Detroit Pistons: Was cutting LiAngelo Ball a big mistake?

US basketball player LiAngelo Ball takes part in his first training session in Prienai, LithuaniaAFP PHOTO / Petras Malukas (Photo credit should read PETRAS MALUKAS/AFP via Getty Images)
US basketball player LiAngelo Ball takes part in his first training session in Prienai, LithuaniaAFP PHOTO / Petras Malukas (Photo credit should read PETRAS MALUKAS/AFP via Getty Images) /

LiAngelo Ball has been waived by the Detroit Pistons. Is that a mistake they could pay dearly for later, or a smart move?

In its first two preseason games, everyone on the Detroit Pistons 20-man roster got at least a couple of minutes of playing time, except one: LiAngelo Ball.

It appears LiAngelo Ball will never get a chance to play for Detroit. Not everyone apparently likes ‘Gelo’ as it was announced that Ball was waived by the Pistons. Also let go were Anthony Lamb and Louis King.

Ball, a 6-foot-5 guard/forward, was attempting to be the third brother in the family to make an NBA team. Lonzo is with the New Orleans Pelicans, while LaMelo is a rookie with the Charlotte Hornets.

So this is not happening:

Ball reportedly had an ankle injury that may have cost him a chance to get into either Knicks game. Unlike other sports, the NBA does not have an injured list, where he might have been stashed.

Detroit coach Dwane Casey was able to slip King and Lamb into the last few minutes of the seconds Knicks contest (where they helped hold off the Knicks starters for the win).

The Pistons have two more exhibition games left on their schedule that Ball could have gotten in. They play at the Washington Wizards twice, beginning on Thursday.

As one could imagine, LiAngelo’s father, LaVar Ball, was none too thrilled with the Pistons decision. According to a Bleacher Report AMA, he said:

"“I definitely have thoughts on that. The people in Detroit are great. I love the fans, but the franchise over there is raggedy as hell. They don’t know a good player. I was giving them a lottery pick for free! Has the skills to play and the notoriety to bring everybody to the game. How do you throw that out the window?”They’re gonna learn the hard way. My boys are gonna end up together playing somewhere. ‘Gelo can shoot the lights out. That was raggedy what they did. But hey, they’re gonna learn the hard way.”"

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Ball signed an Exhibit 10 contract with the Pistons. That means he gets paid extra if he agrees to play for their G-League team. Of course, Ball can not join something that does not exist. Detroit has reportedly turned down fielding a G-League team in the proposed suburban Atlanta bubble, and it is up in the air whether the Grand Rapids Drive will even have a season.

So, were the Pistons ‘raggedy as hell’ for letting Ball go?

No media was allowed to watch the Pistons training camp scrimmages and he did not play in any exhibition games, so it is hard to know how Ball measured up to the other players.

Another problem was Detroit has 15 guaranteed contracts on its roster. That means, if they kept Ball, they would have to eat someone else’s contract.

One thing to consider as well, is this could hurt Detroit in the future if the Pistons ever have any interest in signing his brothers Lonzo or LaMelo Ball. Would there be any residual animosity from cutting their brother towards the organization? It is something to think about.

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A G-League pickup by Detroit, with some extra money in his pocket, for LiAngelo might salve the wounds. The Pistons just need a G-League to put him on.

Unless you have been in LIthuania, no one has really seen any ‘Gelo shots’ in real action in a while. In the coming years, we will see if the Pistons made a big mistake letting LiAngelo ball go.