Detroit Pistons 2021 Draft: Guards to watch in today’s games

James Bouknight #2 of the Connecticut Huskies could be a steal for the Detroit Pistons (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
James Bouknight #2 of the Connecticut Huskies could be a steal for the Detroit Pistons (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) /

The Detroit Pistons will have one eye on the NCAA Tournament this weekend.

The first four games and the first full day of March Madness were full of the expected excitement. 15-seeded Oral Roberts threw off Ohio State to the shock of everyone, and Oregon State beat Tennesse in a more predictable fashion.

Hometown Michigan State lost in an overtime nail-biter to the UCLA Bruins, and the excitement is just getting started.

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This morning we take a look at three guards who should be on your radar today. Not the players expected to be high lottery picks, but players who could prove their talent in this tournament and be sleepers in the next NBA Draft.

Cade Cunningham, Jalen Green, and Jalen Suggs are the top guard talents in this draft, but the Detroit Pistons  might be able to find NBA-caliber players elsewhere if there are standouts today. These players don’t need to lead runs, just prove they can play productive, high-level basketball.

Detroit Pistons draft picks: James Bouknight, Connecticut

James Bouknight is an All-Big East combo guard out of Uconn. Projected to be a lottery pick, he is not on Pistons’ draft boards unless they fall out of the top five. Before their matchup with Maryland, it should be noted that he is a good and craftyscorer.

He isn’t a bad defender and can protect the ball, as well as snag some rebounds. Today, Maryland must do all they can do to contain him if they want to win.

If all goes well this tournament, his draft stock could skyrocket even higher than where it is right now.

As the primary scorer for the Huskies, it should be noted that his confidence often lacks, and if he doesn’t play with confidence on the biggest college stage, then his draft stock could plummet. If he looks good with his shots and takes control of the game, look out for him on early draft boards.

Detroit Pistons draft picks: Andrew Jones, Texas

Andrew Jones is an athletic shooting guard out of the Lone Star State. Unlike Bouknight, he is very confident shooting the ball, but only is effective on shots when he has time to shoot.

When set, he shoots very well, but the longer 3-point line in the NBA might hold him back from blossoming.

He lacks a high basketball IQ, but if he has time to develop that can be changed. However, he is a project. He has the natural athleticism of some younger players like Ja Morant and RJ Barrett, but he is not a plug-and-play player.

If Texas makes a run and it’s clear that Jones is the centerpiece, he could blossom into a steal if the Pistons can nab him in the second round. But he’s very streaky, and the NBA transition will be rough. Watch today and see if he’ll be a fit.

Detroit Pistons draft picks: Dru Smith, Missouri

Dru Smith is not an explosive guard, but that isn’t enough to hold him back in the NBA. Smith does everything well. He’s a deep threat and crafty scorer, he plays excellent perimeter defense, he can rebound and facilitate. The only weakness is finishing at the rim.

He has a 70 percent true shooting percentage, two steals, and four rebounds and assists a game. He’s 200 pounds, which might mean he can immediately stand up to the larger NBA competition.

Missouri is not expected to go far this tournament, as a nine seed they have a real challenge in making a run, but depending on how well Smith performs against Oklahoma, that might be enough.

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