With the Draft just under a week away, the Detroit Pistons have started their pre-draft workouts for their first round selection of the 2013 NBA Draft. The first workout was held Wednesday morning at the Pistons practice facility in Auburn Hills, Michigan. The two players involved were Leigh’s own C.J. McCollum and Syracuse star point guard Michael Carter-Williams.
This workout that has become public is not the only workout the Pistons will have, and these two players are by no means the top two candidates for the Pistons with the eighth pick.
Detroit Pistons General Manager Joe Dumars can go a variety of different directions with their first round selection. They could select a big man to add to the dynamic duo of Andre Drummond and Greg Monroe. They could draft a playmaker, a true point guard, and officially switch Brandon Knight to the shooting guard position. Or they could draft a scorer on the wing like UCLA product Shabazz Muhammad or Georgia shooting guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.
In this article we will breakdown what the Pistons need the most and what direction the franchise should go in as they try to rebuild the Pistons for another long playoff run.
1.) Drafting A Pure Point Guard
– As the Pistons try to decide what they want to do with sophomore guard Brandon Knight, they will have some tough decisions to make come draft night. If they decide to move forward with Knight at the 2-guard position, they may be looking at drafting a true point guard to start the Mo Cheeks Era in Detroit.
The top playmaker in this year’s Draft is Syracuse point guard Michael Carter-Williams. Carter-Williams averaged 11.4 points per game and 7.3 assists per game in just under 34 minutes a game. A benefit for Carter-Williams is his size for position. He is a 6’6″ point guard that, at his height, can see well over the top of his defender and find a man cutting for an easy score. He also has a knack at getting in the lane and finding wide open shooters on the outside. This would help free up Brandon Knight for open looks from outside.
Another possible option for Detroit at the point guard position is NCAA Player of the Year Trey Burke. Burke is a 6’0″ point guard that has an excellent outside shot and can get in the lane at will. The only downside to Burke is how he and Brandon Knight would mix in the backcourt. Starting Burke and Knight in the guard spots would create an extremely small backcourt and would be a liability at the defensive side of the ball. Burke also is more of an aggressive point guard, meaning he likes to score more than set up his teammates. It seems to me that drafting Burke, would have to be the end of Brandon Knight’s career as a starting guard on the Pistons
After breaking down both of the top point guards in this draft class, it seems to me that Michael Carter-Williams is the way to go if Joe Dumars and his staff decide to address the point guard position with the eight pick.
2.) Adding Scoring on the Wing
– The Pistons main need in the offseason is to find a “go-to” scorer on the wing, the only question is, whether they decide to address that via trade and free agency or through the draft.
A player to keep your eye on during the draft is Leigh guard C.J. McCollum. Many draft experts and even the Pistons very own writer Keith Langlois have the Detroit Pistons selecting the dynamic young scorer with their lottery selection. McCollum averaged 23.4 points per game in his senior campaign and started if the season extremely well before being hindered by a foot injury the rest of the season. McCollum would add plenty of scoring, but would have to play the shooting guard position, shifting Piston guard Brandon Knight back to the point guard spot.
Another scorer the Pistons will take a long look at before their selection next week is UCLA Bruin Shabazz Muhammad. A player with all-star potential, but struggled mightily to live up to his potential in college. Muhammad averaged 17.2 points per game at UCLA along with grabbing 5 boards a game. He punished his defenders down low with his physical stature and showed an improved outside jump shot. Shabazz also moves very well off the ball coming off of screens, like Richard Hamilton did year after year in Detroit.
If the Pistons do decide to address the scoring positions come draft night, I give the edge to Muhammad as he is more of a pure scorer unlike McCollum who could play either guard positions.
3.) Another Post Presence
– Another direction that many people do not seem to think the Pistons will go in is adding another young big man to the young and upcoming frontcourt. Recent rumors have swirled that the Pistons may be looking at selecting Indiana big man Cody Zeller with their lottery selection. Another big man that the Pistons might look at is Pittsburgh big man Steven Adams.
Zeller was the consensus number one prospect heading into the college basketball season, but was in the shadows of Indiana guard Victor Oladipo for most of the season. Zeller averaged nearly 17 points per game and hauled down 10 rebound a contest last year, leaving him as still a top prospect headed into the draft. Adding Zeller to the already stellar frontline of Andre Drummond and Greg Monroe would create a frontline that not many teams could stand for 48 minutes.
Although selecting a big man is unlikely, don’t be shocked if Detroit takes a swing at Cody Zeller on draft night.