clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

2015 Orlando Summer League: Detroit Pistons roster, preview and more

The Pistons will once again take part in the smaller Orlando Summer League while skipping the Las Vegas edition.


July 4, 11am, Detroit vs. Orlando White

July 5, 1pm, LA Clippers vs. Detroit

July 6, 5pm, Detroit vs. Miami

July 8, 3pm, Indiana vs. Detroit

*All times are EST.

**All games will be broadcast on NBATV from the practice court at the Amway Center.

Orlando as usual will field two teams in the event, bringing the total of teams up to 10.  Besides the Pistons and the two Orlando teams, the other competitors are the LA Clippers, Miami Heat, Indiana Pacers, Brooklyn Nets, Charlotte Hornets, Memphis Grizzlies and Oklahoma City Thunder.

I'm unsure of how the two Magic teams will be broken up, but potentially there is a chance for Detroit to face the man they apparently coveted with the 8th pick in Mario Hezonja, if he makes it to the States in time for the event (he was supposed to attend the draft but was a no-show due to apparently being forced to train by the Barcelona coach after being swept in the Euroleague finals by Real Madrid).

The big matchup, however, and one which will follow these two players for the rest of their careers, is the Pistons vs. Heat game on July 6, which will be a battle between two oft-compared prospects in Stanley Johnson and the man Detroit passed on for him, Justise Winslow.

The Clippers roster won't be as star studded due to not having a first round pick this year and last year's selection being 28th pick C.J. Wilcox.

The Pacers will likely look to feature 11th pick Myles Turner in their games, along with second round pick Joseph Young and possibly Solomon Hill, a 2013 first round pick.

The Brooklyn Nets will feature Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, whom they traded for on draft day, along with Steve Blake, to Portland for Mason Plumlee and Pat Connaughton.  Chris McCullough, 29th pick, will also get plenty of opportunity.

The Charlotte Hornets will no longer feature near-Piston Noah Vonleh after his trade to Portland.  Instead, Frank Kaminsky will be a featured player.  Jeremy Lamb may also feature after being traded from OKC, as well as P.J. Hairston, who drew the ire of most of the league last season for his helicopter impersonation against the San Antonio Spurs.

The Grizzlies have a few young players to keep an eye on, including newest draftees Jarell Martin and Andrew Harrison (acquired from Phoenix for Jon Leuer), 2014 Summer League standout Jordan Adams and former Louisville guard Russ Smith.

The Oklahoma City Thunder will be headlined by the last lottery-pick, Cameron Payne, as well as second rounder Dakari Johnson.  Perry Jones may also participate.

Pistons Roster

The Pistons have eight confirmed players for their summer league roster, and will likely be looking for a center or two to fill out the wing-heavy roster.  The roster will also feature the 38th picks in the 2012, 2014 and 2015 drafts (2013 38th pick Nate Wolters is under contract with the Grand Rapids Drive).

Spencer Dinwiddie | 6-6 | 205 | PG | 38th pick, 2014 | Colorado

Dinwiddie was Van Gundy's lone selection in his first draft as head coach and general overlord of the Pistons last year, drafted early in the second round with the 38th pick.  After tearing his ACL while playing for Colorado in January of 2014, his stock, which was holding steady as a strong first round prospect, quickly eviscerated into him being available in the second round, causing Bill Simmons to sing praise once Mark Tatum read the name off the card.  Dinwiddie appeared in 34 games his rookie season, averaging 13.4 minutes, 4.3 points and 3.1 assists, but shot poorly from the field, going 30% from the floor and 19% from downtown, but he made up for it with a 91% FT success rate.

Quincy Miller | 6-9 | 210 | PF | 38th pick, 2012 | Baylor

Miller was a late-season pickup by the Pistons, after he was not signed in Sacramento following two 10-day contracts.  Miller, despite being acquired in February by the team, would have to wait until the end of the season to get some run, appearing in the final four games of season 2014-15, averaging 5 points in 14.5 minutes.  In his limited time, he shot it poorly like Dinwiddie, shooting 25% from the floor and 18% from distance, actually both improvements on his Sacramento numbers.  Miller was viewed as a developmental prospect by Van Gundy, hence the 2-year, partially guaranteed contract handed out to him.  Despite being listed at 210 pounds, many early reports this summer have indicated that he has been hitting the gym hard every day to add weight to play the power forward spot for Van Gundy, so his weight may actually realistically be closer to 225-230.  Either way, his career has not quite panned out as the #2 prospect in high school behind Anthony Davis in 2011. Here's hoping Detroit can give him some stability, starting with this summer league.

Stanley Johnson | 6-7 | 245 | SF | 8th pick, 2015 | Arizona

Johnson gets his first chance to impress Pistons brass and teammates in the upcoming tournament.  He will likely be the featured man on offense, giving him a chance to showcase his skills which he says include not only strength in driving, but also a floater, mid range game, and his 37% three point shooting.  Johnson's performances in the showcase will be heavily scrutinized by haterzz, including Chad Ford and Drew Sharp, especially in the must-watch third game where he will face off against someone he labels a friend in Justise Winslow, but someone the media has painted as the superior prospect and someone Stanley can only dream of emulating.  Either way, a salivating July 6 is in store. Stay tuned.

Darrun Hilliard | 6-6 | 215 | SG | 38th pick, 2015 | Villanova

Hilliard was a surprise selection in the second round to everyone who was outside the war room at The Palace of Auburn Hills.  A lot of draft boards and mock drafts (mine included) had him as undrafted.  Van Gundy says you're all idiots, because he's obviously a top 25 player in his eyes.  Hilliard brings shooting and defense to the perimeter, projecting as a 3-and-D player, someone potentially in the mold of Khris Middleton, but smaller.  Van Gundy said Hilliard will get a long look at summer league and during preseason, but he's already failed the first test, selecting #6 as his jersey number, something Stanley Johnson was quick to point out at the introductory press conference.

Adonis Thomas | 6-7 | 240 | SF/SG | Undrafted, 2013 | Memphis

Thomas' physical build fits his name.  At 6-7 and 240 pounds, he is almost an exact replica of Stanley Johnson physically.  Thomas came out of the University of Memphis after his sophomore season in 2013 and went undrafted before latching onto the Springfield Armor in the D-League.  In the 2013-14 NBA season, he played 4 games with the Orlando Magic and 2 games with the Philadelphia 76ers, averaging a combined 6.2 minutes and 2.3 points over the 6 games, while shooting 43% from the field, 20% from three, and a flawless free throw performance, 100%.  The Sixers were so bad at the time that he actually started one of the games for them.  Since then, Thomas has spent his time with the Grand Rapids Drive, acquired by the Pistons' D-League affiliate in November 2014.  Over the 14-15 season, he averaged 19 points per game with 4.9 rebounds, shooting 43%, with 37% shooting from behind the arc and 86% from the free throw line, all over 36 minutes per game for 50 games, all starts.  At the moment, he's the only member of the Drive to be signed for Summer League, although more could join for preseason (I'm looking at you Hasheem).

Billy Baron | 6-2 | 194 | PG | Undrafted, 2014 | Canisius

Baron is a Pennsylvania native who went undrafted in 2014 before signing for BC Lietuvos Rytas of Luthuania for the 14-15 season.  Unusually, Baron played for three colleges over his collegiate career, without having to redshirt a single season.  He played his freshman year at Virginia and his sophomore season at Rhode Island before rounding out his career with two years at Canisius.  In the Eurocup for Rytas this season, over 17 games he averaged 6.1 points and 11.5 minutes, shooting 53% from the field, 48% from three (19-40) and 70% from the free throw line.

Julian Washburn | 6-8 | 210 | SF | Undrafted, 2015 | UTEP

Washburn was one of the 50-odd players that Stan Van Gundy and the Pistons worked out during the pre-draft process.  Ultimately, he went undrafted out of UTEP, but has since signed on to play summer league with Detroit.  According to his profile on the UTEP athletics page, he is the Miners' all-time leader in minutes played, and ranks in the top 12 in field goals (4th), scoring (6th), three pointers (8th), assists (11th) and steals (12th).  He hails from the same alma mater as Pistons assistant Tim Hardaway Sr., so expect Hardaway to pay a little more attention to him than the others.  Over his college career, Washburn averaged 11.7 points, 3.8 rebounds and 34.2 minutes per game over 130 career contests, shooting 47% from the field, 34% from three and 70% from the free throw line.

Steven Gray | 6-5 | 205 | SG | Undrafted, 2011 | Gonzaga

Gray is the oldest player here, turning 26 a few months ago in April.  A native of Irondale, Washington, he played 4 seasons at Gonzaga from 2007-2011 (2 of them with Austin Daye) before going undrafted in 2011 and then signing with BK Ventspils in Latvia.  Since then, he has played exclusively in France with Chorale Roanne Basket, BCM Gravelines and, most recently, JDA Dijon.  Over his 4 year college career, Gray averaged 11.5 points and 3.5 rebounds over 31.7 minutes a game.  He played in 125 games for Gonzaga, and shot the ball reasonably well, finishing with a shooting slash of 45% from the field, 37% from downtown and 76% from the charity stripe.

The roster, as I mentioned above, is very wing-heavy, with Quincy Miller the only serious big (and even that's pushing it given his slender frame).  I guess in Summer League, Johnson and Thomas could theoretically man the power forward spot in small ball situations (after all, Tony Mitchell was the starting center last year).  However, expect the team to announce commitments from some other players soon, probably a center, although nothing is definite yet, I'm just guessing based on the roster.

That's it for now.  We'll continue to update the post if anymore players are added to the roster, but in the meantime, how do you see our main developmental targets (Dinwiddie, Miller, Johnson, Hilliard, Thomas) developing, and who would you try to add to the squad?


Justin Harper | 6-10 | 225 | PF | 32nd pick, 2011 | Richmond

Harper has been added to the Summer League squad for the second year in a row.  Since graduating from Richmond in 2011, he has spent time in both Europe and the D-League after having a cup of coffee with Orlando his rookie season after being drafted by Cleveland.  A sweet shooting PF in college, he shot the three ball at 38% over his 4 years, and 45% in his senior season.  He averaged 10.6 points per game and 4.8 rebounds over his college career, and was a 71% FT shooter.  Last season he played for Sidigas Avellino, appearing in 29 games and averaging 12.4 points and 4.9 rebounds per game in 26.9 minutes of action, shooting the ball at a 48% rate from the field and 38% from three, whilst converting 78% of his free throws.  He becomes the biggest body on the roster, and may play center in the starting lineup with Quincy Miller at PF and Stanley Johnson at SF.  However, in the NBA, he's more of a stretch four.