Detroit Pistons: Who’s been Stan Van Gundy’s best pick?

HOUSTON, TX - APRIL 07: Stanley Johnson
HOUSTON, TX - APRIL 07: Stanley Johnson /

Since joining the Detroit Pistons, Stan Van Gundy has led four different drafts for the organization. Who’s been his best pick so far?

The Detroit Pistons have had four different NBA drafts under the reign of Stan Van Gundy. In his first draft in 2014, Stan Van Gundy only had a second round pick. Since then, Stan Van Gundy has had both a first and second round pick in every draft, with the exception of this past draft.

Here’s what he’s done with those picks:

2014: round 2, pick 38 Spencer Dinwiddie
2015: round 1, pick 8 Stanley Johnson, round 2, pick 38 Darrun Hilliard
2016: round 1, pick 18 Henry Ellenson, round 2, pick 49 Michael Gbinije
2017: round 1, pick 12 Luke Kennard (yet to play)

So the question of the day is, who’s been his best pick?

Obviously it’s tough to judge really any of his picks since 2015 for one reason or another, so there is a bit of a projection here, as well as what was on the board at the time.

Van Gundy got the most value out of his first draft in Spencer Dinwiddie, who’s been an effective role player despite being drafted in the second round.

However, one could also argue that Van Gundy landed a top-10 prospect coming into the 2016 draft in Henry Ellenson, who has proven to be a gym rat and a player that could be a valuable rotation player for the Pistons as soon as this season.

Then there’s Stanley Johnson who has yet to really get much opportunity, but is in line for a big role this season to prove what he’s got.

Second round picks Darrun Hilliard and Michael Gbinije both showed promise, with Hilliard looking like a future rotational player in the NBA.

Finally, there’s Luke Kennard who we’ve yet to see in NBA action, but impressed considerably in the Orlando Summer League this offseason.

Obviously, this is subject to change–and I am projecting a bit–but I think Johnson will prove to be Van Gundy’s best pick.

My bold prediction is that he breaks out this season and clearly separates himself from the often compared Justise Winslow, the player many fans and media thought should have been drafted instead of Johnson.

If you follow my work at all, you also know that I am a big believer in Ellenson. I think he will be an excellent rotational player for the Pistons, if not this season, then next.

Next: What are realistic expectations for Detroit Pistons?

While time will ultimately tell, Van Gundy and his staff has done a solid job acquiring talent with upside. The real question with Van Gundy is whether or not he can develop that talent.