Rookie struggles strike almost every first-year NBA player but when the Detroit Pistons evaluate their handling of Kentavious Caldwell-Pope after this season, they'll wonder if they did right by him, and the team.
Thrust into the starting lineup in his sixth professional game, the first-round pick from Georgia stayed there for 40 starts in a row before he was yanked in favor of Kyle Singler early this month.
As the Pistons' February schedule concludes Saturday against the Houston Rockets, their starters have been better with Singler at shooting guard.
Whether their gains from the switch were enough to offset a lengthy downtick in Caldwell-Pope's effectiveness is in question.
He went from averaging 25 minutes per game before the change to 9.6 since.
"It's just about being patient and just waiting my turn," Caldwell-Pope said after Wednesday's loss at San Antonio, the Pistons' third in a row and sixth in seven games. "I had a hard time down the stretch in some games. But I just...