Pistons draft: 9 Players for fans to monitor in the Elite Eight

Mar 28, 2024; Boston, MA, USA; Connecticut Huskies guard Stephon Castle (5) reacts
Mar 28, 2024; Boston, MA, USA; Connecticut Huskies guard Stephon Castle (5) reacts / Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

The 2024 NBA Draft has a lot of questions and some of the answers will come from the NCAA Tournament. The Detroit Pistons will likely have a top-5 pick, as well as one pick in the second round, so will be watching the college prospects closely.

This weekend, the Elite Eight will feature many of the best players in college basketball, some of whom would be nice fits for the Pistons depending on where they end up selecting in the draft.

With so much debate at the top, there is a chance the Pistons will trade back or trade out of this draft altogether, so they will be scouting players at all levels of the draft, not just in the potential top five or six.

Related Story. Proposed draft trade to shake up the Pistons core. Proposed draft trade to shake up the Pistons core. dark

Here are nine players who will be featured in the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament and may interest the Detroit Pistons in the 2024 NBA Draft.

Detroit Pistons draft: NBA Draft prospects in the Elite Eight

Purdue vs. Tennessee

Purdue: Zach Edey

Edey is one of the most polarizing players in the draft, as he has gone from fringe NBA sideshow to a player many think will go in the lottery after he has improved his shooting and defense. It's hard to see the Pistons drafting Edey unless they were to trade back or he fell into the second round.

Tennessee: Dalton Knecht

One of the best shooters in college basketball, Knecht has unlimited range and projects as a volume 3-point shooter at the next level. His defense isn't great, but the Pistons could always use more shooting. He won't likely fall into their draft range unless they trade back.

Duke vs. NC State

Duke: Kyle Filipowski, Caleb Foster

Flipowski is a skilled 7-footer who is the type of big the Pistons need as he plays more like a wing and can knock down 3-point shots while also protecting the rim. He'd be a great backup to Duren, but it's doubtful the Pistons would reach to take him at the top of the draft, but if they were to trade back, he'd be an option.

Caleb Foster is a freshman combo guard who is most likely to go in the second round if he leaves school. He is a solid ballhandler and playmaker who can get his own shot, which is something the Pistons could use off the bench.

Illinois vs. UCONN

Illinois: Terrance Shannon Jr and Coleman Hawkins

Shannon Jr. has had some troubling off-the-court allegations that may push him off the NBA radar, though given what we've seen the last few seasons, teams seem willing to take the PR hit if a guy can play and he's a tenacious defender (theoretically) who thrives in transition who will most likely fall out of the first round.

Coleman Hawkins is a guy I wouldn't count out, as he is a skilled big who can pass and be effective in the pick-and-roll. He doesn't have great athleticism but has a high motor and can defend. Scouts have no idea what to make of this guy. Is his 3-point shooting for real? Can he be a connecting point-forward type a la Al Horford, or is he just an undersized big with no clear role in the NBA? He intrigues me and it will be interesting to see how he plays against UCONN.

UCONN: Stephon Castle, Donovan Clingan, Alex Karaban

Castle is a big combo guard who has jumped up many big boards after a strong performance in the tournament so far. He's got the makeup to be an elite defender in the NBA, but his shot is questionable, which would make him a tough call for the Pistons, who need more two-way guys. He is very streaky, so the potential is there. If he gets a jumper, look out, as he can do everything else, but he'd be a reach in the top five, though I do love the idea of having another big, defensive guard to play with Cade Cunningham.

Donovan Clingan is a 7-foot-2 rim protector who would be another nice fit as a backup to Jalen Duren, as he provides some of the defensive presence Duren doesn't. He'll likely go in the lottery, so the Pistons would probably have to trade back to get a shot at him.

Alex Karaban (god this UCONN team is loaded) is being mocked right around the spot where the Pistons will choose in the second round, so he's definitely a guy to keep an eye on, as he has skills Detroit needs, namely shooting. He's a 6-foot-8 wing who is a very good catch-and-shoot option and knows how to set and use a screen. Defense will be a question mark but his size and shooting will be enough for someone to give him a chance.