Peyton Siva is trying to convince the Pistons to guarantee the second year of his contract.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Russ Smith isn't the only former University of Louisville player who has to earn his way to the NBA this summer. Peyton Siva is facing the same task, even as a second-year pro.
The Detroit Pistons signed Siva to a two-year contract a year ago, an unusual move for a second-round draft pick. But only the first year of Siva's contract was guaranteed. Detroit has until July 20 to exercise the second season option of Siva's deal or make him a free agent.
With a new coaching staff led by Stan Van Gundy, the Pistons have dispatched Siva back to the NBA Rookie League in Orlando, Fla. Consider it another tryout as Siva tries to convince Detroit that he belongs in the league.
Siva has played well during his first two games in Orlando – averaging 14 points and 6.5 assists in two games, while shooting 50 percent. The Pistons have won both games. Siva has been matched against rookies such as Nick Johnson of Arizona, Scottie Wilbekin of Florida and Joe Johnson of Memphis.
Siva will play his third game at 5 p.m. Tuesday against Miami on the NBA Network.
"This is very competitive," Siva told Isiah Thomas on the NBA Network. "Everybody here is essentially playing for a job. Every night you're going to get everybody’s best."
"Not at all," Siva said, when asked if he was feeling pressure about the contract decision.
"Yeah, it's a contract and they've got the option. But all I can do is control how I play. I can't really worry about what goes on outside or if I happen to come back. I believe that God has a plan for me, whatever happens. Of course I would love to stay with Detroit. But all I can do is control how hard I play and go out there and play."
Siva split time between the Pistons and the Fort Wayne Mad Ants of the NBA Developmental League last season. He played 24 games for the Pistons, averaging 2.3 points and 1.4 assists. Siva played in 10 games for Fort Wayne, averaging nearly 13 points and 4.6 assists.
The Pistons won only 29 games last season, finishing 11th in the Eastern Conference, failing to make the playoffs. Van Gundy is expected to shake up the roster. Siva is currently listed as the team's third-team point guard behind Brandon Jennings and Will Bynum.
"I've spent some time this summer working out with the coaches," Siva told Langlois. "I think it's been going well.
"Hopefully, I can make a good impression on them and stick around. It looks like they're doing a lot of good things and I definitely want to be a part of that uprising."