I ranked the NBA’s five best juniors for a recent 5-on-5, and unsurprisingly, Austin Daye didn’t make anyone’s list. But I picked two players the Pistons passed on in order to draft Daye:
Dan Feldman, PistonPowered: Jrue Holiday. Holiday progressed more than anyone not in discussion to win last year’s Most Improved Player (and more than several in contention for the award). Players’ growth curves tend to flatten each season as they approach their ceiling, but because Holiday spent most his time at UCLA playing off guard, he has more room to grow than average.
Dan Feldman, PistonPowered: Ty Lawson. Few players can match his speed and shooting ability, and he defends well for his size. If it weren’t for the last three words of the previous sentence, he’d probably be No. 1 on my list.