Injury news could hurt Detroit Pistons in the NBA Draft

2022 NBA Draft
2022 NBA Draft / Arturo Holmes/GettyImages

We are now less than three weeks from the 2024 NBA Draft but no closer to knowing what the Detroit Pistons will do with the 5th pick. 

This will be Trajan Langdon’s first draft as president of the Pistons, so he’ll want to make a splash with a high-upside player or possibly a big trade. 

He could go in a lot of directions, and we’ve seen everyone from Donovan Clingan to Matas Buzelis to Reed Sheppard mocked to Detroit. 

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With the 5th pick for the 3rd straight year, the Pistons will once again be limited by the teams that choose before them as they hope their top guy falls into their laps. 

That likelihood may have gotten slimmer today with a recent injury update. 

Detroit Pistons draft: Nikola Topic injury could throw off the picks 

Jonathon Givony of ESPN (subscription) reported that Nikola Topic, who is widely regarded as a top-10 talent, has a partially torn ACL. 

Topic’s agent claims it’s not a problem (shocker), but NBA teams may not see it that way, as he will now be considered a risk as a player who has had knee surgery before he even enters the league. 

Contrary to what his agent says, his draft stock is going to take a hit, which could mean a potential steal for a team that picks later in the lottery. 

But it might not be a good thing for the Detroit Pistons. 

Both Houston and San Antonio (who choose before Detroit) have been connected to Topic in mock drafts and now it is unlikely that either of them will use the 3rd or 4th pick, respectively, to take a player fresh off knee surgery. 

Detroit is not in need of a point guard and weren’t going to take Topic anyway, but if the Rockets and Spurs pass on him, they could end up drafting the player Detroit wants instead. 

It’s more likely that one of the wings or shooters will be off the board by the time Detroit picks, which is not a good thing, as it could potentially limit their options. 

With this latest report, it’s extremely unlikely Topic gets taken in the top 4, which potentially removes one more Pistons’ target from the big board.