Detroit Pistons swing for huge upside in latest NBA Mock Draft

2022 NBA Draft
2022 NBA Draft / Arturo Holmes/GettyImages

There hasn’t been a recent NBA Draft in which I was less sure what the Detroit Pistons were going to do. 

They will have a top five pick, but there’s no consensus on what they are going to do with it, as some feel they should try to package it in a trade for proven players, while others think they should just take the best player available and hope to land a star in a unknown field of players. 

This gets even hairier if the Pistons land the #1 pick, as unlike past years, there is nowhere near a consensus about who the top player is. We’ve said this before, but this truly is a draft where the best player could end up being drafted outside of the top five. 

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In a recent mock draft by Bleacher Report, the Pistons select the closest thing there is to a consensus pick and take big man Alex Sarr, which could be a home run or a huge flop. 

Detroit Pistons draft: Alex Sarr is the ultimate boom or bust pick 

Bleacher Report compared Sarr to Jaren Jackson Jr which would likely represent the best-case scenario for a player who is mostly being judged on potential. 

If Sarr did become an elite defender who can both protect the rim and perimeter, as JJJ does, then he’s a no-brainer for Detroit, who needs a big who fits this profile. 

But Sarr’s upside is largely predicated on his ability to move well for a big man and the theory that he might eventually be able to spread the floor with his long-range shooting. He’s only played 27 games for the Perth Wildcats against good, not great competition, averaging 17 minutes per game with 9.4 points, 4.3 rebounds and 1.5 blocks. He’s 18-years-old, so those aren’t bad numbers per minute in a good pro league for a teenager, but not much to go on. 

A big who can protect the rim and spread the floor is pretty much the ideal in the modern NBA, and if Sarr can be that, the Pistons can certainly find a way to make it work with Jalen Duren, either with both of them on the floor at the same time or one coming off the bench. 

Drafting Sarr would also set up the possibility of trading Duren for a wing player, which may be the best way to get the rim protection they need while balancing the roster with players who better complement Cade Cunningham. 

There is a strong argument for Sarr, but it’s largely based on theory rather than proof, a risky proposition when talking about the number one pick in the draft.