2024 NBA Mock Draft: Pistons go against grain, Spurs get Wembanyama help

May 12, 2024; Chicago, IL, USA; Atlanta Hawks general manager Landry Fields
May 12, 2024; Chicago, IL, USA; Atlanta Hawks general manager Landry Fields / David Banks-USA TODAY Sports
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#5: Detroit Pistons select Reed Sheppard 

Another guard? Another undersized guard? Unthinkable. 

Or is it? 

Guard or not, the Pistons need shooting and defense on the perimeter and Sheppard provides both. He hit over half of his 3-point shots on high volume and has Steph Curry like range and perfect form. He’s an elite shooter, something the Pistons need regardless of position: 

He’s efficient in front or behind the 3-point line, is a quality passer who could act as a secondary ballhandler and playmaker, and maybe most importantly, the kid gets after it on defense with non-stop motor and active hands. 

He’d be joining a crowded backcourt that already has Cade Cunningham, Jaden Ivey and Marcus Sasser, but he offers something that none of them do, which is elite shooting and solid defense on the ball and within a scheme. 

The Pistons are not good enough to draft exclusively for need, so why not take the guy who may have the highest ceiling as a shooter and who can also defend? It also set up a possible trade of Jaden Ivey or at least push him to the bench, as Sheppard is already a better shooter and defender than Ivey and is a better fit with Cade. 

A lot of people won’t like this pick, but the Pistons need to draft someone who can shoot, not another project who looks good playing against trainers with padded sticks.