Two potential Detroit Pistons draft picks aren’t in the NCAA

Jalen Green would be a nice get for the Detroit Pistons (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Jalen Green would be a nice get for the Detroit Pistons (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) /

Looking ahead to the 2021 NBA Draft, the Detroit Pistons hope to have a very good pick. And knowing that they could have the pick of the litter means we can speculate way too soon about who they might take.

In my mind, there are only two ways the Detroit Pistons can go.

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If they land the number one overall pick, the no-brainer option is Cade Cunningham from Oklahoma State. He is the consensus number one pick, so whoever holds that spot is sure to take him.

Cunningham is a scorer, with the strength and physicality to wrestle for rebounds under the rim and defend all five positions. There really isn’t anything else that needs to be said, if Detroit lands first overall, take Cunningham.

The second option is actually two players. Neither play for a college team, they are on the G-League Ignite. The Ignite is a developmental team that allows players to forgo the traditional one-and-done route and instead play one year against other G-League teams, with some veterans on the roster to provide guidance. Players receive a salary and a scholarship to Arizona State University, so it really could be the avenue players opt to take in coming years.

The two most intriguing and best-fitting players for Detroit on the Ignite are Jalen Green and Jonathan Kuminga.

Two possible Detroit Pistons draft picks are not in the NCAA

Green is a tall and lanky shooting guard who is only 18-years-old. In the G-League, he is putting up 18 points and 2.8 assists to go with a steal and a half per game. While his skills are raw and he will take time to develop, time is something the Detroit Pistons have a lot of.

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It is worth noting that his stats are only based on 15 games, but these were games played against grown men who get paid to play, not college players who will pursue careers outside of athletics.

Jonathan Kuminga puts up slightly less impressive numbers than Green, but he is still an elite player. He is 6-foot-8 and 210 pounds, and he is built. Not to get ahead of myself, but he looks like he could stop Ben Simmons or Paul George from driving to the hoop right now. His shooting from deep needs work, but he doesn’t shoot many three-balls compared to his teammates, so it may be a confidence issue. His raw talent and current skill set reminds me of a young Kawhi Leonard, and any team would love to develop that sort of talent.

Green would join the team and immediately be a scoring threat. Kuminga needs a couple more years to develop into a well-rounded NBA player, but the raw talent is there. If Cade Cunningham is off the board, the Detroit Pistons should look away from the NCAA and pursue more established, grown players.

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