Way too early 2022 NBA Mock Draft: Pistons fall to 3rd

Paolo Banchero #5 and Trevor Keels #1 of the Duke Blue Devils (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
Paolo Banchero #5 and Trevor Keels #1 of the Duke Blue Devils (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) /
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Detroit Pistons
Paolo Banchero #5 of the Duke Blue Devils (Photo by Lance King/Getty Images) /

The new year is nearly upon is, which seems like the perfect time to do a way-too-soon NBA Mock Draft to try and give Pistons fans hope heading into 2022.

The Pistons have the worst record in the NBA, but as we know, that doesn’t guarantee anything, as the bottom three teams all have the same odds for the number one pick.

There isn’t a consensus number one yet this season and it’s unlikely there will be, as this draft is not as strong at the top as last season and features a number of guys who could go first.

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The Pistons have a number of needs, but mostly it’s just about acquiring elite talent, as teams that are on pace to be the worst in franchise history can’t be too concerned about position or need at this point in the rebuild.

Obviously the Pistons would love to land the number one pick again, as it puts a lot of options on the table, including trading for an established star.

But having the worst record only guarantees the Pistons will stay in the top five, so we let the Lottery Gods at Tankathon decide and on the first spin Detroit dropped to number three.

So who would the Pistons take with the third pick?

2022 NBA Mock Draft: Pick #1

Paolo Banchero. 1. player. 38. Pick Analysis. Scouting Report. Forward. Duke / Orlando Magic

The Orlando Magic catch a break in this simulation and get the number one pick, which they use on forward Paolo Banchero from Duke.

The Magic have young talent at nearly every position, and they are a team I could see trading this pick if they did land it, but if not, taking a high flying forward like Banchero makes sense. He would fit nicely with the young trio of Cole Anthony, Jalen Suggs and Franz Wagner and the Magic rebuild would be well on its way.