Chad Ford released a list of NBA Draft prospects divided into tiers, slotting players as he could best discern how NBA teams see them. Here are the players listed in the top tier used:
- Anthony Bennett
- Alex Len
- Ben McLemore
- Nerlens Noel
- Victor Oladipo
- Otto Porter
Notice a missing name? That’s right, Trey Burke is somehow omitted.
He’s in the next tier, though he gets special mention with C.J. McCollum and Michael Carter-Williams as players who some teams believe belong a tier up.
So, if we assume the six players in the top-used tier will definitely be off the board when the Pistons pick, that means only one other player – most likely McCollum or Carter-Williams – must go before the Pistons, and then they can draft Burke.
And remember, the two teams picking just before the Pistons – i.e., the teams that will most likely have the fewest top-tier players available to them before the Pistons pick – reportedly aren’t particularly high on Burke.
I’m getting really hopeful this could happen. Burke is far from a perfect prospect, but at No. 8 in this draft, he would be a phenomenal pickup.
In each of the last three years, as the draft neared, I became hopeful a top player would fall to the Pistons. In 2010, it was Greg Monroe. In 2011, it was Jonas Valanciunas. In 2012, it was Andre Drummond.
So, I’m 2-for-3, but not without plenty of nerves.
As the draft approached, I scoured every report and analyzed every tidbit with an eye on how it would affect the likelihood of my guy falling. I laughed uncontrollably when the Warriors fell in love with Ekpe Udoh, slumped in my seat when the center-needing Bobcats traded ahead of the Pistons and pumped my fist silently as the Bobcats kicked of a perfect storm by drafting Michael Kidd-Gilchrist.
I cheered and cried with every twist and turn, and as PistonPowered has grown, posted more and more about it here. Burke will get the same treatment between now and Thursday.