The Pistons officially waived Deron Washington today, opting to keep Chucky Atkins as the 14th man. From the team's official release:
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. – Detroit Pistons President of Basketball Operations Joe Dumars announced today that the club has requested waivers on guard/forward Deron Washington. He averaged 3.3 points, 0.6 rebounds and 6.4 minutes in seven preseason games.
Washington was drafted by Detroit with the 59th overall pick in the 2008 NBA Draft. He played on the Pistons’ summer league teams each of the last two years and averaged 14.8 points and 7.0 rebounds in 27 games for Hapoel Holon of the Greek League in 2008-09.
Hapoel Holon is an Israeli team, not Greek, but whatever. I'm a little bummed about the move -- I'm not sure what Washington's ceiling is, but it's certainly higher than that of Atkins, a 35-year-old journeyman who's played on six teams in six years since being included in the Rasheed Wallace trade in 2004.
That said, Washington wouldn't have played even if he made the team, and considering the Pistons already have three rookies on the roster, I'm not terribly torn up about the move. I don't expect Atkins to dress on most nights, but if the Pistons are intent on rolling with a three-guard lineup as frequently as they did in the exhibition season, I suppose it does make some sense to keep a guard as insurance.
"You couldn’t see all the things he did from a positive standpoint," Kuester said, referring to Atkins' role in practice. "He has been a great role model for our young point guards. He’s really done an outstanding job of running the team in practice. I think that’s one of the reasons it came down to us keeping him because he’s challenged both of those players everyday in practice. I’m very impressed with not only what he did on the court, but off the court as well."