1. Which player in this range should the Pistons especially covet?
Patrick Hayes: Ray McCallum Jr. Of course, this would depend on the Pistons not landing Burke or C.J. McCollum in round one or Wolters with the first of their second round picks, but if McCallum lasts this long (he probably won’t, if teams are smart), I’d love to see him on the Pistons. I honestly think he’s one of the most intriguing talents in this draft. He was a high major prospect and natural point guard with great athleticism and physical gifts who chose to play for his dad at U of D. I truly think McCallum is going to be one of the major steals of this draft for whoever takes him.
Brady Fredericksen: Ray McCallum. It’s looking like he could be a guy who may be looking at a lengthier wait in the second round. Based purely on talent and talent alone, this would be a great pick — plus point guard could be a target position for the team. Just because he played his college ball at a small school in University of Detroit doesn’t mean he still isn’t the uber-talented prospect that many loved coming out of high school.
Dan Feldman: An international player with upside who’s not coming to the NBA next season. The Pistons have 10 players under contract for next season (though not all are fully guaranteed and the amnesty clause is available), two other draft picks and cap room to use on a few good players. With a roster limit of 15, the Pistons might have trouble fitting the No. 56 pick into the fold. But even if they have roster space for him, he’ll likely be buried. Pick someone who can develop with playing time elsewhere.
2. Which player in this range should the Pistons especially avoid?
Patrick Hayes: Myck Kabongo. The Texas product wasn’t especially productive in college, had conditioning issues and reportedly has had only so-so workouts. At one time, he was a major prospect coming out of high school. I think there will be teams still intrigued by that potential late in the second round, but I hope the Pistons aren’t one of them.
Brady Fredericksen: This late in the draft, there isn’t necessarily a guy to really stay away from, but maybe former Arizona guard Josiah Turner. He was a five-star recruit when he joined the Wildcats in 2011-12, but drug and alcohol problems promptly got him kicked out of school during his freshman year. A guy like Ricky Ledo is troubled, but scouts LOVE his talent. Turner is troubled and scouts aren’t totally buying his talent — not worth the risk.
Dan Feldman: Derrick Nix. It’s OK to draft a local guy when he’s actually worthy of the pick. See Burke, Trey with the No. 8 pick. But there’s no evidence Nix is draftable, so if the Pistons were to draft to former Michigan State Spartan, it would almost certainly be for bad reasons.
3. Which player is mot likely to be chosen by the Pistons in this range?
Patrick Hayes: Raul Neto. Neto is an improving point guard but, more importantly for the Pistons, he’s an international prospect who might wait to come over. He’s a good shooter and playmaker and still only 21. If Kyle Singler, Khris Middleton, Kim English and Slava Kravtsov are all back this season, plus two rookies from Detroit’s earlier picks, it makes more sense for Detroit to take a player here who might not immediately be added to that mix of young players who all need minutes to develop.
Brady Fredericksen: It’s honestly a crapshoot. There’s been talk of the Pistons being interested in a player they can draft and stash in Europe for a few years, which, considering the amount of second-rounders from overseas who seem to be floating around this mid-to-late portion, may not be a bad decision. My complete shot-in-the-dark guess is Joffrey Lauvergne.
Dan Feldman: Brandon Davies. The Pistons, probably more than they should, have gravitated toward more proven players this late in the draft. Unfortunately, most of them, in their years of college experience, have proven they’re good for that level, but not quite good enough for the NBA. Though I’d rather take a chance on a boom-or-bust player here, Davies seems to fit the aforementioned profile.