2024 NBA Mock Draft: Pistons get defensive, Bulls, Thunder get steals

Atlanta Hawks wins the NBA draft lottery...
Atlanta Hawks wins the NBA draft lottery... / Anadolu/GettyImages
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#5: Detroit Pistons select Donovan Clingan 

Trajan Langdon has drafted players with strong defensive backgrounds in the past with guys like Herb Jones, Trey Murphy III, Nickeil Alexander-Walker and Jose Alvarado (undrafted free agent), so it makes sense for him to find the Pistons a defensive anchor. 

If you look at the playoffs this season, all of the top teams have a strong rim protector as well as a lockdown defender or two on the perimeter. 

Detroit already has one of their perimeter defenders in Ausar Thompson and now grab their rim protector in Clingan, who may end up being the best defensive player in this draft with his ability to block shots, smother the paint and fall into drop coverage. 

If you look at the first team All-Defense this season, four of the top five guys were seven-foot plus rim protectors with versatility, which Clingan can definitely be. 

He has also shown potential to shoot from distance, giving the Pistons a center who is a better fit with Cade Cunningham. Some fans would scream “ANOTHER CENTER?!?” and it’s definitely possible Detroit will go with a wing like Matas Buzelis or one of the shooters instead. 

But they have a chance to add an ingredient that is necessary to win in the modern game, which is a center who can defend. Langdon may not be as enamored with Jalen Duren as others in the current front office and could use him as a trade chip to get their wing.