Detroit Pistons Draft Dreams: Greg Smith


Although this draft has been knocked for an overall lack of impact players, there does seem to be size available throughout, a good thing for the Pistons considering they have picks at the beginning, middle and end of the draft.


Measurables: 6-foot-9, 250 pounds sophomore C from Fresno State

Key stats: 11.7 points, 8.1 rebounds per game while shooting 57 percent from the field

Projected: Second round/undrafted

How would he help the Pistons?

Whoever the Pistons take at pick No. 52 will be a longshot to contribute and, perhaps, a longshot to make the roster this season. There’s a good chance the Pistons could look international with that pick and find someone who will play overseas for a year or two and, perhaps, turn into a better NBA prospect during that time. But they could also take a shot at a player like Smith, a big body and solid rebounder who might be able to come into training camp and win a spot in a depleted frontcourt.

Smith has huge hands and, at about 250 pounds, he’s more filled out than many of the second round bigs who will be available. If he shows any skill whatsoever in individual pre-draft workouts, that might be enough to entice a big man-needy team like the Pistons into looking at him.

How wouldn’t he help the Pistons?

Smith is the classic case of a player who should’ve stayed in school, even in a weak draft like this one. Despite his size, and despite the fact that he doesn’t play in a great basketball conference, he didn’t put up great numbers. He improved his rebounding slightly from freshman to sophomore season, but overall, his numbers were almost identical after a promising freshman season. He’s not a great shot blocker despite his athleticism and he could still use some polish in the post offensively.

None of that is to say Smith doesn’t have a chance to figure things out and make a roster. But someone as big as he is could be a definite first round pick if he’d spent another year working on those things in college.

What are others saying?

From DraftExpress:

"Perhaps the most ridiculous spectacle we saw all week came in Smith’s post drills. Dwarfing most of the players here with his size, Smith also has exceptionally large hands, and on a number of occasions, simply snatched the entry passes directed his way out of midair, palming the ball away from his body as if it were a grapefruit."

From ESPN:

"Smith is a physical specimen. He’s a 6-foot-10, 250-pound power player with a 7-foot-3 wingspan and just 6.4 percent body fat. He had the biggest hands (11.25 inches) of anyone at the New Jersey workouts and recorded a 35.5-inch vertical — a terrific number for a player his size. However, he is still pretty raw offensively."

From Green Street:

"Any team that takes Smith will be taking a flier on a stereotypical developmental center. At 6-foot-10 and a solid 250 pounds, the 2009-10 WAC Freshman of the Year and 2010-11 WAC second-teamer certainly has the size to make it at the next level. His hands, which measured in at nearly a foot wide and were the biggest at the combine, especially have earned him some looks as a guy who can snatch the ball out of mid-air, whether it be on a rebound or on a pass through traffic in the post. Twenty rebounds against Nevada in his last NCAA game are testament to that fact."