The 2017 NBA Summer League will kick off in Orlando this weekend with the Pistons’ first game coming up on Saturday afternoon against the Oklahoma City Thunder at 5 p.m.
The squad had their first practice today, with rosters being announced. It’ll be made up of:
Lorenzo Brown, G, 17
Will Davis II, F, 29
Henry Ellenson, F, 8
Trey Freeman, G, 18
Michael Gbinije, G/F, 35
Rahlir Hollis-Jefferson, F, 24
Pierre Jackson, G, 55
Luke Kennard, G, 23
Markus Kennedy, F, 38
Eric Moreland, C, 36
Landry Nnoko, C, 45
Marcus Simmons, G, 20
Hollis Thompson, F, 37
Mike Tobey, C, 43
Dez Wells, G, 31
Derek Willis, F, 33
Assistant coach Bob Beyer will handle the coaching duties. Stanley Johnson will be on hand to participate in Summer League practices, but won’t take part in the games.
It’s easy to expect Henry Ellenson and Luke Kennard to be in the spotlight for the Pistons as their most recent first round draft picks. Michael Gbinije is the only other player on the Summer League roster currently under contract for the Pistons next season. Though his contract isn’t guaranteed for next season, so he’s playing for his job in Orlando.
But you may also recognize names like Lorenzo Brown, Trey Freeman, and Marcus Simmons from stints with the Grand Rapids Drive. Brown in particular has made some appearances with the Pistons and seems to be the team’s perennial 16th man on the roster. Unfortunately for him, the NBA’s roster limit is 15.
The roster includes a few other intriguing names. Hollis Thompson has extensive NBA experience as a former sharpshooter for the Philadelphia 76ers, boasting a career 38.6 percent career three point percentage. After being waived by Philly last season, he’s looking to get his career back on track.
Eric Moreland was connected to the Pistons way back two years ago as a potential free agent, but ultimately signed with the Kings. He had a nice season in the D-League last year, averaging 13 points, 12 rebounds, 1.7 steals, and 2.7 blocks per game. Perhaps most impressively, he managed an even worse free throw percentage than Andre Drummond, 37.7 percent compared to Dre’s 38.6 percent.
But the guy you’re going to enjoy watching most will be Pierre Jackson. Jackson is an undersized point guard who has long been on the fringe of the NBA but can really fill up the basket. Last year he averaged 22 points per game on 63 percent true shooting percentage and 7.7 assists for the Texas Legends in the D-League. That earned him a pair of 10 day contracts with the Dallas Mavericks, but it was Yogi Ferrell that ultimately earned the backup job ahead of him in Dallas.
As a reminder, the Summer League always has a few fun quirks in its rules. It uses a point system to determine the standings with eight points being awarded each game. Teams get four points for winning the game and one point for winning each quarter - those beloved puppy points.
The Pistons schedule is:
July 1 at 5 p.m. vs. Oklahoma City Thunder
July 2 at 1 p.m. vs. New York Knicks
July 4 at 5 p.m. vs. Miami Heat
July 5 at 3 p.m. vs. Charlotte Hornets
A championship day will be played on July 6, with opponents based on standings. Games are televised on NBA TV and typically have some streaming option available as well, either at the NBA Summer League page or on the Watch ESPN app.