Five rookies give Pistons chance for season NBA hasn’t seen in six years

Update: As astutely pointed out by Peter in the comments, I failed to account properly for rookies who played for multiple teams. I fixed the excerpt with correct stats.

Me at the Detroit Free Press:

With Khris Middleton’s recent signing, the Pistons have five rookies under contract for next season: Middleton, Andre Drummond, Kim English, Kyle Singler and Slava Kravtsov.

A team that plays five rookies isn’t unique, but it’s rare. In the last 20 years, 33 45 teams have played five rookies, including the San Antonio Spurs, New Orleans Hornets and Golden State Warriors [and Cleveland Cavaliers] last season.

Starting the season with five rookies who play is considerably rarer. The last team to do that: the 2006-07 Milwaukee Bucks.

For the Pistons, playing five rookies is uncommon. They’ve done it just nine 11 times in franchise history, including their first season in the NBA, when nearly their entire roster was comprised of league rookies.

The Pistons haven’t played at least five rookies since 1980-81 (Edmund Lawrence, Lee Johnson, Tony Fuller, Larry Drew, Wayne Robinson and Norman Black) 1982-83 (Ricky Pierce, Walker Russell, Cliff Levingston, Jim Zoet and Jim Johnstone), and they haven’t begun the season with five rookies who played since 1979-80 (Greg Kelser, Roy Hamilton, Phil Hubbard, Earl Evans and Terry Duerod).

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Tags: Andre Drummond Khris Middleton Kim English Kyle Singler Lawrence Frank Vyacheslav Kravtsov

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