Ed Stefanski: Detroit Pistons will likely draft the best player available

DAYTON, OH - FEBRUARY 08: Obi Toppin #1 of the Dayton Flyers is seen during the game against the Saint Louis Billikens at UD Arena on February 8, 2020 in Dayton, Ohio. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
DAYTON, OH - FEBRUARY 08: Obi Toppin #1 of the Dayton Flyers is seen during the game against the Saint Louis Billikens at UD Arena on February 8, 2020 in Dayton, Ohio. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images) /

In a recent interview with the Detroit Free Press, Detroit Pistons Senior Adviser Ed Stefanski said the team will likely draft whoever the best player available is.

Omari Sankofa II of the Detroit Free Press was able to sit down with (for all intents and purposes) the GM of the Detroit Pistons. While Stefanski has never officially adopted the title, that’s more or less been his role.

The interview is full of great quotes, and you can check out the full story here.

Heading into the upcoming draft, fans are naturally becoming speculative over who Detroit could potentially select. With the decision being so heavily contingent on their actual order in the draft, there are a ton of different options.

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As it stands the Pistons currently have the fifth best odds at landing the top pick. In the history of their franchise, they’ve never moved up from their original odds. Because of this, fans can expect them to stay at fifth overall, or even potentially slide down.

When asked about who they may be looking and if it could be specific to an individual position, Stefanski said this;

"I think where we are, most of the time you’re always going to be going for the best possible player. So I think that’s the premise we’re using now. Could it switch? Of course. Something could switch if we see an opportunity to help ourselves. I’d say right now, the best player available regardless of the position."

This is interesting given the fact that it’s glaringly obvious Detroit needs a point guard moving forward. Not Derrick Rose who may be great for them now, but isn’t guaranteed to be on the roster in two years. No Bruce Brown either, who’s been stuck in a hybrid position.

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So while players like James Wiseman and Obi Toppin could be tremendous talents, at the end of the day it’s an interesting approach to select a player even if their position isn’t a priority.

It could certainly work in the Pistons’ favor, but it seems a tad bit safer to roll the dice on a player that your system actually needs. Would LaMelo Ball be able to help Detroit get out of their rebuild quicker?

Hypothetically, it may be more likely than drafting someone who’d spend a majority of the season getting their minutes behind Blake Griffin.

Then in the interview it was mentioned that this upcoming draft class is incredibly point guard and big men. Sefanski doubled down on his previous statement;

"If we feel the best player fits one of those positions, that’s even better if you get fortunate that that happens. Right now, that won’t come into play. If the best player is the position where we have more players or have added depth, we’re going to do it. If it happens and we feel the best player on the board fits the position that we need, that’s even better."

Essentially, getting the best player that you can and figuring out the logistics later is the idea here. In all honesty, it’s not a terrible strategy. However some ensured stability at a certain position would be ideal, given that Detroit’s back court could look a bit crowded next season.

In a bizarre turn on events if the Pistons somehow manage to win the lottery and land the number one overall pick, one can safely assume that they’d select either Anthony Edwards or LaMelo Ball. Beyond that, anything could happen.

If they slip down the order and fall into the sixth-eighth overall range, it’s really going to be unpredictable.

At that point, there’s still a good chance that they’d drat a point guard. If that were to wind up being the case (coincidence or not) fans could expect to see either Tyrese Haliburton or Killian Hayes.

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