Re-drafting Detroit Pistons guard Luke Kennard in the 2017 NBA Draft

Detroit Pistons Luke Kennard. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
Detroit Pistons Luke Kennard. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /
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Detroit Pistons
Detroit Pistons Luke Kennard. (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images) /

12. Detroit Pistons – Luke Kennard

(Original Pick – Luke Kennard)

Well, look what we have here.

I didn’t plan on taking Kennard for the Pistons at 12, but destiny always finds a way. Kennard has improved in many ways since putting on a Pistons uniform and should be around for the long-term rebuild the Pistons are undergoing.

I considered a point-guard here, but the Pistons wouldn’t have gone that direction with Reggie Jackson still in the early years of his five-year, $80 million extension.

trade simulator. Here's what NBA 2K20 offers for Kennard. light

Among those possibilities included Fultz, who has seen a career resurgence this season with the Orlando Magic after an injury riddled first couple of seasons in Philadelphia. However, Fultz still only shoots 28% from 3, and that will need to improve before I can truly buy into his upside, which could be incredible.

Other options included wing Dillon Brooks and Markkanen. Brooks is having the best season of his career this year for the Grizzlies, and plays defense better than Kennard. I chose to stick with Kennard because of the playmaking ability he has shown.

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Markkanen had a great season last year, but this scoring averages have come back down to earth this year at 15 points per game. If Markannen didn’t play a position that Blake Griffin and Tobias Harris have played maybe Markkanen would make sense for Detroit. But all the same defensive concerns that Kennard have are the same, if not even more of an issue with Markkanen.

This exercise emphasized that the former Pistons front office certainly didn’t whiff when selecting Kennard at 12. If it weren’t for positional need and some players still clinging onto an upside that may never be reached, Kennard might’ve gone even earlier in this re-draft.

It’s easy for Kennard to be compared to Donovan Mitchell, and his name will be mentioned alongside Mitchell’s for the duration of Kennard’s time in Detroit. But it’s not fair to him as a player, because Kennard returned great value with the 12th selection in the 2017 NBA Draft, and could have even more to show in the future.

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