Modeled after ESPN’s 5-on-5, three of us will answer three questions about a Pistons-related topic. Please add your responses in the comments.
1. Should the Pistons look to acquire a first-round pick in tonight’s NBA Draft?
Dan Feldman: Probably not. It depends on the cost obviously, but what can the Pistons offer? Andre Drummond is wayyyy too valuable, and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope is too valuable to trade for a late first rounder. Kyle Singler is the only other player on the roster whose value nears that range. Everyone else falls considerably short. Dealing a future first rounder might make sense, but that depends on the protections. I’m hopeful the Pistons improve rapidly under Stan Van Gundy, so there is potential to deal a late first rounder, but Detroit shouldn’t hamstring its future.
Patrick Hayes: Sure? I mean, a first round pick in this draft would be great, but it’s unrealistic to think the Pistons would part with any player who could fetch a first round pick in return, and it’s more unrealistic to think that any team picking in round one would part with a pick in exchange for any of the players the Pistons would love to trade. Teams rarely “sell” first round picks anymore the way that teams like the Suns used to, so that scenario is probably out too.
Brady Fredericksen: Only if they have a target. It’s a waste of assets — which the Pistons sorely lack — to move up into the first round just for the sake of being in the first round. Now, if there’s a player that management covets and he’s falling into that late-first territory, then sure, go ahead and toss a few million at someone for a pick. But don’t trade something of value just to pick 10 spots earlier because the fans may like it.
2. What type of player should the Pistons target with the No. 38 pick?
Dan Feldman: The player who brings most during the next three years. I wouldn’t worry about immediate impact in an area of the draft every players has major flaws, and I definitely would worry even less about fit on a roster that should change significantly in coming years.
Patrick Hayes: Just take someone who can play. I don’t care about upside, I don’t care about athleticism, measurables or off-court issues. Can the guy play? That’s all I want to know. When you get infatuated with what a guy could be vs. what a guy is, you end up with Terrico White when Lance Stephenson is still available.
Brady Fredericksen: One who is capable of knocking down an perimeter jumper. I don’t need to remind you of how poorly the Pistons shot from, well, everywhere last season, but it seems like that will be one of the first issues Van Gundy tries to tackle. Patrick makes a very good point, too. Players who are ready to play are preferred, and when you’re a bad team drafting in the second round, it’s usually easier to find a more polished player late. There are plenty of projects laying around — and when Van Gundy was in Orlando, they drafted projects because they were good — but you can find a polished player who may have slipped down draft boards due to things as simple as age.
3. Who do you think the Pistons should select with the No. 38 pick?
Dan Feldman: Obviously, it depends who’s available. Cleanthony Early, Jordan Adams and Mitch McGary will probably be off the board, but of the players in my top 30, they’re ones I’m most hopeful will fall. Of the players more in Detroit’s range, I’d be happy enough with Jerami Grant, Glen Robinson III, Spencer Dinwiddie or Walter Tavares – though even that group might be aiming too high.
Patrick Hayes: My best case is Cleanthony Early or Glenn Robinson III. In the likely event that both are off the board, I also like Roy Devyn Marble and think he’s one of the most underrated players in the draft.
Brady Fredericksen: There’s a trio of guys that I’ve grown to like. Funny enough, they also fit that, “players who are ready to play and can shoot the ball” role, too. From West Virginia’s Joe Harris and Washington’s C.J. Wilcox to Colorado’s Spencer Dinwiddie, all three seem to be capable of helping right away in Detroit. Harris and Wilcox are primarily shooters, and I think they’re also somewhat limited in terms of what their ceiling is; though Harris is an underrated defender. Dinwiddie is intriguing. He’s dropped in the draft because of an ACL injury this past season, but at 6-foot-6 he can play a bit of point guard. None of these guys are special prospects, but at No. 38, you don’t need special. You need good, smart basketball players that fit your system — that’s what Van Gundy and Co. should be looking for tonight.