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Exit Interview: Deividas Sirvydis saw little opportunity, but showed just enough to intrigue

The seldom-used wing was given an opportunity late in the season and at least was able to show something

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

If I was writing this review based on the first 67 games of the season, there would be nothing for me to write about Deividas Syrvidis. He was seldom used and was only deployed during garbage time when the game was out of hand, usually in the opposing team’s favor. It is tough to make an impression in the last two minutes of a game, but Sirvydis just looked like a guy. There was nothing to differentiate himself from a random G-Leaguer.

And while there probably still isn’t anything to differentiate himself from a random G-League player, he at least showed something (shooting) during the last couple weeks of the season when he started receiving playing time, including a career-high 16 point showing against the Denver Nuggets on May 14.

Season Overview

Sirvydis is one of many young players on the Pistons roster who was negatively affected by the Pistons opting out of the G-League bubble. While young players who needed time in the G-League like Sekou Doumbouya, Saben Lee, and Frank Jackson were all able to work themselves into the rotation at various points in the season, Sirvydis was not afforded the same opportunity.

Chances to get on the court and play are very important to developing players even if it is against lower tier competition like the G-League. That is not to say that you cannot develop while riding the bench in the NBA, just being around the team is valuable in itself. This is evidenced by the Pistons wanting the new G-League team located in Detroit to allow for players to practice with the Pistons and play in the G-League.

But missing out on an opportunity to just get on the court and play for a player trying to transition from Lithuania to the daily rigors of the NBA is tough. However, Sirvydis stuck with it and from all indications from the coaches, worked hard in practice. And when he finally got the opportunity to play once the Pistons season was all but over and they were jockeying for lottery position, he showed some flashes that are worth at least exploring while the Pistons are near the bottom of the league.

The Good

Sirvydis was billed as a shooter coming into the draft in 2020, and he showed that in the NBA. He has a quick release that allows him to get shots off quickly off the catch. He showed that in the Denver game where he hit 4 three-pointers. He also did this, which is not something to regularly expect:

He shot 36% from 3-point range on the season on a very small sample size (1.4 attempts). That is with a lot of garbage time minutes where you are just trying to get shots up no matter if they are great shots or not. In the last 5 games of the season, he shot 40% from beyond the arc.

He also uses his 6-foot-8 height to grab rebounds. I wouldn’t call him a great rebounder by any stretch of the imagination due to his limited athleticism, but he can at least use his height pretty well to grab rebounds. He grabbed 6 rebounds twice and also had a 5 rebound game sandwiched between those. That all happened in the last 5 games when he was actually receiving playing time (18.4 minutes)

Sirvydis also wasn’t a ball stopper. He mostly stayed out of the way and kept the ball moving. That isn’t a skill that is a reason to keep a player around, but he at least showed that he can play team basketball.

The Bad

Syrvidis didn’t play enough to fully judge some of his bad habits as a player. He is very limited athletically which will always cause him problems defensively. He also mostly looked lost on defense in the minutes that he played, which is not a surprise from a young player who didn’t play a lot.

He is never going to defend well in space, but you can tolerate it if he becomes a reliable knockdown shooter from beyond the arc. There were some flashes, but not enough for him to even be close to a regular rotation member next season.

He is also not very strong, which means he is going to get pushed around on both ends of the court. It also prevents you from hiding him on slower players defensively where you could better cover for his limited athleticism. He has the height to stick down low, but not the strength.

Should he stay or should he go?

I think he showed enough offensively to at least keep him around next year. He is likely destined for a career of riding the bench unless he is able to strengthen up a bit or become a knockdown shooter off movement.

With the current state of the Pistons roster, they are in need of some bench shooting and there really isn’t any roster spots that Sirvydis could be taking from somebody right now. That could easily change after the draft, especially with the Pistons having four picks.

If Sirvydis does stick around, he will likely spend most of next season in the G-League while working with the Pistons strength and conditioning coaches to bulk up.

He turned 21 in June, so there is a world where he could be a part of the next great Pistons team as a bench shooter. I would not bet any money on it though.

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