Monday, October 7, 2013

Previewing '13-'14: Peyton Siva

This is a series previewing every player on the Pistons roster before the season kicks into gear. Previously: Jonas Jerebko, Josh Harrellson, (I wrote a Luigi Datome preview that was lost to the internet; RIP Datome preview)

'12-'13 stats (Louisville)
40.4% (28.8%)

Most Pistons fans will remember Peyton Siva as the captain of the last NCAA championship team, which took down the University of Michigan in the process. Most Michigan fans will also tell you that not drafting Trey Burke in the first round and taking Siva at the end of the draft was deliberate and expert trolling by Joe Dumars. In reality, Siva was a value pick at the end of the draft, a player whose ceiling is defensive maven Avery Bradley.

Siva is a ferocious on-ball defender who unfortunately also embodies one of the negative stereotypes of those types of players: an offensively liability. During his senior season, Siva shot only 40% from the field and wasn't a threat from outside, shooting a meager 28% from downtown. He also only averaged 2.5 FTs per game (0.28 FTR) and charted 5.7 assists per contest. Siva is an offensive game manager in the worst way.

Howeva, Louisville runs a constant full-court press/trap, which was spearheaded by Siva's relentless defense. He managed 2.3 steals per game and was responsible for countless other turnovers from opposing ball handlers. He has great lateral quickness, enabling him to stay in front of defenders, and quick hands to disrupt dribble patterns. Fortunately, most of these skills will translate to the NBA: like rebounding, high-effort attributes translate well from the college game to the pros.

Projected '13-'14 role: Suit and tie
Siva faces too much depth at the guard position to dress for most games. With Brandon Jennings, Will Bynum, and Chauncey Billups almost guaranteed to suit up every game, Siva will spend the year behind the bench, not on it. This isn't entirely bad for his development. Siva remains a woeful shooter and could use a year in the program to work on his jump shooting and quarterbacking abilities.

Projected '13-'14 stats
30% (15%)

What does this mean for the team?
Siva was a great value pick at the end of the draft. Though he doesn't project to be an immediate contributor, he could turn into an important piece in a year. That or the Pistons could trade him to a contender looking for a defensive stopper. If Siva can learn to shoot or at least penetrate and distribute, he could be the fourth guard that teams are crazy about (see: Avery Bradley). If not, his time in the league is limited.

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