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Kentavious Caldwell-Pope-Trey Burke debate gets off on equally terrible footing

The summer league is the definitive tool for judging NBA players. I mean, we all remember the Hall of Fame career of Loren Woods, right?


OK, obviously, there’s a whole lot of noise clouding summer-scouting – perhaps so much that all this is useless – but the Pistons are playing, so PistonPowered will be covering it.

There’s some gimmick the summer league is using this year to determine matchups for the final game, including a championship game. I don’t care at all about that (unless the Pistons are playing for the championship, and then wooooooooo, high-stakes basketball, baby), and I’m not going to bother updating the meaningless standings. You’re lucky if I mention the score. (The Pistons beat the Nets, 76-67, in their opener, by the way.)

What I will provide is a player-by-player assessment of anyone who stood out. Depending on how the game went, not every player will necessarily get covered.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope

  • Trey Burke shot 1-for-12 earlier in the day, and certain fans cackled. Caldwell-Pope followed that with a 1-of-10 day, leaving supporters of both one-time potential Pistons draft picks in a depressing stalemate.
  • Shot 0-for-8 on 3-pointers
  • Unbalanced on most of his jump shots
  • Showed athleticism by driving for dunk attempt while being fouled

Andre Drummond

  • Too good for this level, but in a game with sloppy sets and poor spacing, the external factors that held him back in college also limited him here
  • Had 12 points, 16 rebounds, six blocks, five steals, zero assists, seven turnovers and six fouls
  • Didn’t always play hard, which is understandable, because unlike a large majority of summer-league players, Drummond has started in the pros. But that’s disappointing, because one time when Drummond didn’t hustle back on defense after blocking a shot, Tony Mitchel, a teammate facing his own questions about playing hard, lingered in the backcourt with him
  • Intentionally fouled as called for by new Nets clown coach Jason Kidd, who also got a technical and had to be calmed by Lawrence Frank. Kidd might be a good coach, but he did more to draw attention for silliness in this game.
  • Looked out of breath at times
  • Also looked like Moses freaking Malone

Tony Mitchell

  • Active on the offensive glass and successfully aggressive in going for putbacks
  • Had seven points and six rebounds and made all three of his shots
  • Made a long jumper just inside the 3-point arc, which is a nice sign for his range but a poor indicator for his (and/or the coaching staff’s) understanding of a quality shot

Khris Middleton

  • Shooting stroke looked good, as it always does
  • Made shots (2-of-2 on 3-pointers and 5-of-11 overall), which isn’t always the case
  • Used his jumper to create passing lanes

Peyton Siva

  • Comfortable dominating the ball and running the offense
  • Took just two shots in 26 minutes, missing them both

Viacheslav Kravtsov

  • Finished well at the rim in catch-and-dunk situations
  • Drove from mid-range, but too slowly, and his his shot was blocked
  • Fouled rather than moved his feet going for defensive rebound

Kim English

  • Didn’t start and spent too much time playing with non-roster summer league teammates who don’t know what they’re doing for someone facing a contract decision – unless the Pistons have already made their choice

Kyle Singler

  • Didn’t play. I’m guessing he might play later in the week, perhaps cycling into the lineup in place of Drummond, so the veterans each get a chance to get into a rhythm rather than everyone playing limited minutes in every game.


  • Jul 8, 20131:42 am
    by Javell


    At least KCP attemped a dunk and played great D! Thats what i like to see from young players. When your shot isnt falling! But trey burke is. Going to have a hard time penitrating and attacking real NBA. Defenses…. But i hope he picks it up! but how abt drummond! Does anybody agree hes better than anthony davis NOW!? 

    • Jul 8, 20137:53 am
      by tarsier


      No, not yet better than Davis. He could average 30 and 20 in the summer league and it would be exciting and fun but it would not greatly change how he is perceived by rational fans because Summer League performances very rarely carry over. 

      • Jul 8, 201312:48 pm
        by Keith


        Statistically, you could make the argument already, but I agree tend to side with the idea that total value still is more important than per-minute value. If Drummond stays in line with his per minute stats as a 30 mpg player, I would have no qualms calling him the best rookie of his year. But that said, his glaring weaknesses probably make that hard to accomplish. 

        I keep coming back to the free throws but it’s important. There is a huge difference between being a poor free throw shooter (~60%) and being an abysmal shooter (Drummond’s sub 40%). The average value of any Detroit possession last year was 1 point. That means any action whose expected result is under one point per possession hurts us. Drummond’s free throws return a value of about 3/4ths of a point per possession. That means teams can foul him with complete impunity – it will consistently improve the winning chances of the other team. At even 50%, his free throws match our overall efficiency and teams lose incentive to purposely foul as much as possible. At 60%, the 1.2 points per possession is even better than our overall efficiency (better than any team on average actually). It’s going to be very difficult to keep Drummond on the court extended minutes if teams smartly realize there is no downside to fouling him.

        • Jul 8, 20131:59 pm
          by Max


          Drummond’s foul shooting is woeful but don’t forget accumulating fouls as in getting into the penalty and getting players in foul trouble is a downside to fouling a player.   

        • Jul 8, 20132:03 pm
          by tarsier


          There is still downside to fouling with impunity.

          First, players can foul out. Sure, you can bring in a terrible player in order to foul him, but then you have to cope with having the weaknesses of that player on the floor.

          Second, it helps push the Pistons toward the bonus so that a random non-shooting foul on another guy later in the period gets free throws.

          Also, if there is a 60% chance of the second free throw missing, that makes the odds of an offensive rebound non-negligible. That has to be accounted for.

          But I do agree with you that Drummond really needs to learn to hit his freebies better. And to not get gassed so easily. 

      • Jul 8, 20131:55 pm
        by Mark


        I agree that he’s not quite where Davis is (just yet) but definitely has a chance to pass him in the near future.  He looked so much more aggressive and considerably bigger this year. 

  • Jul 8, 20131:49 am
    by Tony J (AD1 for 3!!!)


    Thanks for the analysis Dan. I really enjoyed the game. KCP didn’t impress as I thought he would on offense but his defense made up for it. Drummond did look tired for most of the game and that’s something he still need to work on as well as his free throws and offensive moves but for the most part Drummond brung a great defensive presence and rebounding. Tony Mitchell also impressed me. I knew Mitchell was uber athletic and has great skill but this game proved it. Mitchell also did the little things that count and didn’t demand attention. Mitchell will be a huge upgrade over J Max no doubt. Siva did alright. Not bad but not good either. Kim English missed a few bunny’s and I fear he won’t be on the team next year. Middleton shot the ball well. Slava also looked impressive. Much better in this one game then any of his games last year.

  • Jul 8, 20132:33 am
    by Ryan Kelly


    I really hope Kim English is on the team.  There really is no reason to cut him.  They have enough room.  The roster is at 14 including him.  Still have room to sign someone else and still keep him.  Not sure why many think he’s gone.   He’s friends with many players and good for the locker room.  I’d keep him.  Plus odds are decent we make an unbalanced 2 for 1 type trade at some point.   The most impressive thing about Drummond is how he just inhales rebounds.   

    • Jul 8, 20137:51 am
      by Jeremy


      English will not be on the roster come training camp. He just isn’t good enough to make a case for keeping when you don’t have a PG and already have an over abundance of players (Knight, Stuckey, KCP, Singler) that can play the 2. At the very least the team needs 1 more PG, quite possibly 2 of them. Even in an unbalanced trade situation, you just can’t justify keeping English on the roster. Most teams operate with 1 or 2 roster spots open so that they have freedom to operate during the season (unbalanced trades where the team takes on more than giving away, signing guys to 10 day contracts, a vet cast off becomes available, etc.).
      Also important to note, only 12 players dress on any given night. Even if English is able to maintain a roster spot, it doesn’t guarantee that he will dress  for the game on most nights. He probably should start investing in several different suit and tie combos.

  • Jul 8, 20132:56 am
    by Pat


    Kcp looked like he was struggling with the nba 3. All of his jumpers were flat and short.  Mitchell looked legit. He and dre on the floor together could be fun to watch. 

  • Jul 8, 20133:32 am
    by Some Dude


    KCP has NBA 3pt range and beyond, not everybody will look good in their debut game. let him have a few games to warm up, his shot will start dropping.

  • Jul 8, 20133:36 am
    by @GPMasters


    Thought its worth mentioning that, in a stupid, chaotic game, Siva had just 1 turnover vs his 6 assists. He drove into the paint very well also, but definitely seemed allergic to shooting.

    • Jul 8, 20134:31 am
      by oats


      He also chipped in 4 steals. Despite the lack of shot attempts, he still got 6 points off 8 free throws. He had a good game. I thought he looked like a potential 3rd PG for the team this year. He could come in for defense and passing, and just be a change of pace guy.

      • Jul 8, 20136:23 am
        by Tom Y.


        Third? As the roster stands now, I’d say second at most with a (slight) chance at starting spot, considering we don’t have one true PG under cotract.  

        • Jul 8, 20133:43 pm
          by oats


          As it stands, the team definitely uses both Stuckey and Knight as the top 2 point guards. I’m still assuming the team adds someone to the mix to be the back up though. I’m betting on Bynum or someone similar to join the guy who wins the Knight/Stuckey starting PG battle, with the other guy becoming primarily a SG. If it was really an open competition then Bynum might actually win it, but I don’t think it really would be that much of an open competition.

  • Jul 8, 20134:16 am
    by KaBa


    Well I think Siva is on his way earning himself a spot on the roster. If he continous to play like this, definetly. I like him.

  • Jul 8, 20135:18 am
    by Grizz


    Dan, I appreciate the updates on these summer games .. Hard to get this information anywhere else … Well done ..

    • Jul 8, 20136:04 am


      You can download the summer league app for coverage and stats

  • Jul 8, 20136:40 am
    by acr


    “Also looked like Moses freaking Malone” – haha, awesome.
    Thanks for the write-up.  I didn’t get to see any of the game, but it sounds like Middleton looked good.  I think that he could make a big jump this year, which would help with our shooting and floor spacing.

  • Jul 8, 20137:52 am
    by Keith


    Drummond’s free throw shooting is problematic. It’s one thing for Ben Wallace to be terrible, he didn’t touch the ball on offense. It’s another for Shaq to be bad from the line, since he dominated scoring anyway. It’s still very early in the offseason, so I hope coaches are working on that as a major part of his development.

  • Jul 8, 20139:03 am
    by ryan


    Is there video online somewhere?

    • Jul 8, 201310:27 am
      by Tony J AD1 for 3!!!


      I watched it on FirstRowLive. I found the second link to be the best.

      • Jul 8, 20132:21 pm
        by ryan


        Great thank you. I’ll give it a try.

        I gotta say I saw the clip of Jason Kidd (fuck Jason Kidd by the way) getting a tech and I saw Lawrence Frank and I felt really happy he’s not coaching here anymore. I don’t know if Coach Cheeks will get it done or not but I’m glad Frank is gone.

  • Jul 8, 20139:04 am
    by Venice


    How about we try this trade?

    Boston receives: Monroe, Stuckey, CV, Singler, and 2016 2nd rnd pick.
    Detroit receives: Rondo, Green, Lee, and Bass

    This will make the Pistons move Smith to his natural position @ pf and have a starting PG and Sf in Rondo and Green. We will also have a bench of floor spacers with Knight, Lee, Middleton and Bass.

    All Joe Dumars needs to do is convince Boston to take the deal. This will make them suck so bad that they will have a LEGITIMATE chance to land Wiggins. They will also have a budding star in Greg Monroe. They will also have a cap space to land a superstar next offseason where Lebron, Melo, Wall and company will be participating .

    PG: Rondo
    SG: KCP
    SF: Green
    PF: Smith
    C: Drummond


    • Jul 8, 20139:30 am
      by Brigs


      For that trade to work we would have to take back Gerald Wallace, but I’m all for it if its gonna bring us back a all star pg and a solid starting sf Wallace can rot on the bench for all I care

      • Jul 8, 201310:52 am
        by Keith


        Green is considerably more average than people seem to realize. I know that average is still an upgrade for us on the wing, but I am not a fan of Rondo (Celtics offense stunk even with him) and Green is not enough sweetener to give up Monroe.

    • Jul 8, 201310:49 am
      by tarsier


      I don’t see how Rondo has more value than Monroe right now. And Green is pretty much a more expensive Jerebko.

      • Jul 8, 201311:07 am
        by Corey


        Agreed – Celtics had better team +/- after Rondo went out for the season with a knee injury, than they had when he was playing. This should be deeply concerning – is Rondo really that helpful? And this was before he blew out a knee. What would we really be getting on the court – and when? – if we traded for Rondo. Rondo is a question mark now, not a high value asset.

        • Jul 8, 201312:22 pm
          by tarsier


          I definitely think Rondo would be nice to have. i just wouldn’t give up Monroe for him. With Drummond and Smith on the team, if you trade Monroe for a PG, he’s gotta be able to shoot.

  • Jul 8, 20139:26 am
    by James


    Good stuff Dan.  Obviously KCP shot bad, but I thought he looked great on defense.  He’s a great athlete, with good lateral quickness who deflected tons of balls.  For some reason the box score shows zero steals fo him, but he caused 3 to 4 turnovers.  His track record over 2 seasons shows he should at least be a solid 3 point shooter, so I’m not worried about a bad shooting game.

    Mitchell was very impressive and did exactly what the Pistons wanted from him.  Play hard, use his athleticism, rebound and D up.  He did all of those things.

    Siva played a solid all around game dishing out 6 assists with only 1 TO, which is impressive for the main ball handler in a summer league game.  If he could just hit a floater in the lane he’d really expand his game.

    Drummond just has so many “WOW” moments.  It’s crazy what he can do for a guy his size.  I actually thought he looked more fluid and natural with his post ups and baby hooks even though none went in.  Now is the time for him to practice his offensive game.  Once the regular season starts he’ll be asked to do much less of that and you’ll see his TO’s go down and his FG percent go up.  12 points, 16 rebounds, 6 blocks, 5 steals and numerous altered shots and additional deflections.  I’ll be shocked if he doesn’t win at least one defensive player of the year award.

    • Jul 8, 20132:06 pm
      by Mark


      I think you are spot on James.  The scouting reports listed KCP as an “average” athlete but (imo) he looked to have very quick hands and feet.  His shot wasn’t there yesterday and he turned it over a few times but I he still has me excited.
      Mitchell looks like he can contribute right away.

  • Jul 8, 201310:03 am
    by Vic


    I’m starting to warm up to JOe’s “long wing athletes” gameplan.

    It was a bummer not to get a pg, but I think it could work.
    But if they trade Monroe i’m done.

    It won’t be bad having the best front line in the league with Monroe, Drummond, Smith, and Mitchell. We’ll lead the league in dunks and blocks for sure. Its a start. 

    • Jul 8, 201310:50 am
      by tarsier


      Monroe is not really a shot blocker.

      • Jul 8, 20132:04 pm
        by Max


        I’m pretty sure Monroe is a better shot blocker than anyone else’s third best shot blocker in their starting front line.  

        • Jul 8, 20133:11 pm
          by tarsier


          Are all three of Smith, Monroe, and Drummond starting? Do you have any evidence that they will be?

          Lots of teams have better shot blocking within their big man rotations. But even if we restrict it to starters…

          Just off the top of my head, within the East alone, there are the Heat: Anderson+James+Bosh, the Pacers: Hibbert+West+Granger, and the Bobcats: Biymobo+Jefferson+MKG.

          • Jul 8, 20133:24 pm
            by Max

            I just don’t believe the Pistons could possibly be stupid enough not to start their best player.  

            None one the lineups you mentioned would produce as many blocks in my opinion.  

            Also, do you have any evidence that Granger will ever take the court again?   

          • Jul 8, 20133:27 pm
            by Max

            And where is your evidence that Anderson or Biyombo will start btw?  

          • Jul 8, 20133:45 pm
            by tarsier

            I’m assuming the Pistons will start their best player. And their second best player. Which two of Monroe, Drummond, and Smith those are I don’t know. It is possible that they will also start their third best player, but that’s a bit more of an unknown.

            And your question was which third best starting frontcourt shot blocker blocks more shots than Monroe. It doesn’t actually matter if Biyombo or Anderson starts. If not Biyombo, probably Zeller, who is still a better shot blocker than Monroe. If not Anderson, then Anthony or Battier, who are both better shot blockers than Monroe (as is Wade, but I left him off as he doesn’t qualify as “frontcourt”).

            If you’re just looking for overall more blocks, then look at the Bucks or the Thunder who employ very prolific shot blockers.

            Do I have any evidence that Granger will ever take the court again? No less than you have that Drummond will. I suppose either player could up and suddenly die or retire, but it seems very unlikely. 

          • Jul 8, 20133:55 pm
            by tarsier

            “None one the lineups you mentioned would produce as many blocks in my opinion. ”

            Perhaps then it is time to step out of your opinion and look at the actual numbers. Smith and Drummond are good shot blockers, but there are still many better. Monroe is among the worst big men in the league at blocking shots.

          • Jul 8, 20139:11 pm
            by Max

            Smith and Drummond are great and elite shot blockers.  Monroe put up .7 last year but he will be playing smaller players this year and will have much better opportunities for getting blocks off the ball.   I expect him to hit 1 a game this year.     As a frontline they could easily produce 6 blocks a game this year and I don’t think any other front line does so.    

          • Jul 8, 20139:13 pm
            by Max

            And Granger hasn’t proved he can stay healthy in years.  

          • Jul 8, 20139:14 pm
            by Max

            Also, I doubt Dalambert will be on the Bucks this season or Moute starts.  They may just have one shot blocker.  

          • Jul 8, 20139:19 pm
            by Max

            Also, Haslem started the most games for Heat last year (59) and produced a much worse than Monroe .2 blocks a game.  

          • Jul 9, 201310:10 am
            by tarsier

            Whether Haslem starts or not, Wade is still in the starting lineup.

            Do you have any past evidence to suggest that moving from the 5 to the 4 (which Monroe might do but we don’t know yet) tends to increase a player’s block rate? Typically, switching to a smaller position pulls a guy further from the basket which reduces shot blocking.

            “As a frontline they could easily produce 6 blocks a game this year and I don’t think any other front line does so.”

            Ummm… just no. That would require all three of them to significantly increase their rates of blocking shots. Only 5 teams in the league blocked 6 shots per game last season. And that’s entire teams (including backcourts and reserves). No three teammates can easily average 6 per game. And if one of those three is Monroe, it would be damn near impossible.

            Over the past 5 seasons, Smith has blocked 1.8 shots per game. That’s a really nice number. But it is well short of where you seem to expect it. 

  • Jul 8, 201310:15 am
    by David


    I think its ridiculous to judge KCP or any rookie after 1 game a summer game at that. I do agree KCP could have played better, but one thing I noticed is something Joe Dumars said when he drafted him. KCP has a motor that doesn’t stop no matter whats going on. I like his energy he’d miss shots, but was back on the defensive end. I don’t think Dumars is done assembling this team

    • Jul 8, 201310:43 am
      by Keith


      I don’t think any is selling stock in KCP after one summer league game. That said, it’s not comforting to those who think we need shooting that KCP missed all 8(!) of his threes against a poor defense. The Burke comparison is going to follow him everywhere and I do think he played better than Burke. While KCP couldn’t hit a shot, he did lock in on defense. Burke couldn’t hit a shot, could get his teammates better looks, and offered little resistance defensively. That doesn’t definitively tell us anything about either player, but it is a little comforting to know Burke isn’t making KCP look silly.

  • Jul 8, 201310:29 am
    by Tony J AD1 for 3!!!


    Anybody who is looking for a livestream I found FirstRowLive to be good. Some links are better than others so you may want to go through each link and see which one is best.

  • Jul 8, 201310:59 am
    by Prerich


    KCP did exactly what I’ve been saying since that draft. Yes, Trey performed poorly as well (but scored 8 points in 1 for 12 shooting – tells me he’s drawing fouls).  KCP – I can’t judge him on one game, but the much publicized shooter is showing a weakness I noticed in SEC play, as competition level increases – offensive production decreases. If we drafted Trey – it wouldn’t be for offense – but to be a floor general (that’s why I loved the Siva pickup), KCP on the other hand was for offense first!!!! We still have a few summer league games left to see if he’s ready for prime time, or if he needs some NBDL time to get acclimated to the NBA. 

    • Jul 8, 20131:31 pm
      by KaBa


      ‘t look too much into summer league cause there are so many summer league all-stars that jujst don’t seem to manage to translate there game to the NBA. More important is giving those young players a chance to acclimate to a new surrounding. Burke will go his way and KCP his.

  • Jul 8, 201311:23 am


    Based on what i’ve seen from Pope stats and gamelog..he normally bounced back from a poor shooting performance…so we will see

  • Jul 8, 201311:28 am
    by joe


    I don’t care about the whole KCP and Burke debate, who looked really nice yesterday was Oladipo at PG, he looked like an all-star!

    • Jul 8, 201312:28 pm
      by Keith


      Those D-Wade comparison are looking pretty good now. I still don’t think Oladipo’s future is as a true PG, but he could easily fill the “lead guard” role that guys like Wade, Kobe, Harden, and Lebron have played. You could even lump him in a bit with the super high usage scoring points today like Rose and Westbrook.

      • Jul 8, 20131:19 pm
        by KaBa


        I don’t know if Oladipo is offensively ready to have a role of Westbrook, who can score in several different ways (and still manages to make so many bad decisions) which I don’t see yet with Oladipo. Still when you see him play you just have to like him.

      • Jul 8, 20133:49 pm
        by tarsier


        Seriously? No comparisons will look good or bad on the support of one summer league game.

        • Jul 8, 20136:07 pm
          by frankie d


          true, though i have to sy that he looks better than i thought he would.  his handle is definitely better.
          however, once the other team actually started pressing, he let someone else bring the ball up court.
          don’t know if that was because he tweaked his ankle or whether he just doesn’t have the confidence, but that was telling. 
          but he moves like a little point guard, though he is the size of a pretty good shooting guard.  you just can’t teach that kind of quickness, speed and explosiveness.  he might be the most impressive guy – along with kelley olynyk – that i’ve seen.(drummond is in a separate category.)
          olynyk’s skills will definitely help him score in the league.  big issue with him is going to be how bad defensively he is.  
          will he score 20 and give up 25 every night? 

    • Jul 8, 20131:16 pm
      by KaBa


      You think Oladipos ball handling is good enough for PG in the NBA? I don’t know, I think that is something that he shouldn’t do too often. In my opinion his ball handling skills are good but with a good defender his TO count could go up really fast, really bad.

  • Jul 8, 201311:43 am
    by Windy


    Kim English is a good guy but not translating to NBA skill level…just not athletic enough and sadly his one nba skill of shooting is just not there…gotta let him go to the d-league…

    • Jul 8, 20131:29 pm
      by frankie d


      english does look like the odd man out.
      his numbers don’t really help him argue for another chance, but i just wish the team had dedicated the last 20 games or so to finding out if guys like english and slava could really play.
      imho, he just never got a real shot and now its too late, apparently.
      we’ve said that too many times about  young pistons in the recent past, but it is too bad that it is happening to a guy who seems to bring so many positives to the team.
      maybe he can’t shoot at the nba level.  would have just liked for him to prove it over a decent stretch of games rather than the kind of sporadic pT he got late last year.

  • Jul 8, 201312:50 pm
    by Jopl


    They just showed Rasheed at this Orlando/OKC summer league game and he was wearing a Pistons collared shirt!  Assistant coach???

  • Jul 8, 20131:16 pm
    by frankie d


    don’t put too much stock in one bad shooting game by kCP.
    the bigger issue for me is that it illustrates the huge hole in his game.
    he doesn’t do much but take  - and hopefully hit – jumpers.
    when i saw him play he’d take jumpers, occasionally get out on the break and once in a while he’d take a wide open lane to the basket and try to dunk.  and maybe hit the offensive boards once in a while.
    but if his shot was not working, he disappeared.  he was just incapable of manufacturing any shot, any offense on  his own.
    detroit fans saw a very similar player for years: rip hamilton.
    a solid defender with a good motor and a streaky shot is a good guy to have on your squad, most likely coming off the bench.
    and there are plenty of guys like that in the league.
    just don’t know if they are worth the 8th pick in any draft. 

  • Jul 8, 20133:45 pm
    by Taylor


    I know it doesnt matter, but #44 Peterson looks super weak in the post and if he doesn’t play for the rest of the game the positions will catch up and win.

  • Jul 8, 20134:40 pm
    by Kobina


    I still wish we drafted Shabbazz.  If KCP hits his high mark, he will be an average NBA scorer; if Shabbazz hits his, he will be a great to elite scorer.  We should have swung for the fences on that one. Love the Tony Mitchell pick though.  Siva’s okay, can’t think of a better pick.

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