#Pistons? had gone big at 39 or 44, O’Quinn would’ve been the guy once CLE took B James. But Drummond, Kravtsov already addressed needs.
Orlando drafted Kyle O’Quinn with the No. 49 pick, so the Pistons had two chances to pick him. I wish they would have.
Why did the Pistons draft Middleton? Langlois:
Piston personnel boss George David very excited about Middleton, English. Says Pistons had Middleton rated 1st round talent a year ago
I hope the Pistons had better reasons for drafting Middleton than that, because, alone, it doesn’t hold up. Middleton spent another season proving why he didn’t belong in the first round, and it would be a mistake to ignore all that additional evidence. Because of small sample sizes, drafting is difficult. When you get a larger sample, you don’t ignore it.
As Langlois notes, the Pistons also thought Texas A&M’s coaching change hurt Middleton. That’s obviously possible, but I wouldn’t put too much stock into it. I don’t think coaching – which matters less the higher level a player is – can sufficiently explain why Middleton was less productive last season than other players still on the board, like O’Quinn.
I also really hope the Pistons don’t think adding Andre Drummond and Vyacheslav Kravtsov – who’ve played a combined zero NBA minutes – means their big-man needs are met. Drummond and Kravtsov have promise, but until they prove they’re high-end NBA players, Detroit should stock up on as many young bigs as possible. Quality big men are difficult and expensive to acquire outside the draft, so I would place a premium on drafting someone with the potential become one when the opportunity arises.
This doesn’t mean Middleton will be a bust and O’Quinn will be great. It doesn’t even mean O’Quinn will be better than Middleton.
I just think adding a productive big man beats adding a less productive wing.