A little while back, in the glory days before the Pistons settled on Mo Cheeks as their head coach, I posited the possibility of Detroit taking a point guard. Now, a little while later, my opinion is starting to change. To me, now the notion of the Pistons taking a point guard doesn’t seem like a slightly offbeat concept. It seems like their only realistic option.
This is not because point guard is Detroit’s biggest need. They clearly need a wing, ideally a small forward. A shooting guard is also a possibility, if the Pistons decide to go with Brandon Knight at point guard, or move him to a combo guard off the bench sixth man role, although that probably means saying goodbye to Rodney Stuckey. The problem is that, picking sixth, the options are less than ideal for the Pistons.
Victor Oladipo or Ben McLemore would be great. Neither of them will be there when the Pistons pick. Well, maybe McLemore could fall, there are concerns about his “aggressiveness,” but I am not counting on it. A name you hear is Kentavious Caldwell-Pope out of Georgia. His supporters talk about how he is an excellent shooter and played for a bad team, which may have hurt his numbers. On the flipside, when Brandon Doolittle at ESPN.com used his advanced metrics system to rank the prospects, KCP, as the kids call him, ranked 38th. That’s a major concern, as somebody who believes in cold hard numbers. Now, when it comes to the NBA Draft, there are projections going on, so I don’t just look at this number and say “This is the truth,” but it makes me cold on Caldwell-Pope.
So, that omits any shooting guards as far as I’m concerned. That leaves small forwards. Otto Porter is another player who I’d love the Pistons to get, but it won’t happen. I’m fairly ambivalent on Shabazz Muhammad, which puts me in the minority, but I don’t want to see him get drafted by Detroit either. Dario Saric is a name that I am interested in. He’s played at a high level overseas, and is considered to have a high ceiling. However, there is also a chance that he drops out of this draft. On the other hand, if the Pistons gave him a promise, they could definitely convince him to stick around. Then again, does Detroit want to put all their eggs in the Saric basket, not knowing what could fall to them?
Honestly, there’s no player listed as a small forward that I think will be there for the Pistons which I would be terribly enthused about. However, the notion of them taking Anthony Bennett out of UNLV has been bandied about. He’s a power forward, but there is some thought he could play small forward because of his skills. He’s got a ton of talent, and is considered to have a high ceiling, but he’s been dealing with a shoulder injury and a team wanting to play it safe might pass on him. Additionally, guys like Alex Len and Cody Zeller have seen their stocks rise. Detroit won’t be in on either of them, so if they get selected, that means one or two guys falling to the Pistons. Maybe that guy will be Bennett.
So, it would seem that the Pistons’ best option will end up being either Trey Burke, Michael Carter-Williams, or C.J. McCollum. Of course, the last of those three is sort of a combo guard and could be a shooting guard, but I digress. Detroit took Brandon Knight a couple years ago to be a point guard. He’s still young and developing, but with the way the 2013 NBA Draft looks likely to play out, they may end up having to to take a point guard and move Knight elsewhere.