Peyton Siva: 2013-14 Detroit Preview

Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

The national champion has gone from team leader to rookie at the end of the bench. But that doesn't mean he won't be valuable this year.

2012-13 Year in Review

Peyton Siva won a national championship with the Louisville Cardinals. If you didn't know that just ask any Michigan Wolverine fans you know. They'll have plenty to say about Siva, who was a floor general and all-around team leader for that surprising Cardinals team.

But college success doesn't necessarily indicate NBA skills. If you didn't know that just ask any Michigan State Spartan fans you know (cough cough, Mateen Cleaves). And there is a reason that Siva lasted until the No. 56 pick of the NBA Draft. Siva's a little guy with a poor jump shot. But there is a reason Pistons fans were clambering to see the team make room for him on their roster following his performance in the Orlando Summer League.

He's a natural point guard with good court vision, the ability to control the rhythm of the game (an especially nice feat in the hectic summer league) who never seemed to get rattled. A broken jumper can be fixed. The innate abilities of a point guard are much tougher to teach. If you don't believe me I have two words for you: Brandon Knight.

What makes him so good? For that I'll turn to some resident Siva experts -- new members of the DBB family kathy.clater.3 and GoCardsGoCardsGoCards.

GoCardsGoCardsGoCards:

You guys, unequivocally, received the steal of the draft in Peyton Siva. He'll be the hardest working member of your team. He is pure positivity and we're really going to miss that young man down here in Louisville.

Peyton brings people together. You've got a real gem there. The kid is a natural leader.
You guys are so lucky to have drafted peyton siva, he's one of the toughest bball players I've ever seen play the game.

kathy.clater.3:

We're excited for him and for Pistons, too. We're trying to tell you how special he is, I'm talking once in a lifetime special. He wasn't a one and done, we had him 4 years, and I've been a Cardinal fan probably longer than you've been alive, never seen the likes of him before, and never will again.

Folks are underestimating Siva's "bulldog" (as Dumars called it) defense. After an adjustment period, at a minimum he will play a role as a defensive specialist.

Jumper legitimate issue I've acknowledged the issue with the jumper several times before. He has said himself that he is working hard on it, and I know his work ethic. That may take a little time to get it as consistent as we'd all like, but then again, if he already had that, he would have been a first rounder, and the Pistons wouldn't have gotten such a bargain. I still think he will get minutes in the meantime, because he excels at so many other things.

2013-14 Project Production

Yes, Siva was the pointiest of point guards that Pistons fans had seen since the departure of Chauncey Billups. But now he's on the same team as Chauncey Billups ... and Brandon Jennings ... and Rodney Stuckey ... and Will Bynum. In other words, the path to playing time is littered with obstacles.

But that doesn't mean that Siva won't have a role on this team this year. It will be an adjustment for him to go from the vocal leader of a team to just another no-nonsense rookie. But Siva seems humble, and I think his natural leadership skills will serve him well.

And the fact that he seems like a ready-made point guard who can be thrown onto the floor at any time leads me to believe that if there were any injury issues at the point guard position, Siva's name would get called and it would be hard to take him off the floor.

Add to that the fact that if the season shakes out like we all hope, there is definitely a place for a defensive bulldog to pester the opposing point guard while also limiting mistakes on the offensive end and keeping the offense going. Think of Siva as a mini version of Lindsey Hunter or Mike James in the championship year. He offers something that Bynum and Stuckey definitely do not.

And even if he spends nearly all his time on the bench, he strikes me as a player that will put said time to good use. And next year he could be poised to have a real role on this team.

Prediction

6 mpg, 2.5 points, 1.5 assists, 0.5 turnovers, 38% FG, 80% FT

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