Luka Garza was the national player of the year as a senior at Iowa. He wasn’t a first-round draft pick, though.
Garza stuck around the draft until the No. 52 pick, when the Pistons selected him and took a chance on the 6-foot-11 big man. So far in Las Vegas, the Pistons have been rewarded for their gamble on Garza, who has been a standout in Summer League.
The Pistons and Garza agreed on a two-way deal that will allow Garza to begin the season with their G League affiliate, according to a report from The Athletic’s Shams Charania.
With a two-way deal, Garza can practice with the Pistons and be available for some NBA games, just as Saben Lee and Frank Jackson were last season.
For Garza, it’s an opportunity that he relishes and he has improved after coming off the bench in the first two Summer League games. He started the next two games and posted a double-double in each.
“I know, for sure, that I’m coming out here with one mindset, and that’s to win. I’m trying to help my team win in any way I can,” Garza said Saturday. “I want to show everybody that I’m a guy who can help a team win in the NBA. Obviously, this is Summer League, but I feel confident I can have this positive impact on my team in the regular season as well.
“Whatever role it means, I know for me, it doesn’t matter. I’m going to get to where I want to go because I’m going to work as hard as I can. And I feel like I’m just really grateful and blessed that the Detroit Pistons took a chance on me when, obviously, 51 other picks passed on me.”
Garza was a two-time All-America selection at Iowa and shot 44% on 3-pointers as a senior.