Louis King spent little time with the Detroit Pistons this season. The 21-year-old rookie out of Oregon was able to scratch out 10 games with Detroit this year while spending most of his time with the Grand Rapids Drive. King was first picked up by the Pistons four days after going undrafted, which was surprising considering the expectations for him to be a late first-round or early second-round selection. Detroit signed King to a two-way contract with hopes to become a good asset for them in their future.
Coming into the first year into his pro career, King was only the third one and done player in Oregon basketball program history. He has very good potential as a 6’9 forward with great length and the ability to shoot the ball from outside and have a good handle with the ball. With his height, length, and quickness, King allows himself to guard multiple positions on the floor. With more experience and adding some muscle overtime, the Pistons are looking forward to his maturity as a player. His length allows him to grow into a player with no set position and being able to be flexible. King’s game fits with the evolving culture in the NBA as players with his size can do a little bit of everything. His height, length, and quickness also allow him to guard every position on the floor.
Casey had encouraging words to say about the forward after receiving his first minutes in an NBA game:
“He’s got all the skills. I thought he should’ve been a first-round pick. I don’t know why dropped.” Casey paused, then continued. “I have an idea,” he said, “But he should’ve been a first-round pick.”
King was able to pick up two points, a steal, and a rebound while playing a little under 4 minutes in his debut with the Pistons. Overall through 10 games, he rounded out to average two points, a rebound while shooting 38.1% from the field.
Though not playing much with Detroit, King was able to have an exceptional first season with the Grand Rapids Drive. While playing 28.5 minutes per game, King averaged exactly 15 points, 5.4 rebounds, 3 assists, and a little over one steal a game. He started his season with a bang and started to make some noise after scoring 30 points and grabbing 11 rebounds in a win over Greensboro Swarm in just his fourth game with the team, then followed it up with a 20 point performance against them the next day.
King has shown great strength to get to the rim and being able to finish. Considering his size and quickness while handling the ball, he has shown that he usually has the advantage while driving to the basket with a defender on him. His athleticism allows him also to change speeds and direction, forcing opposing defenders to flip their hips and turn to allow King to get past them at that moment while managing to lay the ball up even in heavy traffic. King is a decent threat from the long line shooting close to 35% this year.
Louis King has the potential to be a hidden gem for the Detroit Pistons. He has the traits of what every team wants in today’s NBA. A tall and long player that can handle the ball and have the ability to score from everywhere, while having the potential to guard numerous positions. His raw talent will develop over time as he gains more experience in the G league and earn more minutes off the bench next season for the Pistons with the team starting its rebuild.