Peyton Siva is leaving Louisville for Detroit on Thursday to begin his push to continue his push to play for the Pistons next season.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Peyton Siva's NBA contract is worth more than $400,000 next season. He does not remember the precise numbers. Siva just knows that it's more money than he ever imagined making playing basketball.
But Siva has not purchased a dazzling car. He has not shopped for expensive gadgets. There was a honeymoon to Puerto Vallarta with his wife, Patience. He did get pair of sunglasses for $200 as well as a pair of jeans for about $100. That's it for goodies as Siva transitions from the University of Louisville to the Detroit Pistons.
"It hurt a lot to spend even that much," Siva said. "I'd never bought a pair of sunglasses before. I'd just take a pair from Gorgui (Dieng) or Chris (Smith). When I saw the prices on those things, I was like, 'Are you kidding me?' "
Here is something else that is not a joke. Instead of spending any of the extras from his first pro contract on himself, Siva has sent money to his mother, Yvette Gaston, his brother, Michael, 24, and his sister, Leilanna, 27, in Seattle.
His Mom is the one who was always there with extra money for him. She worked two jobs, including one as a parole officer, when Siva was growing up. Siva doesn't want his Mom to ever have to work two jobs again.
"I don't get caught up too much in money," Siva said. "I'll always try to help out my Mom in any way I can. She raised me and she sacrificed for me. The least I can do is try to help her out."
Wednesday has been Farewell to Louisville Day for Siva. He finished work at the basketball camp that he helped host with Terrence Williams, another former Louisville player, at MidAmerica Sports Center. He autographed nearly 200 pictures and stood in the middle of the campers, answering their questions.
On Thursday, Siva leaves for his new home -- Detroit. His first NBA training camp is nearly seven weeks away, but Siva wants to start working with his new assistant coaches, learn his new town and give himself every opportunity to impress his new team.
The Pistons selected him in the second round of the 2013 draft with the 56th overall pick. Detroit management liked him when they selected him in June – and they liked him even more after watching Siva play for their NBA Summer League team in Orlando in July.
His 4-to-1 assists-to-turnover ratio was the best of any Summer League player. Siva had 12 steals in four games.
How did those numbers compare to the top point guards drafted?
Good question. Former Michigan guard Trey Burke, now with Utah, had an assists-to-turnover ratio of nearly 2-1, but managed one steal. Syracuse product Michael Carter-Williams had 10 steals, but averaged nearly five turnovers per game for Philadelphia. Siva could have teased those guys about that, as well as his NCAA championship ring, at the NBA rookie symposium in New Jersey last week. He didn't.
"I didn't show my ring too much," Siva said. "I tried to be respectful."
Siva knows that he has to shoot better than 30 percent – his percentage in Orlando. But his best chance to play for the Pistons will come if he can run the team, pass the ball and defend. Siva is convinced he can do that.
The Pistons are stacked with veteran guards – Brandon Jennings, Chauncey Billups, Will Bynum and Rodney Stuckey. They drafted another guard, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope from Georgia, with their first-round pick. But Siva believes he can create a place for himself on the roster of a team that won only 29 of 82 games last season.
"I have a great opportunity, especially for a second-rounder," Siva said. "I'm very excited. I'm not nervous. You play basketball your whole life. This is what you work for. I'm just really blessed to have this chance."