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Pistons' Kennard out, ex-OU sharpshooter Hooper added for Summer League

Rod Beard
The Detroit News
Max Hooper

Summer League looked to be an opportunity for Pistons guard Luke Kennard to get a jump-start on getting acclimated to new coach Dwane Casey’s offense. With extra practices and a three-game schedule, Kennard could display his wares in the showcase tournament and build on his solid rookie season.

That’s going to have to wait a bit now.

The Pistons announced Tuesday that Kennard suffered a knee strain in Monday’s practice and will no longer participate in the Summer League schedule.

More: What to follow as Pistons compete in Las Vegas Summer League

It’s a mild blow for Kennard, who worked his way into the rotation and averaged 7.6 points and 2.4 rebounds and hitting 42 percent on 3-pointers as a rookie. Kennard was projected to be the focal point of the Pistons’ summer league roster, showing his ball-handling skills and possibly becoming more of a distributor.

After Kennard’s injury, the Pistons announced Tuesday that former Oakland University standout Max Hooper had been added to the Summer League squad.

Hooper spent most of last season playing with the Niagara River Lions in the National Basketball League, the top professional division in Australia and New Zealand.

In 23 games with the River Lions, Hooper averaged 4.3 points and 1.1 rebounds in 13.2 minutes. He shot 37.3 percent from the field and 38.8 percent from 3-point range.

Hooper also appeared in one game with the Westchester Knicks, the G-League affiliate of the New York Knicks, this past season.

In two seasons at Oakland, Hooper shot 42.5 percent from 3-point range (177-for-416) and attempted just eight shots inside the arc. He also was named Horizon League sixth man of the year as a senior in 2015-16 after averaging 10.7 points in 24.6 minutes, and became the first player in NCAA history to launch over 200 3-pointers without a single 2-point attempt in a season.

The Pistons will open Summer League play with three preliminary-round games at the Cox Pavilion in Las Vegas starting on Friday.


July 6: vs. Bucks (NBA TV)

July 7: vs. Grizzlies (NBA TV)

July 9: vs. Pelicans (ESPNU)