Pistons’ Twitter mailbag: Cade Cunningham, Bagley, the Draft and more

Suns center Deandre Ayton (22) controls the ball against Detroit Pistons center Isaiah Stewart (28) Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Suns center Deandre Ayton (22) controls the ball against Detroit Pistons center Isaiah Stewart (28) Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /
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Detroit Pistons, Chet Holmgren
Gonzaga Bulldogs center Chet Holmgren Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports /

Detroit Pistons mailbag: The NBA Draft

It wouldn’t be a mailbag without a couple of questions about the NBA Draft.

Yes, Chet Holmgren is absolutely an NBA player. I have said in the past that the biggest knock against his game is that he plays for Gonzaga, who doesn’t play the toughest schedule in the NCAA.

People also have concerns about his weight, but I am not one of them, as he will put on muscle and strength in the NBA, just like other super-skinny players have done in the past.

He is very skilled in just about every aspect of the game. His height coupled with his ability to put the ball on the floor and shoot efficiently from all over, make him an almost can’t-miss prospect. I am not saying he is a guaranteed star, but he’s too skilled not to make it in the modern NBA, where few bigs play with their backs to the basket.

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Your final point is why I don’t worry about him defensively. He’s not going to be banging in the post with the likes of Joel Embiid, he’ll be coming off ball on the weak side, where he has already proven himself to be an elite shot blocker.

He certainly has weaknesses and there are concerns about any guy with his height and frame, but Holmgren is one of the most skilled bigs to come out of college in a long time and I can’t see a scenario outside of injuries where he doesn’t succeed.

A very good question, as I think the Detroit Pistons have a lot of options. My gut tells me to take Chet Holmgren, as he has unicorn potential on both ends and would give Detroit two highly skilled players to build around. Holmgren and Cunningham are both so versatile that it would be easy to build a team around them, as they can both do a little of everything.

I would not try to trade up, as I have concerns about Jabari Smith. He looks like he’ll be an elite 3-point shooter, has great size and is a willing defender, but can he do anything with the ball in his hands against NBA defenders? I don’t think the difference between him and the other top bigs is significant enough to trade up for.

Trading back is intriguing. In this scenario, if some other team was desperate for Chet or Paolo and wanted to move up, I would consider that option as long as Detroit stayed in the top-4 and got significant assets in return. We know Cade loves Banchero, so if Detroit can trade back, still get Paolo and pick up a few more future assets, it would be worth consideration.

Personally, I’d take Chet and roll the dice that he becomes Rudy Gobert with elite offense.