Don’t buy your Micah Potter teal Pistons jersey yet

Detroit Pistons forward Micah Potter Credit: Brian Westerholt-USA TODAY Sports
Detroit Pistons forward Micah Potter Credit: Brian Westerholt-USA TODAY Sports /

Micah Potter played pretty well for the Detroit Pistons last season when their roster was devastated by health protocols. He was rewarded by getting signed for this season, but was then released a few days later. We explain.

When the Omnicron variant of COVID-19 swept through the NBA in late December/early January, teams scrambled to fill rosters. No one wanted to cancel or reschedule games, as it had occurred  the previous season, and had proved a logistical mess.

The Pistons, after a perfect 2020-21 season, where no one got sidelined by the virus, were hit hard. Only Hamidou Diallo and Saddiq Bey, among the regulars, were able to play in all the affected games.

One of those signed was Micah Potter, a 6-foot-10 center who had played for Ohio State and Wisconsin in college. He was with the Sioux Falls Skyforce (S.D.), the Miami Heat’s G-League team, when he signed a 10-day contract with the Pistons on December 29 (Happy New Year early present).

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His biggest game in those 10 days came on January 5, when he had eight points, six rebounds in 15 minutes against Charlotte.

Potter then went back to the Skyforce, where he made the G League All-Rookie team (Luka Garza made it as well for the Cruise), but the Pistons did not forget him.

Micah Potter again with Detroit Pistons, and now he isn’t

The Motor City Cruise swung a trade with the Skyforce to get the rights to Potter, giving up their 2023 first round pick (yes, apparently there is a G League draft) and Cheick Diallo to get him.

The Pistons then signed Potter to an Exhibit 10 contract. That means Potter had an automatic spot on Detroit’s 20-man offseason roster and, if cut, will get up to a $50,000 bonus if he plays with the Cruise for 60 days.

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On September 12, Potter signed his Pistons contract. On September 15, Potter was waived.

So, what the heck? Training camp does not even start for a couple weeks. What could Potter have done so wrong in those three days to get cut loose?

Answer: Nothing, just business.

The Pistons, particularly with Kemba Walker still on the roster, are overstuffed on their roster. To qualify for an Exhibit 10 contract, a player must be on Detroit’s roster, but they do not have to stay there.

So when Detroit signed guard Keifer Sykes, someone had to go off the roster, and that someone is Potter.

This means Potter will not be at training camp, but he will get some additional money for playing with the Cruise. And, as last year proved, you never know when the NBA will come calling.

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It might be a bit jarring, getting your dream of signing an NBA contract, followed by getting released shortly thereafter. But the Pistons intentions are good, trying to give Potter a little bump in pay while playing for the Cruise.