Pistons' Johnson, Ellenson, Gbinije to play for Grand Rapids tonight

Rod Beard
The Detroit News
Stanley Johnson

After falling out of the playing rotation with the Pistons, Stanley Johnson is looking to get his mojo back.

Johnson, the Pistons’ first-round pick in 2015, will make a stop in the Development League with the Grand Rapids Drive, the Pistons’ affiliate, for a one-game stint on Saturday night.

He'll be joined by forwards Henry Ellenson and guard Michael Gbinije, who were also assigned.

With his role diminished to playing only the final few minutes of lopsided games, Johnson is going to get some extended time with the Drive and return to the Pistons’ roster for Sunday’s game against the Philadelphia 76ers at The Palace.

It’s been a precipitous fall for Johnson, who was the Pistons’ first man off the bench during his rookie season. This season, he’s playing about half the 23 minutes he logged last season and his scoring average has dropped to 3.3 from 8.1.

Although he looked to be a focal point of the bench rotation this season, he has been supplanted by Darrun Hilliard, who was the second-round pick behind Johnson last season. Forward Jon Leuer, who was signed in free agency, has gotten more playing time and along with Marcus Morris and Tobias Harris, have played almost all of the minutes at the forward spots.

Johnson, who worked on several aspects of his game during a successful Summer League stint, has improved his field-goal shooting (41 percent) but is only hitting 30 percent on 3-pointers.

He’s played in 21 of the Pistons’ 25 games and served a one-game suspension last month for violating team rules.