Pistons draft: A 2nd-round shooting prospect from Villanova

The Detroit Pistons will have the 46th pick in the 2022 NBA Draft to go along with their 5th pick in the lottery.

The Pistons are hoping to find some undervalued talent in the second round as they did last year with swingman Isaiah Livers.

Detroit needs shooting, especially from behind the arc, so could look to find a player in the 2nd round who could help right away. The second round is a great place to either take a risk on a young project that may take years to develop, or to go the opposite route and take an older player who might not have the highest ceiling but might be more ready to contribute.

That would be the case with Collin Gillespie from Villanova, a 5th-year senior and former teammate of Saddiq Bey.

Gillespie has some obvious and glaring flaws, but he is one of the best shooters in the 2022 NBA Draft and will likely be on the board when the Pistons choose in the 2nd round, though he is turning some heads at the Draft combine.

So is he a possibility for the Detroit Pistons in the second round?

Pistons draft: Collin Gillespie’s strengths and weaknesses

Gillespie will be 23-years-old at the time of the 2022 NBA Draft, which is one of the reasons he is projected to go in the second round or possibly even un-drafted.

Gillespie is a 6-foot-3, 190 lbs. combo guard who mostly played point guard for Villanova this season, where he averaged 15.6 points, 3.2 assists and 3.8 rebounds per game.

If Gillespie makes the NBA, it won’t be because of his playmaking or defense, it will be because he can flat-out shoot the 3-ball.

Gillespie hit 41.5 percent of his 3-point shots on over seven attempts per game this season and also hit over 90 percent of his free throws, so this is a guy who projects as a potentially elite shooter.

He’s also a winner who has taken home three Big East titles and was on a team that won the National Championship.

Gillespie has the shooting and intangibles, it will just come down to whether he can guard anyone in the NBA. He lacks the athleticism but is smart enough to play within a team defense, much the same way that Duncan Robinson has overcome his defensive limitations for the Heat.

2022 NBA Draft: How Collin Gillespie fits on the Detroit Pistons

The Pistons already have a number of point guards, but is possible that one or more of Cory Joseph, Saben Lee or Carsen Edwards will not be back next season.

The Pistons like tough, smart players with good work ethic and Gillespie fits the description, and would give them another player from Villanova, a school that has produced some very good undervalued draft picks in recent years.

The Pistons desperately need 3-point shooting and Gillespie can shoot it, so on paper he is a natural fit, especially if the Pistons decided not to pick up Frank Jackson’s option. But Troy Weaver also likes players who can defend, so Gillespie is going to have to prove he is not going to be a “cone” (to steal a Patrick Beverley-ism).

If he can take care of the ball like he has so far while setting up teammates and hitting open 3-point shots, then he could have a place off the Pistons’ bench, as he would give them a skillset that they currently lack.

Shooting is more valuable than it has ever been, so Gillespie might be able to shoot his way onto an NBA roster.