Originally written on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 11/18/14
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope flew under the radar this offseason, and particularly when discussion of the topic of NBA Rookie of the Year arose. But, if Caldwell-Pope gets a legitimate shot at the starting shooting guard position with the Pistons this upcoming season, could he be a for real contender for this crown? Photo Credit: Fernando Medina (NBAE/Getty) Yes, I’ll give three reasons why: For starters, Caldwell-Pope can really shoot the rock, especially from beyond the arc which is something the Pistons desperately need. For this reason, the Pistons should start him at the two-spot immediately. The team needs a shooting threat at that position and he can fill it. Caldwell-Pope, as a sophomore at the University of Georgia, averaged 18.5 points while shooting 37 percent from the outside. In the Orlando Summer League, Caldwell-Pope average 13.8 points but shot 37 percent from the field and a putrid 22 percent from downtown. The numbers weren’t great but his improvement was outstanding. After a brutal showing in the first two games (15 total points on 4-20 shooting), Caldwell-Pope shook off the rust and nerves and played terrific basketball to close out the Summer League (54 total points on 16-34 shooting in the final three games). Caldwell-Pope’s improvement each and every game showed a lot of promise and mental toughness. It was especially impressive because his peer Trey Burke, one of the leading Rookie of the Year candidates, had the same type of shooting woes from the start and wasn’t able to shake them off throughout the summer. Pistons fans will forever compare Caldwell-Pope’s production with Burke because of Dumars decision during the 2013 NBA Draft to go with the Georgia sharpshooter over the hometown hero. Although Caldwell-Pope is known for his feathery touch from the outside, he shouldn’t be pigeon-holed as just an outside shooter. Caldwell-Pope scores in a variety of ways and he showcased that at the Summer League with runners, a solid mid-range game and the ability to get to the line. A well-rounded and talented shooting guard will give the Pistons an eclectic and dynamic offensive unit alongside their talented trio of forwards. Not only can Caldwell-Pope shoot efficiently, he rebounds at a high rate for a shooting guard. Caldwell-Pope brought down 7.1 rebounds per game at Georgia. Standing at 6-foot-6, Caldwell-Pope uses his long, rangy and athletic frame to get into the lane and snatch boards. This is something he won’t need to do with the Pistons since the team has three big-time rebounding bigs, but to have another guy who can get after it on the glass won’t hurt. Adding him into the mix only ensures the Pistons of having one of the best rebounding teams in the league this upcoming season. Lastly, but most importantly, Caldwell-Pope gets after it on the defensive end. His frame and fluent athletic ability allows him to create a good amount of havoc defensively. Caldwell-Pope averaged two thefts per contest in college and at the Orlando Summer League averaged around the same clip. If he can bring a consistent defensive intensity to the backcourt of the Pistons, that will only enhance the play of his point guard counterpart Brandon Jennings who needs to show that consistency. If Caldwell-Pope can win the starting job and bring these three phases of his game to the Pistons this upcoming season, who says he can’t be this years NBA Rookie of the Year. Well, at the very least he could give Pistons’ fans a few highlights like this one he had as a freshman at Georgia… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BghRGAyFSAs
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Metta World Peace expresses interest to coach St John's

Knicks want Marc Gasol, do they know what they’re asking for?

New York Rangers are the first team to clinch a playoff spot

Victorino: I plan on playing every day for Red Sox in 2015

The Rams are still planning on drafting a quarterback

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Howard willing to make 'ultimate sacrifice' to help Rockets

Pacquiao bought P. Diddy’s house for $12.5M, fight tickets

The Seahawks are already winning the NFL Draft

Fiancée takes stand at Aaron Hernandez's murder trial

Thunder announce Kevin Durant to miss rest of season

Jeremy Maclin says he still believes in Chip Kelly

WATCH: 2 Chainz beats Dominique Wilkins in HORSE

Angels remove Josh Hamilton banner from front of stadium

Elite Eight preview: Arizona vs. Wisconsin

Support for relocation growing among NFL powers

Mother says special needs son forced to remove varsity letter

NFL owners chose cost over game integrity

Minnesota Timberwolves: Should they tank?

Be careful how loudly you cheer on Mo'ne Davis' olive branch

Twins to offer $19 Bloody Mary with pizza slice garnish

Ranking the NBA's hottest coaching seats

The beginning of the end for Notre Dame

An identity in flux: Harden and the collective consciousness

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

WATCH: 2 Chainz beats Nique in HORSE

Elite Eight preview and predictions: Notre Dame vs. Kentucky

Elite Eight preview and predictions: Arizona vs. Wisconsin

NFL owners chose cost over game integrity

Be careful how loudly you cheer on Mo'ne Davis' olive branch

James Harden and the collective consciousness

Hottest coaching seats in NBA

Under-the-radar NL MVP candidates

Notre Dame’s coach makes first Elite Eight

The last Expo standing

Five under-the-radar AL MVP candidates

Michigan sent recruit's GF a letter

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.