Add another name to the list of players making their way to Orlando with the Detroit Pistons. Former Kentucky standout DeAndre Liggins will play for the Pistons Summer League squad.
According to Kentucky Sports Radio, Liggins will get a chance to make the Pistons roster after spending part of last season with the Miami Heat. The former Kentucky standout on defense played out two 10-day contracts with the Heat last year and spent a majority of the season playing for the D-League’s Sioux Falls Skyforce.
The D-League Defensive Player of the Year last season, Liggins held opponents to a 45% field goal percentage and averaged a league best 2.6 steals per game.
Besides being named the Defensive Player of the Year and to the all-defensive team, Liggins was a second team All D-Leaguer last season. The 26 year old averaged 14 points per game and nearly 5 assists per contest.
After a 31-19 season, Skyforce head coach Pat Delany was quick to credit Liggins’ approach to the game as a major factor in his team’s success.
“DeAndre is an NBA caliber player who brought it day in and day out and was able to impact games with and without the ball. His hard work is well respected around the league.”
Liggins was drafted 53rd overall in the 2011 NBA Draft by Stan Van Gundy and the Orlando Magic. One year later, he signed with the Oklahoma City Thunder and played in 39 games his sophomore season.
He was then waived in September of 2013 after being charged with seven charges related to a domestic violence dispute.
Beyond being a good defensive player, Liggins was one of the most athletic players in the Developmental League last season.
Ridiculious Upside’s Keith Schlosser wrote about that part of his game last season.
Liggins’ numbers aren’t all that imposing or overwhelming, despite how impressive they may be. He isn’t the best shooter nor scorer, either.
Still, his athleticism and fiery nature on the court are downright scary. Liggins is quick, has plenty of eye-popping spring in his step, and could probably beat out any fellow D-League athlete in an 100 yard dash. What’s more, his strong physical frame and long arms help him pull down the boards and pester opposing offensive players. He’s energetic, intense, and there’s plenty of bounce in his legs.
Liggins may not be the best player in all of the D-League, but often times, that isn’t necessarily a trait NBA executives tend to look for. Instead, the question more often than not lies within what kind of impact such a player can make for a team in The Association.
Liggins could fit nicely in Detroit as a role player that gets things done and provides some leverage off the bench. At the least, he provides a nice perimeter defender for the Pistons if he earns a spot on the roster. At Kentucky, the shooting guard also proved that he could shoot the basketball.
He shot 39% from beyond the arc during his third and final season as a Wildcat.