The NBA Draft Lottery again has placed the Detroit Pistons at the lower end of the Top 10. However, the NBA gods have been kind to the Pistons in years past. Greg Monroe, Brandon Knight, and Andre Drummond dropped into their laps at 7, 8, and 9 respectively. This is a weak draft in terms of superstars, but it still has some good players. Detroit has spots to fill at the point and the small forward. They want to move forward with Knight at the 2-guard.
1.) Anthony Bennett UNLV
Bennett is somewhat of a tweener. He can play both the 3 and the 4 and can play both positions well. He averaged 16.1 points on 53.3% in his Freshman season at UNLV. He also grabbed 8.1 boards and he has range, shooting 37.5% from deep. I like him because of that 7’1″ wingspan he has and he’s athletic. He’s 6’7″ and 240 pounds and he can fill a problem spot for the Pistons at the small forward. Kyle Singler cannot start at the small forward for this team.
2.) Trey Burke Michigan
Burke, the local product with the Michigan Wolverines, would fill the spot at the point guard spot. It’s safe to assume that Jose Calderon will not return to the Pistons next season. Burke is a good point guard and a good leader. He averaged 18.6 points and 6.7 assists. He won every award imaginable this season, the B1G Player of the Year, National Player of the Year, and the Bob Cousy Award. Detroit had an offensive problem, scoring only 94.9 points and getting 21.2 assists per game, good for 22 in both categories. With Burke’s stock dropping and the luck the Pistons have had in the draft lately, he could be around at 8.
3.) Michael Carter-Williams Syracuse
If Burke or Bennett aren’t on the board then Carter-Williams would be the next best pick. He’s a 6’6″ point guard out of Syracuse and he’s a pass first point guard. He averaged 7.3 assists and 11.9 points in his sophomore season at Syracuse. He’s not much of a shooter, but neither was Jason Kidd when he came into the league. He’ll have fun throwing up lobs to Drummond and setting up Monroe for layups. He could set up Knight as well and he’d give height to the backcourt. The more I watch Carter-Williams, the more I want him in Detroit.
4.) Shabazz Muhammad UCLA
Ok, I know what you’re thinking. Muhammed? The kid who had off court problems, was mad when his number wasn’t called on a last play situation in a game for UCLA, and the kid who has a bad attitude? Yes and here’s why I like him. The kid can flat out score. He can score in his sleep, he’s left-handed, and he can shoot. Remember, Detroit was 22nd in the league in scoring at 94.9. He could step right in at small forward and give the Pistons a lift on offense.
5.) C.J. McCollum Lehigh
McCollum is a combo guard. He’s small at 6’3″, but he’s a scorer and can help the Pistons offensively. However, he’s a combo guard and I’m sure Pistons fans have had enough of those(see Rodney Stuckey). He did average 23.9 points and shot 51.6% from deep in his senior season at Lehigh. However, he only averaged 2.9 assists.
Something to watch out for, rumors have it that the Pistons might trade back into the 1st round to select Greek small forward Giannis Adetokoubo.
2nd round options:
37.) James Ennis(Long Beach State), DeShaun Thomas(Ohio State), Archie Goodwin(Kentucky)
56.) Brandon Paul(Illinois), Rodney Williams(Minnesota), Peyton Siva(Louisville)
Stats credit goes to ESPN.