After spending several weeks buried on the bench, Khris Middleton and Kim English will finally get some playing time ... in the D-League. The Detroit Pistons announced today the two rookies have been assigned to the Fort Wayne Mad Ants. From the team's press release earlier this afternoon:
Middleton was drafted 39th overall in the 2012 NBA Draft by the Pistons. The Texas A&M product has appeared in three games this season averaging 1.3 points, 0.7 assists and 0.7 steals. He scored a season-high four points and recorded two steals at Houston (11/10).
English, the 44th pick of the 2012 NBA Draft from the University of Missouri, has seen action in 10 games with the Pistons this season. He scored a season-high eight points twice [vs. Houston (10/31) and at L.A. Lakers (11/4)]. English is averaging 3.2 points, 0.5 rebounds and 0.7 assists while shooting 50% (8-16) from three-point range.
Not that long ago, getting assigned to the D-League was like falling off the face of the earth -- at least from the perspective of fans trying to track a player's progress. These days, the D-League streams 350 live games a year on YouTube -- including tonight's road game between the Mad Ants and the Canton Charge (7 p.m. ET).
According to MLive's David Mayo, though, the duo likely won't travel to Canton tonight:
Head coach Lawrence Frank said earlier this week that he expects English and Middleton to practice with the Pistons on Thursday, then travel to Fort Wayne in time to practice there.
After tonight's game, the Mad Ants have a three-game homestand with games on Friday, Saturday and Tuesday. (See the full schedule.) After that, Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press suspects the rookies might return:
The stint is expected to be short, perhaps just for the Mad Ants' three home games between now and Tuesday. The team likes the idea of sending guys down together, to make it a shared experience.
The Pistons haven't ruled out sending down rookie Ukrainian center Slava Kravtsov later, but he is in a different situation while still getting accustomed to life in the U.S.