Detroit Pistons Summer League legends: #5: Luka Garza, 2021
In five games with the Detroit Pistons last summer, Luka Garza made me wonder why he was selected so late in the 2021 NBA Draft. Then he played some real NBA minutes, and I realized once again that Summer League is an easy way to get a false sense of hope.
The former Hawkeye averaged 15 points on 40 percent shooting from deep and made fans think he could be a real floor spacer. He also grabbed 9.6 rebounds per game, which is the second-best of any Piston in any Summer League season.
Last summer, Garza looked like the real deal and earned second-team All-Summer League honors. While that isn’t enough to make a case for enshrinement in Springfield, he did get a plaque to put on his mantle at home.
Plus, when there were doubts that he would have a successful NBA career, it’s best to put those concerns aside and show off early, which he did. Was it enough to secure a long career in the league? No, but he did get his career off to a good start. On top of that, Detroit went 3-2 that season and other young players like Saddiq Bey and Cade Cunningham got some run too, so overall it was a good summer for the Motor City.
He went on to play a similar game in the G-League, although it never really translated and the Pistons did not pick up his player option so he will be returning to Vegas this summer with the Trail Blazers.