The Detroit Pistons had three picks in this year’s draft. In an NBA draft full of surprises, they certainly had a surprise at 8th overall.
Pistons 8th overall pick: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope Georgia University
With Michigan guard Trey Burke, Syracuse guard Michael Carter-Williams, and Lehigh guard C.J. McCollum on the board, Pistons GM Joe Dumars surprised everybody with the drafting of Caldwell-Pope.
I didn’t talk much about him in my draft preview because I didn’t think Dumars would pick him. He fills a need. A Burke and Brandon Knight backcourt would be extremely small and it would be terrible defensively. I’ve also harped on this a thousand times, the Pistons need scoring. Caldwell-Pope averaged 18.5 points on 43.3% shooting, including shooting 37.3% from deep. He can spread the floor and he also grabbed 7.1 rebounds at his position.
A lot of fans were in an uproar as to why Burke wasn’t drafted. Guys, listen this isn’t a popularity contest. Caldwell-Pope fills a need and brings shooting to this team. Just because Burke played for Michigan didn’t mean he was getting drafted by the Detroit Pistons organization.
Yes, he played in a very bad SEC conference, but he had no help at Georgia. He had to literally do everything for his team. Think LeBron James in Cleveland, in terms of doing it by himself NOT in terms of talent. He won’t start right away, but neither did Greg Monroe, Knight, or Andre Drummond. I like the Caldwell-Pope pick.
Pistons 37th overall pick: Tony Mitchell North Texas University
Mitchell is a freak athletically. He averaged 13.8 points and 8.5 rebounds in his sophomore season and he has a chance to make an impact in this team this upcoming season. He could be in the rotation.
Dumars and the staff grilled him as to why his production tailed off a little bit in the second half of the season. Mitchell knows he needs to stay consistent and I think at the 37th pick, this kid is a steal.
Pistons 56th overall pick: Peyton Siva Louisville University
Siva’s Louisville Cardinals defeated Burke’s Wolverines in this season’s NCAA Championship game. Siva has a lot of heart, but he only shot 40.4% this season and only averaged 10.0 points. He’s the 56th pick so he will be a long shot to make the final roster, but if he does make the roster he’ll be a good practice point guard.
Overall, I liked the way Dumars’ drafted tonight. He drafted in terms of need, which was scoring and perimeter shooting. Remember, the Pistons will have roughly $30 million to play with this summer. They can go get a big impact player in free agency. This isn’t the final roster. Let’s just all sit back, relax, simmer down, and watch Joey D go to work.