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Luke Kennard sidelined for Vegas Summer League with knee strain

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The second-year shooting guard will be shut down for Summer League

NBA: Preseason-Detroit Pistons at Toronto Raptors Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

From Pistons.com’s Keith Langlois:

Shutting Luke Kennard down is a good move for the Pistons insofar as Luke is too valuable to the long-term future of Detroit to risk further injury in games that do not matter. Luke’s the shooting guard of the future, there’s no reason for him to play if there’s the slightest chance he could be injured further.

This is unfortunate for both Pistons fans and coaches, though. Fans get to miss out on watching a core piece participate (and hopefully dominate), and the coaching staff doesn’t get to see whether or not Luke can expand his game to play point guard against live competition. There’s a vocal section of Pistons fans that remain VERY interested in Luke as a primary ballhandler, and Dwane Casey’s new coaching staff had expressed interest in seeing if that was possible. Now, the only reps Luke might get at point guard will come in training camp.

Well, now the coaching staff and fans will probably get a better look at the Pistons rookies - Khyri Thomas and Bruce Brown - at both guys natural position of shooting guard. This also puts an evaluation emphasis on Henry Ellenson. We know Luke will be fine, and the Pistons can afford for the rookie second-rounders not to contribute right away. But right now, with the loss of Anthony Tolliver, Henry Ellenson looks like a definite rotation player in Detroit and is perhaps one Blake Griffin ankle tweak away from starting. The Vegas spotlight will be honed on Ellenson instead of splitting between he and Kennard.

The Pistons’ first summer league game is Friday, July 6, at 7 p.m. against the Milwaukee Bucks.