiring contract or amnesty him.

  • Jul 28, 20134:28 pm
    by T Casey

    Reply

    I didn’t really know anything about KCP before this summer league and was in the “draft Burke” camp, but I left seriously impressed by the young guy. Not only can he shoot, but he knows how to flat out play. He’s reasonably quick and athletic, plays defense, is a willing passer, and seems to have an overall high basketball iq. I hope coach Cheeks brings him along properly because he’s got a good amount of potential from what I’ve seen.

  • Jul 28, 20134:29 pm
    by T Casey

    Reply

    And I do think the ROY award could be within his grasp if we utilize him properly.

  • Jul 28, 20134:46 pm
    by Ryan Kelly

    Reply

    Lol if stuckey is getting ‘burn’ at sf or kcp for that matter mo cheeks should be hit on the head with a hammer.  It just looks ridiculious.    No.  There are what, smith singler Middleton Gigi 4 guys for the sf spot and you wanna jam sg’s in there too?   Kcp best bet is being the man at the sg spot and stuckey getting benched or traded.  

    • Jul 28, 201311:30 pm
      by tarsier

      Reply

      It is not a stretch to imagine Stuckey or KCP outplaying Middleton, Singler, and Datome at SF. It may not be their best positional fit (although I don’t see how Pope projects better as a SG than a SF given his trouble with ball handling) but if they’re more talented than the alternatives, they still could be the right play.

      • Jul 29, 20135:33 pm
        by Jamarco McNutt

        Reply

        Hahaha.  Stuckey at SF would be a total joke.  And no he is not a better SF than singler or middleton.  And they arent good I know.  Stuckey isnt a good SG and put him out of position even more and he’ll look like a bigger clown than he already does.   Stuckey shouldnt be playing at all let alone at SF.

  • Jul 29, 201312:53 pm
    by fcca75

    Reply

    this stuckey crap @ sf is for the birds…he’ll be the starting sg, with knight @ pg, datome or singler @ sf, with smith @ pf, and Monroe @ center…unless Drummond starts @ center, then Monroe will be the starting pf, with smith @ sf…i’d go with the former rather than the latter. anyway, kcp won’t be in the convo for roy unless he starts and that’s (clearly to the non-stuckey-haters, at least) a sure bet, unless he’s traded before the season starts, which is a big doubt.

  • Jul 29, 20131:02 pm
    by fcca75

    Reply

    *not a sure bet, I mean.

  • Jul 30, 20132:48 pm
    by Max

    Reply

    Stuckey has actually done a reasonable job defending LBJ during some stretches a couple of seasons ago.  

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