Luke Kennard reportedly had a strong showing in the Detroit Pistons open market camp. Is the jump on the horizon?
The Detroit Pistons front office has continued to praise Luke Kennard‘s performance throughout group workouts, especially during the last couple of weeks.
After a knee injury ended Kennard’s campaign last season after just 28 games, all have known this would be a big offseason for the young player. The reports so far have been outstanding.
Many have pointed out, including Kennard himself, that he is in the best shape of his career.
Dwane Casey: “Luke Kennard came in here in great shape. He accomplished and we accomplished with what we wanted to do with him. No tendinitis. I think he’s in the best shape since I’ve coached him. He played with intelligence and confidence.”
This will be huge moving forward, as Kennard has played some great basketball when he has been able to remain healthy.
Not only has Kennard gotten his body right, reports have suggested he has matured in his play as well. This is a must as he will be the longest tenured Piston heading into next season.
Kennard has also been vocal about wanting to take on a leadership role moving forward.
It looks like the Pistons brass are backing him on this, as it was reported last week that the team is considering playing Kennard at point guard some next season.
— Freep Sports (@freepsports) September 25, 2020
Throughout most of his career, Kennard has served as primarily a spot up shooter, but he has shown flashes of playmaking ability. The Pistons will look to capitalize on that more moving forward.
And it looks like experiment is showing signs of promise. Kennard has stated that he feels comfortable with the ball in his hands and has enjoyed making plays in the pick-and-roll.
So what are Pistons fans supposed to do with all of this great news?
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Some would we need to be cautious and damper expectations.
I’m not so sure we need to slow down. This is the year he makes the jump.
A member of the stacked 2017 draft, Kennard is entering his fourth season and has put up solid numbers so far in his career, but he has yet to have an injury free season.
We have seen flashes of his skillset, including a great performance in the 2019 playoffs — in 4 games he averaged 15 points per game, on 60 percent shooting from three.
Even before the injury this past season, he had elevated his scoring up to 15.8 points per game.
Many great players have made the jump after their 3rd season including Khris Middleton, Jimmy Butler, and even James Harden.
Some of these jumps came from increased opportunity, others came from the maturing of their game. Luke Kennard is right in the middle of this Venn diagram.
If the Pistons truly hand over the keys to Kennard next season, we will see his numbers skyrocket.
Many are quick to complain about the team’s decision to select Kennard in a draft that included Jayson Tatum, Bam Adebayo, and most notably Donovan Mitchell — who was drafted a pick after the Piston’s selection.
I would encourage fans to let Kennard really develop before we make any final decisions on his value in his draft. At only 24 years old, he is entering the part of a players career where potential really begins to show in performance.
The jump is coming, Just don’t say we didn’t warn you.