On Thursday, the 2020 NBA Draft Lottery was held and the hope was that the Detroit Pistons, who had the fifth-best odds of landing the No. 1 overall pick, would have luck on their side.
But, as we have learned as Detroit sports fans, luck is not something that happens often around these parts, especially when it comes to draft lotteries.
Not only did the Pistons not get lucky but they actually were unlucky as they fell to the No. 7 overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft.
Following the lottery, Pistons’ general manager Troy Weaver joined reporters via a conference call and he talked about how he was going to have to “play the board” and how he has “a lot of holes to fill.”
“Where we are, we have to continue to play the (draft) board and just draft the best available,” Weaver said Thursday via teleconference. “We’re not in a position to just pick a position. We’ll look at everything. Of course, position comes into play somewhat, but we have a lot of holes to fill, so we aren’t quite there yet.”
Here are 3 players who I believe will be at the top of the Pistons’ draft board when they are on the clock. The question is, which ones will still be available?
Tyrese Haliburton (PG) – Iowa State
Though LaMelo Ball is the best available PG in this draft in terms of future value, Tyrese Haliburton out of Iowa State may be the one who steps in and makes the biggest difference right off the bat. He is a good leader who does an excellent job of creating shots for his teammates. Haliburton showed during his sophomore season at Iowa State that he can also score when needed as he averaged 15.2 ppg during the 2019-20 season.
Killian Hayes (PG) – International
Hayes is a left-handed point guard who is quick and athletic, which gives him the ability to get to the rim and create his own shot. He is a solid shooter but nothing special from 3-point range, though that can develop. In terms of passing and ball handling, Hayes is a step behind LaMelo Ball as he has to work on his right hand a bit.
Onyeka Okongwu (C/PF) – Southern California
I really think the Pistons will take a point guard but if Haliburton and Hayes are both off the board, look for Onyeka Okongwu to be the pick. Okongwu may only be 6-9, so he is not exactly the size of most NBA centers, but his extreme athleticism allows him to protect the rim. Personally, I believe Okongwu will be selected before the Pistons are on the clock but if a couple of teams bite on Hayes and Killian, he could fall into their lap.
Of the three players mentioned above, the one who I covet is Tyrese Haliburton. He is a pure leader and will do whatever it takes to help his team win. He will score if called upon but his focus is to make everyone around him better and that is exactly the type of point guard the Pistons need.