Detroit Pistons: Updated 2022 NBA Draft big board top-5 for March

Auburn Tigers forward Jabari Smith Credit: Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports
Auburn Tigers forward Jabari Smith Credit: Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports /

The Detroit Pistons have been playing better of late, but are still very likely to end with one of the bottom three records in the NBA.

That does not guarantee a top-3 pick, and Detroit could drop as low as the 7th pick if the current standings held up and they finished with the third-worst record.

There is no consensus top pick in this draft, but there is agreement on the top three, as just about every scout and expert has Jabari Smith, Chet Holmgren and Paolo Banchero in some order.

After that, it is a crapshoot, as most agree there is a drop off and that this isn’t a particularly deep draft outside of the top 10 guys.

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I think there has been some movement in the Pistons Big Board of late, but the top has stayed the same, though there is a new name to keep an eye on.

Detroit Pistons Big Board top-5 in March

#5- Shaedon Sharpe

This guy has moved into my top five even though the has not played a single game this season for Kentucky. He is the big mystery man of the 2022 NBA Draft, as he was the consensus #1 high school player in the country coming into this season, but opted to sit out and join Kentucky in the middle of the year instead.

He has the size, athleticism and shot making ability to be the best player in this draft, and even though scouts won’t have seen him play against elite competition, I do think he has a good shot at going in the top five depending on who gets the pick.

He projects to be similar to Jalen Green, and if the Detroit Pistons fall out of the top-3, he’ll get consideration, as they need scoring from the shooting guard position desperately.

#4: Jaden Ivey

Ivey has held this position for most of the season and has been steady. He’s another elite scoring prospect with plus athleticism and shot making ability. He has all of the tools to be a 20 ppg scorer in the NBA and would look great next to Cade Cunningham.

#3: Paolo Banchero

Paolo continues to put up big numbers for Duke against good competition. I don’t think the Pistons can go wrong if they land in the top-3, as Banchero may very well end up being the best player in this draft. He lands a notch below the other two because of his 3-point shooting, which is just average, but when you consider this guy is a legit 6-foot-10 athlete, it probably won’t matter.

#2: Chet Holmgren

After briefly having Holmgren as my number one, I had to bump him after he had his worst game of the season in a loss to St. Mary’s. The two knocks on Holmgren are his size (too skinny) and the fact that he has not played elite competition all season. But his record-breaking efficiency and can’t miss shot blocking ability are tantalizing for a team that needs both. When you factor in that he shoots 43.8 percent from long range, it’s easy to see why scouts are salivating. He is neck-and-neck with Jabari Smith right now and it may come down to who plays better in the NCAA tournament.

#1: Jabari Smith

Smith scored 27 points and added 10 rebounds in his last game, which is why he overtook Holmgren once again. What separates him is his ability to get his own shot, as he can hit all manner of step back 3-point shots and thrives in traffic. His defense on the perimeter is improving every game, so those early concerns have been alleviated.

As I said, I don’t think the Detroit Pistons can go wrong with any of the top-3 and I am starting to come around on the two guards as well, though I’m sure I’ll get plenty of pushback on Sharpe being in the top five.

Next. 2022 NBA Mock draft: Pistons land the #1 pick again. dark