Detroit Pistons’ Draft 2021: Worst case scenario ends in small ball

Franz Wagner #21 of the Michigan Wolverines could be a fit on the Detroit Pistons (Photo by Aaron J. Thornton/Getty Images)
Franz Wagner #21 of the Michigan Wolverines could be a fit on the Detroit Pistons (Photo by Aaron J. Thornton/Getty Images) /

If somehow the Detroit Pistons manage to lose the 2021 NBA Draft lottery, there can still be hope in Detroit. The Big Ten has absolutely been dominating the field this year in mens’ college hoops, and if the Pistons manage to fall out of the top five, they could look to the Big Ten.

Specifically, to Franz Wagner of the University of Michigan.

Keep in mind, this is the worst-case scenario, so ideally we’d be drafting first overall or at least in the top five. 

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This season, Wagner is putting up 50 percent shooting and has managed to increase his deep-ball by almost ten percent, which shows growth and even more improvement on the horizon.

Detroit Pistons: Small ball is the future

As the NBA moves more towards small-ball being the norm, a 6-foot-8 facilitator and deep threat would do wonders to improve the versatility of the Detroit Pistons’ lineup. Wagner can offer scoring and playmaking off the bench behind Saddiq Bey for the time being, and make the jump into the starting lineup when he’s ready.

I believe that there are definitely better options for Detroit if they can snag an early pick, but if they slip, Wagner is my darkhorse pick. His brother Moritz plays a very different game and position but has already proven to be a solid NBA player, so there is very little risk for Franz. His floor is high.

The Detroit Pistons have the unique opportunity to become the standard for small-ball, and by drafting Franz they can ensure that this style will become associated with Detroit for years to come. With a lineup of Grant, Bey, Wagner, and whoever they want to plug into the guard spots, the athletic and high IQ undersized lineup can put up very impressive scoring numbers.

We’ve been high on Wagner for months now, and as his play has improved, so has his draft stock. Projected to be an early second-round pick at the start of the NCCA season, his numbers and efficiency have improved a lot since last year and the start of this season so his stock has risen to be a fringe lottery pick, according to most mock drafts.

Again, there are better players on the board, but the lottery system doesn’t guarantee us a shot at them, but Detroit basketball fans can rejoice knowing that we have options at all levels of the first round.

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