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Peyton Siva’s sweet summer league ensured he deserved a contract

The Pistons had to sign Peyton Siva.

With the No. 56 pick in the draft, Siva was fine value, but I didn’t really like the pick, because the Pistons were clearly running out of roster spots. I would have preferred they drafted someone who’s already playing overseas and didn’t plan to join the NBA next season.

Fortunately, the Pistons’ trade of Brandon Knight, Khris Middleton and Viacheslav Kravtsov for Brandon Jennings cleared a roster spot for Siva and rendered my concerns moot. Predictably once that trade was made, the Pistons signed Siva.

The trade surely wasn’t made to clear a roster spot for Siva, but the deal saved Detroit a little embarrassment. The Pistons knew their roster breakdown when they drafted Siva rather than an overseas player, when they allowed Kravtsov’s contract to become guaranteed, when they allowed the amnesty window to close without using the  provision on Charlie Villanueva, etc. They also knew they’d have a limited window after the draft to assess Siva.

And, man, did Siva look good in that window. During summer league – an extremely chaotic environment, given the players’ inexperience and lack of time working with their teammates – Siva had 24 assists and just six turnovers. His 4:1 assists to turnover ratio led summer leagues, counting both Orlando and Las Vegas.

Here’s just how much Siva’s care of the ball bested every other team’s assist leader:

The only other player in Siva’s stratosphere, Dwight Buycks (24 assists, 7 turnovers), got a guaranteed contract. The other two assist leaders with assist-to-turnover ratios even half Siva’s, Nate Wolters and Kendall Marshall, also have contracts for the next season.

Summer league stats reveal only so much, but Siva did everything possible to impress in his lone opportunity to do so after being drafted. The Pistons obviously liked what Siva showed before the draft, and to let him go after he aced his post-draft test would have been foolish.

I’m not convinced Siva will ever become a difference-making NBA player, but he definitely deserves a chance to stick with the Pistons into training camp, and I’m glad he’s getting at least that.


  • Aug 6, 20131:18 pm
    by Motolli


    Siva reminds me most of a (taller) Muggsy Bogues.  Taller guards will be able to shoot over him or post up against him, and he’s unlikely to be able to shoot well enough or create his own opportunities to generate a lot of scoring, so it will be very tough for him to be a starter.  But like Bogues he is great at taking care of the ball (as shown above), has solid basketball IQ, can be a very aggravating defender against the dribble, and can direct an offense at a lot of different speeds.
    I think he can be a great resource off the bench to give 15-20 minutes in certain situations, and also a good replacement PG in case of injuries.

  • Aug 6, 20131:43 pm
    by Vic


    Totally agree with this article.

    If we ever lose Stuckey or Bynum, he can be a good change of pace defensively for Brandon Jennings 

    I see him as  #2 point guard in one of the Pistons next chips  

    • Aug 6, 20133:10 pm
      by frankie d


      great  post and i agree wholeheartedly.
      i hope this shuts up those who are denigrating siva and wondering why the heck some fans were excited about the possibility of keeping him.  
      this is not a big move, by any means, but it is one of the few positive moves joe d has made in this summer of bad decision after bad decision after bad decision.
      siva may not make the difference between very many wins and losses this year, but imho he’ll be a solid contributor for the next decade.
      for some team, if joe does his normal thing and lets him go after burying him on the roster for a couple of years. 

      • Aug 6, 20133:22 pm
        by Huddy


        Well with Jennings, Billups, and Bynum on the roster Siva will probably be buried so you will have plenty to complain about with this move as well…don’t you worry.

        • Aug 6, 20133:39 pm
          by frankie d


          oh i will, if he does that.
          keeping siva and flipping a guy like bynum – who i really like but consider redundant with siva on board – is what smart teams do.  
          siva is cheaper, younger, with a decent upside, and he’ll give the team lots of what bynum brings to the table.
          bynum is certainly more offensively explosive, but siva is much better defensively and is simply better at doing the things that good point guards do.
          if bynum goes, i will miss him, as a pistons’ fan, but moving him for picks – say a late first or maybe two good second round picks at the trade deadline – would only be a positive for the team.
          joe d’s failure to make that kind of move is exactly why the team has been stuck in lottery hell for the last 4-5 years.  instead of acquiring solid assets and keeping young guys who will be part of his developing core, he’s been grinding through retreads and guys who are best suited to be 6th and 7th and 8th men on good teams.
          jennings starts…chauncey moves between the SG and PG spots and siva could be the third PG on the depth chart, but maybe get a bit of quality time because he matches up well with certain PGs.
          i will say this…siva is very, very similar to what mo cheeks was when he first came into the league.
          both were afterthought draft choices…both relied primarily on their defense to get noticed…both were extremely good at taking care of the ball…both couldn’t shoot a lick…both were very athletic…both knew how to run a team either in the half court or in transition.
          i can’t help but think that cheeks sees a lot of himself in siva and because of that awareness, he might be willing to give him more of a chance than most fans think he’ll get.
          it will be interesting to see.
          and i cant wait till the first article about cheeks seeing a bit of himself in siva. 

          • Aug 6, 20133:52 pm
            by Huddy

            Can’t see how Bynum is redundant on the roster with Siva until we actually see Siva play in the NBA.  IF all those qualities you mention come out and translate well then that makes sense, but it seems a little early for that.  I want him to succeed especially since you are right about being a cheaper option…but its hard to claim what a late second rounder brings to the table before he has arrived for his first meal so to speak.
            I don’t really see how Bynum fits your idea that Joe holds onto 6,7,8 best guy kind of talent and wastes young players.  Siva’s ceiling is maybe a 6th man and he hasn’t played a game of real NBA basketball and moving Bynum for second rounders means bringing more young players that are highly unlikely to be better than a 6.7.8 best on the team type of talent.  Seems lateral or at least slightly inconsequential either way.  Late first rounder would be nice value thats all more likely towards the trade deadline when contenders see a need off the bench (and they won’t value Bynum unless he plays) so Siva seems stuck even if thats the plan.

          • Aug 6, 20134:39 pm
            by frankie d

            of course we have to see if he can perform the same way during the regular season.   but the things that he does are typically transferable.  his ability to dribble, his ability to see the floor and make good decisions, his ability to move laterally defensively and work with quick hands…all of those things are easily and typically transferable from college to the summer league to the regular season.
            bynum is a good player and i value what he brings to the team.  however, imho, joe should have waited till he saw what he had in siva before he re-signed bynum.  not sure if there were pressures to do the deal before someone else swooped in, but in retrospect, bynum and siva are going to be competing for the same PT and considering that, bynum’s value to the team was greatly diminished once joe saw what siva could do.
            and if he doesn’t think he can play at the nba level, why did he just give him an nba contract? 
            imho, bynum’s value in the league is well established.  how much he plays the first half of the season, absent an injury, is not going to sink that value.  
            again, teams, good teams make that kind of move commonly.  joe has repeatedly failed to make that kind of move and has instead driven down the value of his own players and ultimately dumped them for zilch.

      • Aug 6, 20135:11 pm
        by CityofKlompton


        I’ve got to say that I don’t think anybody has denigrated Siva here, but I think a lot of people had unrealistic expectations for him and there were a lot of rebuttals curbing the expectations a bit.  We didn’t have a real PG before the Knight trade, and I think a lot of commenters were acting as if Siva could step in and be our starting PG simply because he was the starting PG on a championship winning NCAA team (which is not a good indicator of professional success.)  The bar will be low for Siva (as it should be,) however that doesn’t mean he can’t outperform it.

  • Aug 6, 20132:34 pm
    by JOB


    there should be some extremely competitive PG v PG practices and scrimmages w Stuckey, Jennings, Bynum, and Siva all probably thinking there’s someone’s lunch to take at the position. Stuckey and Bynum will no doubt be ruthless on Siva… which will be good for Pistons basketball. Good luck to our PGs!

  • Aug 6, 20133:02 pm
    by Crispus


    Remember when we had Carlos Arroyo and he was pretty good? I foresee similar things for Siva.

    • Aug 6, 20133:57 pm
      by Huddy


      3-5 ppg, 3 apg, average to below average defense and horrible shooting percentages…woah dream big.

  • Aug 7, 201310:28 am
    by Finger


    Sooo, tell me again why Charlie V wasn’t amnestied?

  • [...] week for Siva, who officially signed with Detroit on Tuesday. Dan Feldman of PistonPowered.com had a nice breakdown of Siva’s strong performance during the Orlando Summer League. During summer league — an extremely chaotic environment, [...]

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