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Detroit Pistons best NBA draft fits — if lottery luck strikes
Slovenian Luka Doncic could be a Detroit Pistons target if the franchise lands in the top three of the 2018 NBA draft.
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Free Press sports writer Vince Ellis and columnist Shawn Windsor share their thoughts after the Detroit Pistons have moved on from Stan Van Gundy. Vince Ellis and Shawn Windsor, Detroit Free Press
The Detroit Pistons will likely lose their 2018 first-round pick during Tuesday night’s NBA draft lottery because of the Blake Griffin acquisition in January. But if the Pistons parlay their 2.5 percent chance at landing a top-three pick, Free Press sports writer Vince Ellis looks at the top 10 Pistons fits:
Pistons mailbag: NBA draft scouting is educated guessing
G/F Luka Doncic
Size: 6 feet 8, 225 pounds.
Currently: Slovenian plays for Real Madrid in Spanish League.
Pros: Despite youth, able to dominate the league some scouts consider the best competition in the world outside of the NBA. … Creative playmaker who sees the floor. … Outside shooting threat.
Cons: He will have to dispel notions he won’t be able to adjust to the speed of the NBA. … Inconsistent shooter.
Fit: Pistons could afford to go slow in his development with Reggie Jackson and Ish Smith aboard.
C DeAndre Ayton
Size: 7-0, 260.
School: Arizona, freshman.
Pros: Has an NBA-ready physique. … Intriguing combination of size and athleticism. … Not just an interior threat, but a capable outside shooter, too.
Cons: Lasting image of Wildcats’ meltdown in the first round of the NCAA tournament still lingers. … Major defensive concerns where he appears to lack instincts.
Fit: Many think Ayton is the top pick, but with Andre Drummond and Griffin, he would be blocked from immediate playing time. Maybe Pistons trade down?
Pistons mailbag: Who is No. 1? Luka Doncic or DeAndre Ayton?
PG Trae Young
Size: 6-2, 180.
School: Oklahoma, freshman.
Pros: In shooting range once he crosses half-court. … Carried limited Sooners team for most of the season. … Creative passer which leads to confidence he can develop into a top lead guard.
Cons: Wore down as the season went on with defenses geared toward stopping him. … Slight frame might not hold up to NBA beating.
Fit: Deep shooting range brings Stephen Curry comparisons so potential to electrify Little Caesars Arena crowd is there.
PG Collin Sexton
Size: 6-2, 185.
School: Alabama, freshman.
Pros: Top-notch quickness to go along with intense competitiveness. … Has a knack for making big plays at big moments.
Cons: Prone to bad decisions. … Takes bad shots and isn’t a good shooter at this stage of his career.
Fit: Pistons could afford a redshirt season with Jackson and Smith, but Sexton could chafe at a patient route to playing time.
PF Marvin Bagley III
Size: 6-11, 235.
School: Duke, freshman.
Pros: A scout recently called Bagley potentially a “taller, longer version of Draymond Green.” … Very polished for such a young prospect.
Cons: Frame needs to fill out to stand up to NBA rigors. … Doesn’t have a real dominant skill, which would worry some scouts.
Fit: Versatility should create path to rotation spot.
F Michael Porter
Size: 6-10, 215.
School: Missouri, freshman.
Pros: Was a candidate for No. 1 overall selection before an injury-plagued freshman season, but talent remains. … Game values shooting and that’s a strength. … A willing passer who can see the floor well.
Cons: Only played 53 minutes in three games because of a back injury suffered before his only collegiate season. Back issues are always concerning. Medical history will be examined closely during predraft process. … Defensive question mark.
Fit: Pistons were a good 3-point shooting team, but can always use more. Skillset would bring comparison to unique talents like Giannis Antetokounmpo.
SF Mikal Bridges
Size: 6-7, 210.
School: Villanova, junior.
Pros: Shot 43 percent from 3-point range for the national champion. … A three-year player, likely ready to compete immediately for playing time. … Great two-way potential.
Cons: A thin prospect, who lacks strength. … More of a catch-and-shoot guy who really doesn’t threaten the rim.
Fit: The expectation would be playing time from Day 1.
PF Jaren Jackson Jr.
Size: 6-11, 240.
School: Michigan State, freshman.
Pros: Good bloodlines with father, who won an NBA title with the San Antonio Spurs in 1999. … In February, The Ringer called Jackson “the most complete big man” in the draft. … Shooting range, rim protection and good feet, fits the modern big man prototype.
Cons: Developing post game, but not really emphasized in today’s game. … Needs to gain strength.
Fit: Ability to play on the perimeter could lead way to quickly earning a rotation spot.
SF Miles Bridges
Size: 6-7, 230.
School: Michigan State, sophomore.
Pros: Explosive athlete with an NBA-ready build. … Plays with an aggression that dispels any notion of a low-energy player. … An improved shooter in second season with the Spartans.
Cons: Has the size for small forward, but skillset suggests power forward so scouts are concerned that he lacks a position. … Ball-handling needs work.
Fit: Some duplication with Stanley Johnson on the roster, but teams can never have enough wings capable of defending the perimeter.
C Mohamed Bamba
Size: 7-0, 220.
School: Texas, freshman.
Pros: With a nearly 8-0 wingspan, rim protection potential is off the charts. … Despite swatting 3.7 shots per game, avoids fouling. … Raw, but has shown some offensive ability with a solid free-throw shooting percentage and showing potential as a jump shooter.
Cons: Slight frame gets pushed around. … Passiveness is a negative.
Fit: Of the top-10 prospects, probably the worst fit with Drummond and Griffin on the roster. But draft is about selecting best player with highest upside. Can always move on from Drummond.
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