The Pistons had to sign Peyton Siva.
With the No. 56 pick in the draft, Siva was fine value, but I didn’t really like the pick, because the Pistons were clearly running out of roster spots. I would have preferred they drafted someone who’s already playing overseas and didn’t plan to join the NBA next season.
Fortunately, the Pistons’ trade of Brandon Knight, Khris Middleton and Viacheslav Kravtsov for Brandon Jennings cleared a roster spot for Siva and rendered my concerns moot. Predictably once that trade was made, the Pistons signed Siva.
The trade surely wasn’t made to clear a roster spot for Siva, but the deal saved Detroit a little embarrassment. The Pistons knew their roster breakdown when they drafted Siva rather than an overseas player, when they allowed Kravtsov’s contract to become guaranteed, when they allowed the amnesty window to close without using the provision on Charlie Villanueva, etc. They also knew they’d have a limited window after the draft to assess Siva.
And, man, did Siva look good in that window. During summer league – an extremely chaotic environment, given the players’ inexperience and lack of time working with their teammates – Siva had 24 assists and just six turnovers. His 4:1 assists to turnover ratio led summer leagues, counting both Orlando and Las Vegas.
Here’s just how much Siva’s care of the ball bested every other team’s assist leader:
The only other player in Siva’s stratosphere, Dwight Buycks (24 assists, 7 turnovers), got a guaranteed contract. The other two assist leaders with assist-to-turnover ratios even half Siva’s, Nate Wolters and Kendall Marshall, also have contracts for the next season.
Summer league stats reveal only so much, but Siva did everything possible to impress in his lone opportunity to do so after being drafted. The Pistons obviously liked what Siva showed before the draft, and to let him go after he aced his post-draft test would have been foolish.
I’m not convinced Siva will ever become a difference-making NBA player, but he definitely deserves a chance to stick with the Pistons into training camp, and I’m glad he’s getting at least that.