Rookie forward Sekou Doumbouya is buried in a shooting slump, but that’s not why the Pistons are concerned about him, Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press relays. The first-round pick, who grew up in France, is struggling to adjust off the court and seems unhappy on it. He’s shooting 28.1% from the field over his last 13 appearances following a 24-point outing against Boston.
“I’ve got to be the papa bear and stay on him and make sure he’s doing the right things, but nothing takes the place of having fun and the joy of playing basketball,” coach Dwane Casey said, “I know there is a culture barrier, but he’s got to continue to play hard, play with passion.”
We have more on the Pistons:
- Second-year guard Khyri Thomas, who has been sidelined since late October after undergoing right foot surgery, has returned to practice, Keith Langlois of Pistons.com tweets. Thomas, a second-round pick, appeared in 26 games during his rookie campaign but only played in two games this season before the foot issue cropped up. He has a partially guaranteed $1.66MM salary for next season.
- Point guard Brandon Knight said he’s “excited” to re-join the team that drafted him, Langlois writes. Knight was one of the players acquired in the Andre Drummond deal with Cleveland on Thursday. His second stint may only last a couple of months, as Knight has an expiring contract. But Casey said the veteran guard will get some playing time to show what he can add to the team. “It’s a great opportunity for us to get a look at him and him to look at us at the same time,” Casey said.
- Point guard Derrick Rose and shooting guard Svi Mykhailiuk could return against Orlando on Wednesday, according to Ellis. Neither has played since February 2 due to an adductor strain and a hip injury, respectively.