If Bennett slides to No. 8, Pistons GM Joe Dumars will be grinning ear to ear. For the last three years one of the top-ranked players in the draft has slid to the Pistons. In 2010 it was Greg Monroe. In 2011 it was Brandon Knight. In 2012 it was Andre Drummond. If Bennett is there, the Pistons would grab him. He can play both the three and the four, can both stretch the floor and play in the post. The Pistons have other needs, including point guard, but Bennett is too much of a talent to pass up. Burke and Carter-Williams are the other two possibilities in Detroit.
I’d be very happy if the Pistons land Bennett. He would bring plenty of complications – for one, can he play with Drummond and Monroe? – but I rate him a clear peg above any prospects the Pistons might be forced to draft if the first seven picks mimic how I’d assemble their own board.
If Bennett falls to the Pistons, it very well could be for reasons other than teams above them being foolish, though. I know we’ve gotten used to that (thanks again Golden State for taking Ekpe Udoh and Toronto for taking Terrence Ross), but sometimes guys slip for a reason. Bennett, who faced conditioning questions even before his shoulder surgery forced him to sit out pre-draft workouts, has gained a considerable amount of weight, according to Ford.
The Pistons can’t simply pick Bennett and declare the pick a winner because he was discussed as an option for the Cavaliers at No. 1. They’ll have to work with him to get him healthy and in shape, and there are no guarantees they’ll get the results they desire.
I’d prefer that risk to greater fears I have about others’ playing ability, but it’s a risk nonetheless.