A Piston is back on top of the leaderboards. It may only be the Summer League, but two games in, Detroit’s Kentavious Caldwell-Pope is leading the Orlando Summer League in points per game(28) and is top-five for rebounds per game (8.0). During Sunday’s game against the Memphis Grizzlies, Caldwell-Pope averaged a basket for almost every two minutes he was on the court.
The 2-0 Pistons should welcome these stats after a disappointing rookie season for their shooting guard.
Third on the depth chart for the regular season behind Kyle Singler and veteran Rodney Stuckey, and averaging less than 20 minutes a game, Caldwell-Pope did not get much time to shine until now. The 21 year-old Piston is only joined by two other regular season teammates, Peyton Siva and Tony Mitchell, putting Caldwell-Pope in the leadership role he needs to grow.
In a time when the future of Detroit basketball could change in an instant, Stan Van Gundy must be happy to know there is hope waiting on his bench in the form of shooting talent. Josh Smith tossed up bricks too often to be Detroit’s jump-shot messiah. Meanwhile, point guard acquisition Brandon Jennings failed to wow crowds at the Palace with his shooting skills as well.
Two games in to the summer league is way too early to claim that he will have a breakout NBA season, however. But with Jodie Meeks coming to Detroit to challenge KCP for his job, Caldwell-Pope will have a new motivation to keep up the hustle.
Colin Jackson is a multimedia journalist for Impact Sports.