Just a few weeks ago, the Detroit Pistons used the No. 52 overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft to select reigning Naismith College Player of the Year Luka Garza. On Monday, the team made a decision on the big man’s future in the organization.
According to NBA insider Shams Charania, the Pistons will sign Garza to a two-way deal. The terms of the contract have not yet been confirmed.
Garza earned the new deal with his stellar showing in Summer League this past week. In four games, the former Iowa big man averaged 13.5 points and 8.2 rebounds per contest, while shooting an impressive 52.9 percent from the floor and 42.9 percent from deep. He also arrived in Las Vegas in great shape, reportedly having lost 27 pounds, which has increased optimism that he’ll be able to stay on the floor with the league’s other athletic big men.
Garza’s offense was never the problem in college, so as long as he can stay fit and improve on the defensive end, he could easily find a place to stick on the Pistons.
“I know every guy in the NBA can beat me in a 3/4 court sprint. I know that,” Garza said, per 247Sports. “But is everyone going to run that hard in the game? No, but I’m going to.”
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) August 16, 2021
With Garza now under contract on a two-way deal, the Pistons have to feel good about their young core. No. 1 overall pick Cade Cunningham will highlight a 2021 draft class that also contains the Iowa big man, Isaiah Livers and Balsa Koprivica.
But Detroit has plenty of other young players that have now have a year in the NBA under their belt and will look to take major leaps this year. Killian Hayes, Saddiq Bey and Saben Lee all had productive Summer League stints and will now turn their focus to the start of the regular season.