Which Pistons draft prospects look like Trajan Langdon guys?

Utah Jazz v New Orleans Pelicans
Utah Jazz v New Orleans Pelicans / Jonathan Bachman/GettyImages

The Detroit Pistons announced they will hire former Pelicans’ GM Trajan Langdon to oversee their basketball operations. 

It hasn’t even been a full day and I already have the lunatic fringe complaining that he hasn’t fired Troy Weaver and Monty Williams in my mentions. Can we let the man get his lanyard and find out where the bathrooms are first? Sheesh. 

Langdon will have about a month to prepare for the NBA Draft, but don’t fear, he’s already been all over it as GM of New Orleans, so he’ll have a very good idea of what his draft big board looks like by now. 

Langdon has put together an impressive resume in the draft, hitting on some later picks with few complete whiffs other than Kira Lewis Jr. 

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So how will his approach to the draft affect the Detroit Pistons? Will his past be a preview of the future? 

How Trajan Langdon will affect the Detroit Pistons draft 

Langdon was a scout for the Spurs and had an executive position under David Griffin in Cleveland before being named assistant GM of the Nets, where he was instrumental in drafting Jarrett Allen and Caris LeVert. 

In New Orleans, he did what every GM would have done and took Zion Williamson, but beyond that found Trey Murphy III, Herb Jones, Jose Alvarado (undrafted free agent) Dyson Daniels and Jordan Hawkins. 

Going by those picks, it’s clear Langdon has a preference for guys who defend, as just about every player on that list is a plus defender. 

He’s drafted a rim protector (Allen) and long, versatile wings in TMIII, Jones and Daniels who are all plus defenders, with Jones recently named to the All-Defense first team. 

The Pistons are in a somewhat similar situation as New Orleans was, as they drafted a ball-dominant player with the 1st overall pick and tried to build around him. Langdon went out and got Zion complementary 3-and-D type players where the Pistons just grabbed the best talent available and didn’t worry about fit, which is a reflection of where the two teams were in the standings, as well as in the draft. 

Langdon hasn't chosen in the top five since Zion, so which players stand out as his type of guy? 

Trajan Langdon prospects in the draft 

Given he is in a much different situation in Detroit, it’s hard to say how his past record translates, but there are a few players who stand out. 

The first would be Donovan Clingan, the 7-foot-2 center who is widely regarded as the best rim protector in the draft. 

A guy like Stephon Castle certainly fits the mold as a potentially elite defender who needs more development of his offensive bag and shooting. Given how Herb Jones has improved as a shooter (up to 41.4 percent from long range this year), Langdon may be more apt to take a defender and hope his shot develops. 

Side note: Let’s hope Langdon brings shooting expert Fred Vinson with him, as he would be the perfect guy to help develop Ausar Thompson after success with Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball and Herb Jones among others.

Ron Holland fits the profile of the long defensive wing that Langdon has liked in the past and is another guy who could be a two-way star if he develops a shot. 

I would also put Cody Williams in this category as a long, versatile wing who can do a lot of things on both ends. 

If Langdon has a type, these players fit it, though he’s never drafted as high as the 5th pick and may adopt a different strategy for his new team.