Detroit Pistons Draft: ASU’s Josh Christopher is a 2nd round slasher

Arizona State Sun Devils guard Josh Christopher (13). Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Arizona State Sun Devils guard Josh Christopher (13). Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

Arizona State University’s Josh Christopher could help replace a veteran at the wing or guard position.

During the 2020-21 NBA season, the Detroit Pistons traded for two athletic guards in Dennis Smith Jr. as well as Hamidou Diallo. Once arriving in the Motor City, Smith was nagged by injuries while Diallo has shown flashes of great basketball, but was also a very streaky player.

The Pistons need a player like those two, who can score from the outside or slash their way to the basket to throw down.

Both Diallo and Smith could be gone during this offseason. Smith may sign a two-way contract and stay in Michigan, mainly because he may have nowhere else to go, but many of those games could be in the G-League, where he would have more of a negative impact than a positive one.

Related Story. Detroit Pistons NBA Draft: Juhann Bégarin is a 2nd-round project. light

Diallo looks more like a player of the future who will continue to improve, and I think he would be a great fit in the starting lineup to compliment point guard Killian Hayes.

If Smith leaves, or is relegated to the Motor City Cruise, it would be great to have another slasher coming off the bench. Josh Christopher a 6-foot-5, 215-pound wing from Arizona State is a high-risk, high-reward player who could fill the role and perhaps be great.

Arizona State’s Josh Christopher would make a good second round pick for Detroit Pistons

Christopher was supposed to be a first-round pick, but injuries and COVID protocols made him miss 11 games in a shorter season, so his value has slipped in recent months. He is supposed to be an early second-rounder, so Detroit could snag him with one of their many picks. Coming out of ASU, ‘JayGup’ (yes, that is his nickname) appears to play much like a college Smith Jr, back when he was actually good.

He scores less than Smith or Diallo (14.3 points average for Sun Devils), and this would probably continue into his NBA career, but he takes smarter shots, creates for himself, and is a lockdown defender, which is an element Smith and Diallo are missing from their arsenal.

Christopher can also snag rebounds just as well as either Piston, and is just as good of an athlete as the other two pros (which is saying a lot).

The only downside is his work in traffic, which seems to be a bit rushed. If he slowed down and played with a consistent pace, he could be a great building block for the future and maybe a darkhorse pick to make the All-Rookie second team.

Of course Smith or Diallo are both free agents and could walk.

Christopher would be a very good replacement. Diallo seems to know his role, which bodes well for his future in Detroit, but Smith was traded out of Dallas because he wanted to be ‘the man’ and simply was not good enough to run the offense by himself.

dark. Next. NBA Mock Draft 4.0: Detroit Pistons drop to 6th, Bulls and Kings move up

If Christopher doesn’t have similar ego problems, he could take over as a slasher coming off the bench for the Pistons, with an equally good outside shot and better defense.