The Detroit Pistons were set to have 18 players on a team with only 15 roster spots so we knew something was going to have to give. And on Monday night, the team cleared room by releasing Peyton Siva and Josh Harrellson in order to make room for new signees Caron Butler and DJ Augustin.
The Pistons waived Peyton Siva and Josh Harrellson to make room for Caron Butler and D.J. Augustin— Vincent Goodwill (@vgoodwill) July 15, 2014
It's a harsh business, and now both players are going to have to determine what is next for their respective careers. Siva was a late second-round draft pick in 2013 who, after an abysmal start to his rookie season, put in work and looked like he had a good chance to stick with the roster with strong play in the D League and a late-season surge last year.
But the team upgraded the point guard position through the draft (Spencer Dinwiddie) and free agency (Augustin). Siva averaged 10 points and five assists in Summer League action this year, but a hamstring injury kept him out of the final two games.
Harrellson didn't play at all in Summer League because of a back injury that has kept him away from the team. Whether it was injuries or his lack of size for a traditional center, the man they affectionately call Jorts was squeezed out with the signing of Aaron Gray (still officially unsigned), who doesn't have near the offensive skill of Harrellson but does bring with him a 7-foot, 270-pound frame.
The question now for both players is what's next.
There are essentially three options for each player to continue their career: 1. Catch on with another NBA team with a spot at the end of their roster. 2. Play in the D League 3. Play overseas.
Option No. 1 is obviously preferable but there are a lot of near-NBA talents fighting over one of the few roster spots in the league. Choosing between Nos. 2 and 3 will be a personal, professional and strategic decision. The D League offers a closer pipeline to the NBA, especially as teams increasingly have an ownership stake and/or control of an individual D-League club. The drawback, however, is that players don't make nearly as much money in the minors as opposed to playing with a professional club in Europe, South America or elsewhere.
For young guys like Siva and Harrellson, the chance to play professionally and provide for their families is a big motivating factor. They could, however, opt for the D-League and the Pistons are unveiling their own club this year -- the Grand Rapids Drive.
Wherever their journey takes them, Detroit Bad Boys will be rooting them on. On a team that has been full of "buffoonery" for the past six years, Siva and Harrellson were both talented, gave effort, and looked to be working their tails off to cement a place in the NBA, and the Pistons were a better team for it.
Update: Siva and Harrellson both tweeted about the news:
Thank you to the @DetroitPistons and to the loyal fans we had this past season! It was a joy to play for you all!— Josh Harrellson (@BigJorts55) July 15, 2014