Detroit Pistons rookie grades: Saben Lee
When you consider that Saben Lee was a second-round draft pick who signed to a two-way contract, the fact that he played at all is pretty impressive, as he is another guy who almost certainly would have spent this season in the G-League under normal circumstances.
Instead, injuries forced him into action and he actually ended up making seven starts for the Pistons this season.
In that time he showed better than advertised defense, plus athleticism, the ability to get to the rim and pretty slick passing once he does.
He was in an out of the rotation after playing some big minutes around midseason and seemed to hit a bit of a rookie wall towards the end, but otherwise his season was a success.
Lee really just needs to work on extending his range as a shooter, as right now he has a serious “Ish Smith” vibe when it comes to shooting beyond 12 feet.
That’s not necessarily an insult, as Smith has been a very good backup point guard in the NBA, but if Lee wants to be more than just a change-of-pace guy who plays 10 minutes a game as a third point guard, then he will need to develop more of a jumper so teams can’t just sag into the lane.
It was a surprising season for Lee, who wasn’t expected to play at all, so his debut was a success.