Detroit Pistons Draft Dreams: Michael Dunigan

(Note: This will be the last of the Draft Dreams profiles. Check back tomorrow for our revised mock draft.)

We already looked at one project big man, Greg Smith, who could be available with the second of Detroit’s two second round picks. Another is Michael Dunigan, a former Oregon player who left school and played professionally overseas.

Info

Measurables: 6-foot-10, 240 pounds C from Oregon

Key stats: 9.0 points, 4.9 rebounds, 1.3 blocks in 20 minutes per game as sophomore at Oregon

Projected: Second round

How would he help the Pistons?

Dunigan heads into the NBA Draft with an advantage over most big men in the second round: he’s heavier than most of them. He still needs to add strength, but at 240 pounds, he’s not working with the lean frame that players like Keith Benson or JaJuan Johnson are.

Dunigan blocked shots well in college, averaging more than one a game in limited minutes in two years at Oregon. He has a big wingspan — 7-feet-3-inches — and he’s mobile for his size. He has the ability to use his body to establish position inside. Smith probably has more upside than Dunigan, but it makes sense for the Pistons to look at these two bigs with the 52nd pick.

The plus side with Dunigan, because he has international experience, is the Pistons might be able to pick him and then convince him to stay overseas and continue developing his game for a season or two before coming to the NBA.

How wouldn’t he help the Pistons?

Dunigan might not be ready for the NBA offensively. His size might intrigue teams and allow him to not get pushed around too much defensively, but he’s not overly athletic, which could hurt his ability to finish around the basket against good shot blockers in the NBA. He has professional experience, but it only consists of one game in Israel before moving on to play in Estonia, not exactly the highest level of international pro basketball.

Dunigan has great size that would undeniably be an asset in the NBA if he can harness it, but his limited tools put him a notch or two below the bigs who will be available at the top of the second round upside-wise.

What are others saying?

From DraftExpress:

As a rebounder, Dunigan can’t be described as anything more than average at best, at least as far as production is concerned. The lethargic impression you get at times while watching him play seems to show up the most vividly in this area, as he just doesn’t crash the glass as well as a player with his size, bulk and length should at the college level, especially on the defensive end.

Despite the seemingly harsh criticism, Dunigan actually may have a very bright future ahead of him. The tools he brings to the table are undeniable, and many of the issues he faces are very much correctable, especially in terms of fundamentals, technique and effort.

From ESPN:

Dunigan left Oregon this summer to play pro ball in Israel, making him automatically eligible for the NBA draft this year. Dunigan played one game in Israel before moving on to Estonia — yes, Estonia — to play. He has played well and was considered a legit prospect thanks to his size and athleticism before he left college. But he’s got a lot to work on to convince NBA scouts that he’s ready for the NBA.

From HoopsWorld:

Given the success Dunigan had overseas, it’s likely he will leave his options open when it comes to being drafted. He will have the option to player overseas again in case of a lockout due to the Collective Bargaining Agreement expiration, or even if there is no lockout he may decide he can find a better situation if the team who drafts him doesn’t have a spot for him and is willing to make a commitment.

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