[tps_header]After our own Julius Porter took the first shot at plucking out the Pistons’ best draft prospects, we’re digging deeper and providing another batch of NBA hopefuls who all would work as a fine fit in Detroit. This time around, we’re taking a look at three additional first-round options and a pair of second rounders. [/tps_header]
[tps_title]First Round Prospects:[/tps_title]
1. JUSTISE WINSLOW – SF/PF, Duke
Winslow is the perfect fit for the newly rebuilt Pistons. The Duke forward’s tweener style of play along with his skill at both ends of the floor will help him to excel at the next level. He also fits well with the four-out-one-in style of offensive basketball that head coach Stan Van Gundy desires to impart. Despite size that could fit the power forward position, Winslow seems best fit for the small forward/wing spot in the NBA.
Offensively, Winslow has shown solid ability of handling the basketball for his size while maintaining a respectable outside shooting game as well. His motor and constant effort on the defensive side of the ball only adds to his overall value as Van Gundy would desire numerous Mikael Pietrus-style defensive players on the perimeter. The hard-nose grittiness that Winslow showed in leading Duke to the NCAA title means he will not only be a competitor, but a terrific team player as well.
Winslow’s size is a real value for an SVG-system player. His measurements read him being 6’6.25” (in shoes), 225-pounds with a daunting 6’10” wingspan that will help him guard against defensive assignments like Giannis Antetekumbo, Kawhi Leonard, Trevor Ariza, and Andre Iguadola. Each of the aformentioned players have excelled as swing-man for being gritty on the defensive end while using their fluidity and size to dominant on offense as well. I believe that Justise Winslow will be able to channel each of these players in their abilities and would fit the Detroit system better than any player in the 2015 draft class.
#2. STANLEY JOHNSON – Small Forward, Arizona
Johnson is another two-way wingman with a high motor. His size and strength make him a great asset, especially on the fast-break. He measures at 6’6.5”, 242-pounds and has a 6’11.5” wingspan. He is larger than Winslow and his power and size is clearly evident. Johnson was able to overpower defenders of greater size and become the focal point of the Arizona offense during large stretches.
Once again, this wing player would fit well into Van Gundy’s system, particularly due to his defensive prowess. Johnson’s size and wingspan made him a lock-down defender at Arizona and that type of physicality will be useful when playing against more skilled players. Adding perimeter stopping power will be a major emphasis this offseason considering the tumultuous nature of the Pistons’ defense last year. The value of both Winslow and Johnson start with their effort and skill on defense; something rare in today’s modern college star. In this category, Johnson would outrank Winslow, as he is larger, stronger and more adept at guarding opponents more skilled and larger than he is.
The knocks against Johnson come from his rawness as a player. There are questions about his athleticism and he experienced extended dry spells on the offensive end. As physical and hardworking as he is, his physical attributes sometimes haven’t meshed well with his execution. The other issue stems from an occasional tendency to make questionable ball handling decisions. This is something that a skilled coach like Van Gundy can correct, but to be fair, he still has Andre Drummond to worry about in that category.
#3. KELLY OUBRE- Small Forward, Kansas
In a developing trend, we have ourselves yet another athletic and defensive wing that’d be a solid fit for Detroit. Of the three wing players on this list, Kelly Oubre has the best range from behind the arc. While his form may appear a touch unorthodox, he’s consistent. It also doesn’t hurt that he is a lefty shooter. That seems to bode well for the James Hardens and Chris Mullins of the world.
Oubre has been quoted by many scouts as having the largest upside of any of the wing players in this draft. The real snag to his play falls in his game remaining too immature and raw at this stage. He is a one-and-done player and has a lot to learn in terms of how to better utilize his 6’7”, 200-pound frame. If Stan Van Gundy is comfortable with handling a work-in-progress, then Oubre would be a good fit for the Pistons.
(For information on Detroit’s two European first round options, click here)