1. Which player in this range should the Pistons especially covet?
Patrick Hayes: Glen Rice Jr. Rice is a good shooter, a good rebounder for a perimeter player and has the strength and athleticism to develop into a good NBA perimeter defender. Plus, he’s proven at the professional level as one of the top players in the D-League last season.
Jameson Draper: Obviously, the 37th pick in the draft is dependent on what the Pistons do with the 8th pick, but I really like Ray McCallum. If the Pistons end up not drafting a point guard in round one, McCallum is a steal in the second round and still a possible future starter in the future in the NBA. There’s a section in this incredible Hickory High article by Jacob Frankel and Cole Patty talking about how well Ray McCallum tested in their post about predicting success of future draft picks.
Dan Feldman: There are several point guards I like in this range, so much in fact that I’d love the Pistons consider beginning their draft PG-PG. Pierre Jackson, Ray McCallum and Nate Wolters would all be fine choices here, and if multiple are available, that’s the order I’d prefer them.
2. Which player in this range should the Pistons especially avoid?
Patrick Hayes: Any big. In all honesty, there are a lot of players in the second round who I find intriguing, but none of them are bigs. With wing players like Rice Jr., Tony Snell, C.J. Leslie, Ricky Ledo and Archie Goodwin all likely to go in this range and all offering intriguing potential, there are a lot of picks at this spot that would make me happy.
Jameson Draper: Alex Abrines. His defense leaves something to be desired, which is pretty big turnoff when there aren’t as many turn ons. At this point in the draft, the Pistons should pick the most well-rounded player. That’s not Abrines.
Dan Feldman: Colton Iverson. I was initially intrigued, but the closer I look the less I like. He really didn’t do much at Minnesota, but send him to a smaller conference and let him age past his opponents, and he turns into a star. The NBA is tougher than the Big Ten, and I don’t see Iverson cutting it. At least not to the point he’s worth the risk here.
3. Which player is most likely to be chosen by the Pistons in this range?
Patrick Hayes: Nate Wolters. This, of course, would be dependent on Burke not falling to the Pistons in round one, but if he doesn’t, Wolters in round two would be a nice consolation prize. He’s a big point guard at 6-foot-4, which would help Detroit’s rather diminutive backcourt, and he’s a great shooter (38 percent from three). I do have some concerns about the level of competition he faced in college (as an Oakland alum, I’ve watched a lot of Summit League hoops over the last few years, and it’s not great), but I’m also a big proponent of not ignoring elite production, and Wolters is definitely worth a look here.
Most mock drafts are saying the Pistons will take a wing player at the 37th pick, so I’ll go with Glen Rice, Jr. Rice was a highly touted college player who was kicked off Georgia Tech’s team in March 2012, so he entered the D-League Draft and was selected by the Rockets’ affiliates, the Rio Grande Valley Vipers. He surpassed expectations there and was invited to the Draft Combine, where he excellently showcased his skills, catapulting him into the late first round-early second round area. It’s easy to see the Pistons drafting a player that late in the draft with mid-first round talent.
Dan Feldman: C.J. Leslie. He’s an intriguing athlete who just hasn’t put together his skills. I’m not particularly fond of hoping he turns out, but it’s an appropriate place to take that risk.