Sleeper pick at #5 for Pistons could be a home run

BIG3 - Playoffs
BIG3 - Playoffs / Sean Gardner/GettyImages

We are just nine days from the 2024 NBA Draft and there is still nowhere near a consensus about what the Detroit Pistons are going to do. 

We’ve seen rumors that they could trade the pick. 

We’ve seen them connected to Matas Buzelis, shooters like Reed Sheppard and Donovan Knecht and center Donovan Clingan. 

But there is another name floating around who does make sense for the Pistons and may end up being the best player in this draft. 

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From my years of covering the draft I’ve learned one thing: There are surprises every year and in a draft this uncertain, all of the Mock Drafts we’ve seen are likely to be wrong. 

So don’t be shocked if you hear a name called with the 5th pick that you weren’t expecting. 

Detroit Pistons NBA Draft: Cody Williams 

Cody Williams from Colorado is not a name we’ve heard connected to the Detroit Pistons, but many scouts believe he’ll go a lot earlier than most of the Mock Drafts, many of which have him falling out of the top ten. A recent Mock Draft from Bleacher Report had the Pistons taking him with the 5th pick.

Williams fits the profile of the big wing all teams are looking for, as he’s 6-foot-8, has some playmaking skill and is efficient around the rim and outside the arc. 

Williams may have an advantage in such a wide-open draft, which is that his brother Jalen is already a star for OKC and the two have similar games and approaches. 

Jalen Williams is already a 19ppg scorer and versatile defender who shoots 54 percent from the floor and over 42 percent from long range. 

Cody Williams, who is two inches taller than his brother and nearly four years younger, is also very efficient, shooting 55 percent from the floor and over 41 percent from 3-point range in his one year of college. 

Given Jalen’s growth as a player from age 19 to age 23, from afterthought, to college standout to NBA star, it’s not hard to see Cody on that same trajectory. 

And he’s a perfect fit for the Pistons, as he can play either forward spot and his defensive versatility would allow him to play in any lineup. 

Look, just because Jalen Williams turned into a star doesn’t mean his brother will, but we are talking about players with the same DNA, who have similar games and drive to be great. 

If Cody Williams’ 3-point shooting translates to the NBA, he could be a two-way star like his brother or possibly even better, which would put him in the running for best player in this draft. 

Don’t be shocked if he doesn’t fall past Detroit, who needs a big two-way wing and may see Williams’ intangibles and family connections as the differences between him and guys like Matas Buzelis.