Recent ESPN Mock Draft presents interesting questions for the Detroit Pistons

Nanterre 92 v Bourg En Bresse - Betclic Elite
Nanterre 92 v Bourg En Bresse - Betclic Elite / Aurelien Meunier/GettyImages

The Detroit Pistons are highly likely to finish the 2023-24 season with the worst record in the NBA, which guarantees they will have a top five pick in the 2024 NBA Draft, a scenario we are very familiar with, as it’s the same one the team was in last season. 

But unlike last season, there is no consensus about any part of the NBA Draft, not even who the number one pick will be, a far cry from last year when Victor Wembanyama was guaranteed to go first no matter who got the pick.

In fact, this draft is so wide open it’s doubtful that any of the mocks we’ve seen get it right. In ESPN’s most recent Mock Draft, they have the Pistons selecting Zaccharie Risacher with the number one pick, a player who might not have been selected in the top ten in some years. 

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But the ESPN mock does bring up some interesting questions around what happens if the Pistons get the number one pick again. 

Would the Detroit Pistons draft for need over ceiling? 

With no consensus around who the top guy is, would the Pistons draft for need over perceived ceiling? They need wings and power forwards, so would they just take Risacher even if they think Alex Sarr (or someone else) has more potential? 

Are they really going to use the number one pick in the draft on a guy who might not even crack the starting five of the worst team in the NBA? 

If the Pistons like Sarr, what happens with Jalen Duren? 

Let’s say the Detroit Pistons have 7-foot-1 Alex Sarr atop their big board. What would happen with Duren? Would the Pistons trade Duren and keep Sarr? Would they keep them both and try to play them together?  

Sarr’s long-range shooting is theoretical at this point, but he does have that potential to go along with versatile defense. Would the Pistons add another project big to a team that already has three of them or would they send one of them packing? 

Or do they just trade the pick? 

There is not a deep history of teams trading the number one pick in the draft, but there might be a stronger argument for it this season than any in recent memory. If the Pistons don’t see any of these players as true number one options, would they just trade the pick? 

Unlike last season, getting the number one pick brings up more questions than it answers, as there is no sure thing and the best player may not be a fit with their current roster.