The Detroit Pistons are building an exciting young core in their rebuild of the franchise. The wait to see the young talent will not be long as they have one of the most star-studded Summer League rosters across the NBA. The Pistons were thrilled to see Jaden Ivey slip to the fifth pick and selected him with no hesitation before holding off trade suitors. Detroit also traded for Jalen Duren and several veterans to help with the development of its young players. The Pistons will begin their 2022 NBA Las Vegas Summer League season on July 7 against the Portland Trail Blazers.
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Why Pistons fans should be hyped for 2022 NBA Las Vegas Summer League
3. The Syracuse Boys
While most of the closely monitored Summer League prospects are the highly ranked draft picks, there are plenty of fun storylines to watch. Two guys to keep an eye on are Buddy and Jimmy Boeheim. The two Syracuse standouts are the sons of famed Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim. Each player had an impressive college career, and Detroit signed Buddy Boeheim to a two-way deal following the draft.
Both players played a vital role in Syracuse’s success. Buddy led the team in scoring at 19.2 points per game last season, while Jimmy also added 13.7 points per game. While they will make their money as shooters, it is unclear if they will be able to hold up on the defensive side of the ball. Standing 6’6″ and 6’8″, they each have NBA size and shooting ability, but there is a concern with their footspeed and athleticism. Summer League will be the Boeheim boys’ first opportunity to see how they measure against NBA competition. Both guys have a ton to prove and will be doing their best to show their stuff.
2. Killian Hayes
After being drafted overall in the 2020 NBA Draft, the career of Killian Hayes has not gotten off to an ideal start. During his two years in the NBA, Hayes has averaged 6.8 points, 4.5 assists, 3.0 rebounds, and 1.1 steals. He also has shot just 26.8% on 3-point attempts while launching 2.6 attempts per game. The early years of his career have included some injury hurdles, and he has yet to fully find his stride.
While the potential of Hayes is still there, the backcourt has gotten much more crowded. There is still plenty of time for Hayes to grow, but the clock is ticking in his time in Detroit. The 20-year-old has not shown much progress in his two seasons in the NBA. The Pistons are sure to be looking for Hayes to be taking some steps forward in his game. The Frenchman could benefit his career if he can show more off-ball ability. The ball-handling opportunities simply will not be as prevalent this season, so adapting to this will be crucial. There is certain to be a great deal of pressure on Hayes heading into this season, and getting off to a strong start in Summer League would go a long way to helping his case.
1. New-Look Backcourt
The backcourt duo of Cade Cunningham and Jaden Ivey has the highest potential of any guard duo in the NBA. Cunningham is coming off an impressive first season in the NBA in which he earned a place on the All-Rookie First Team. The 6’6″ guard averaged 17.4 points, 5.6 assists, 5.5 rebounds, and 1.2 steals in his first season. The mature feel to his game is expected to fit extremely well alongside Ivey. The thrilling rookie from Purdue has an eye-popping athleticism and the feel of a potential star.
The wait to see how the two players look alongside each other will be over soon. The Summer League will serve as a solid trial for the duo. Each guy is fairly ball-dominant, so there are sure to be some growing pains along the way. While some may be surprised to see Cunningham on the Summer League roster, getting in the practice time is important and we hopefully will see at least a little of the Cunningham-Ivey backcourt. It would be a surprise to see Cunningham play all that much in Vegas, but even a little taste should get Pistons fans hyped.
There are plenty of other exciting players on the Pistons’ Summer League roster. Isaiah Stewart and Saddiq Bey are also on the team. While many teams use Summer League as a tryout for the bottom of their roster, the Pistons have so many talented young players that they are more interested in how they will fit together. There is a real argument that Detroit has the most impressive roster across all Summer League teams, with the Oklahoma City Thunder up there as well. It may not be the true NBA quality, but this will be an excellent chance to see how the young pieces look together. We will see just how much these guys play in Vegas.