Walker Russell's D-League performance predicted he'd have NBA success

Like most Pistons fans I’m sure, I really like watching Walker Russell play. He’s really the only guard on the roster who understands what a play-making guard is supposed to do. The Pistons are rebuilding and loaded with expensive guards, so it’s still a longshot that Russell sticks with the team, but he should. Scott Schroeder of Ridiculous Upside pointed out just how solid Russell has been for the Pistons:

It’s possible to go to Hoopdata.com and see that Walker Russell Jr. is now 15th in the NBA in terms of assist rate.

Schroeder also pointed out an article on Russell by Sam Farber of NBA.com that looked at some of Russell’s advanced stats prior to his call-up this season:

Perhaps the most telling statistic for Walker Russell Jr. is one called assist percentage (AST%) which estimates the percentage of his teammates’ made baskets that he assists. Russell’s AST% is a staggering 39.7% — by far the best in the NBA D-League.

Let that number sink in for moment…when Russell is on the floor, he assists TWO out of every FIVE made baskets by the Mad Ants – simply phenomenal …

… when Russell is on the floor for the Mad Ants, they score more points per 100 possessions, shoot at a higher percentage and have better movement (indicated by percentage of made baskets that are assisted). These statistics coupled with Russell’s speed, veteran savvy and astute court vision should make him a valuable contributor for the Detroit Pistons.

Russell like Will Bynum before him has been a great diamond in the rough find for the Pistons. Like Bynum, Russell may not become a full-time starter in the league, but he looks to have a bright future as a competent, rotation point guard who would be a nice addition to virtually any roster.

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