Follow me here, as we go down the rabbit hole of last-minute Pistons moves:
- On Media Day, a Detroit Pistons roster was released that showed only 17 players, the 15 with NBA contracts and the two two-way players. NBA teams are allowed 20 players in training camp.
- Later that night, the Pistons announced that rookie Anthony Tarke had been waived. Now, how do you waive a player who was not on the roster?
On the opening day of training camp, the Pistons announced the signing of three free agents: two were Cassius Stanley and Detroit native Derrick Walton Jr., both of which had been widely reported. The third name was …. Deividas Sirvydis.
Following the dots, Stanley, Walton Jr. and Tarke had been known for a while as the three players coming to camp on non-guaranteed contracts. Basically, getting a tryout.
- It is not like these players didn’t know for a while they were coming to the Pistons Performance Center. Yet, the day before camp, the three were left off the roster. The announcement was made the morning of training camp, when their presence would be obvious (‘Hey, there’s three more guys than we were told out there.’)
- The release of Tarke and the signings of Stanley, Walton Jr. and Sirvydis all were announced after Media Day. So these three players were not involved in it. Walton Jr., a local guy, would definitely have been someone the media would have been interested in speaking with.
Also, due to the timing, neither general manager Troy Weaver or coach Dwane Casey had to answer a question that assuredly some reporter would have asked:
Why is Deividas Sirvydis on the Detroit Pistons team?
To quickly recap:
- After a season of mostly sitting on the bench, the 6-foot-8 Lithuanian was cut over the summer. Weaver decided his roster spot was worth eating $1.5 million of guaranteed money owed to him.
- The now released Sirvydis played for the Pistons summer league, but not too well. Tarke was much better.
- So, despite being cut, not showing much in summer league, Deividas Sirvydis is still with the Pistons in training camp.
Honestly, there has not been much difference in Sirvydis’ off-season since being cut. He played summer league and is at training camp, just like he was would have been if not released.
What makes his continued presence with Detroit perplexing is, there is no result that does not make the Pistons management look bad.
- If Sirvydis actually makes the Pistons, why was he cut to begin with? You didn’t open up a roster spot, because Sirvydis would still be on the roster.
- Even if Sirvydis ends up with the G-League Motor City Cruise, again, what is the point? The G-League is to develop into NBA players. The Pistons have already decided Sirvydis is not a prospect for them. Again, if Sirvydis does look good enough to call up to the Pistons, they look bad for cutting him in the first place.
- If Syrvidis is simply released at the end of camp, what was the point of having him return for training camp and summer league? You cut him, so, to quote noted basketball expert Elsa from ‘Frozen’: Let it go.
Thrown into the mix, is the fact that Sirvydis’ agent is Michael Tellen, the son of Pistons vice chairman Arn Tellen. Does it mean anything? Didn’t mean enough to stop Sirvydis from getting released to begin with.
Personally, I thought Sirvydis showed some nice flashes at the end of the season, and I would have kept him on the roster. He is 20-years-old, 6-foot-8 and has a nice shooting touch. Furkan Korkmaz of the 76ers has played in the league for a while with similar skills and size.
But, once the decision was made, why Sirvydis is still around is completely mystifying.