With training camp just a month away, ESPN has rolled out its #NBArank series. The countdown of the league’s top-500 players focuses on what the ESPN Forecast panel predicts that a player’s impact and level of play will be in the upcoming season.
That”s why a pre-crazy Lamar Odom in 2012 was No. 130 and a reportedly crazy Lamar Odom in 2013 is currently projected as the No. 462 player.
This early in the rankings, you’re looking at guys who are young, unproven or just your average end-of-the-bench players; and that’s basically what you’ve got with Siva and Datome.
It’s a situation where, while both players present some amount of value to the Pistons in 2013, they aren’t going to make or break your season if they live up to these low rankings.
Right now, Siva is probably the No. 5 or 6 guard on this team. Now that doesn’t mean he’s destined to be a schmuck, but if the Pistons are the quasi-playoff team some think they can be, he’s probably not a rotation guy right now.
Datome, on the other hand, might have a chance to be a guy this season.
This isn’t a perfectly constructed roster by any means, but if you can hit 3-pointers, you can probably get on the floor. Part of what made the apparently-great shooter Kim English expendable was that the Pistons picked up another, albeit more proven, apparently-great shooter in Datome.
He’s had a pretty strong EuroCup with Team Italy, too, putting up 14 points and 5.5 rebounds a night to go with two threes a game. If he can bring something close to that production to the table this season, he should exceed his No. 397 ranking and be a very valuable piece for the spacing-challenged Pistons.