A. Sherrod Blakely has a brief update on Amir Johnson and Cheikh Samb in his summer league preview:
Johnson, who appeared in 62 games last season, appears to have bulked up some this summer for what the Pistons anticipate will be a breakout season for him.
[...] "We think he can be an X-factor type player, a guy that can make plays above the rim, athletically on the defensive end and the offensive end," Dumars said. "He's a young guy that has more athleticism, more speed and energy than anything we have up front. Where we are as a team right now, it's imperative that we have a player on the floor like that right now."
How much has Amir bulked up? We'll find out on Friday when Detroit kicks off the summer league with a televised game against the Lakers on NBA TV. I'm just as curious, if not more, about Cheikh Samb's progress, especially after reading this high praise from Dumars:
Dumars has similar praise for Samb, a player he acknowledges has progressed at a rate quicker than the Pistons anticipated.
Dumars said some front-office executives have reached out to see if he was willing to part with Samb.
"This kid can stroke it; I mean really, really stroke it," Dumars said. "I know I got a 7-foot-1 guy who is coming, in a hurry. He is a guy that I think, in certain situations, can help us this season."
I love the fact that Samb has a nice jumper, but he needs to keep drinking milk and eating spinach if he's even going to dress this year, let alone get into any games. That said, he's definitely a guy to keep an eye on in Vegas this year -- it's his third trip out there since being drafted in 2006.
ASB's article also talks about some of the other lesser-known guys on the roster, and suggests that journeyman Will Bynum has the best chance at actually making the Pistons' roster as the No. 3 point guard behind Chauncey Billups and Rodney Stuckey.
(Also, quick question: are any of you planning on attending the summer league? I know there were some rumblings in the comments a while back about possible plans, but did any of those come together? If so, leave a note in the comments. I'll be out there July 16-21, and while this is a working trip, I always have time for loyal DBB readers.)