Tony Mitchell and Peyton Siva headed to D-League

Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Spor

The seldom-used rookies will get a chance for more playing time with Fort Wayne

Detroit’s two rookie second-round picks, Tony Mitchell and Peyton Siva, will soon be getting an opportunity to play with NBA Development League’s Fort Wayne Mad Ants.

Here’s the Pistons’ official press release:


AUBURN HILLS, Mich. – The Detroit Pistons announced today that the team has assigned rookie forward Tony Mitchell and rookie guard Peyton Siva to the Fort Wayne Mad Ants of the NBA Development League (D-League).

Mitchell has appeared in 10 games this season with the Pistons averaging 1.1 points and 1.1 rebounds in 4.0 minutes per game. He was drafted 37th overall out of North Texas where he led the Sun Belt Conference in blocks at 2.7 per game.

Siva has appeared in 13 games this season with the Pistons averaging 0.3 points, 0.6 rebounds and 0.8 assists in 5.8 minutes per game. Siva, the 56th selection in the second round of the 2013 NBA Draft, won an NCAA Championship and was named to the Final Four All-Tournament Team as a senior at Louisville last year.

While some might think this decision is long overdue, it probably reflects the fact that Detroit’s 15-man roster is as healthy now as it has been since the beginning of training camp. The list of players who have missed time because of injuries or illness since October includes Chauncey Billups, Will Bynum, Luigi Datome, Brandon Jennings, Rodney Stuckey, Charlie Villanueva and Siva.

Also, after a busy schedule to begin the 2013-14 season, the Pistons upcoming slate of games will allow them more time for rest and practice.

Last season, Detroit also assigned its two rookie second-round picks, Kim English and Khris Middleton, to the D-League for brief stints of three games apiece. As yet the Pistons have not indicated how long Mitchell or Siva will stay with Fort Wayne, which is also affiliated with six other NBA teams.

The Mad Ants have upcoming home games scheduled tonight (Dec. 26) against the Reno Bighorns, Saturday (Dec. 28) against the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, and Monday (Dec. 30) against the Sioux Falls Skyforce.

A recent example of a NBA player who apparently benefited from an extended stint in the D-League is Houston’s Terrence Jones, who has become a productive starter this year. In 2012-13 he played 24 games for the Vipers, averaging 19 points and 9 boards in 30.9 minutes per game. He only made 19 appearances for the Rockets last season, but is averaging 9.9 points, 6.5 rebounds and 1.3 blocks in 25.3 minutes per game in 27 games this year.

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