While the Heat and the Spurs are preparing for the NBA Finals, in less than one month the 2013 NBA Draft goes down. The Pistons will be picking eighth. They will probably be hoping this is their last time for a while picking in the lottery. The prevailing wisdom early, and what I was hoping for, was a wing player of some sort. A small forward, perhaps a shooting guard. However, right now on his Big Board, Chad Ford has a point guard ranked, sixth, seventh, and eighth. Guys like Victor Oladipo and Otto Porter are VERY unlikely to fall to Detroit. Shabazz Muhammad would be a reach. It is starting to look like the best idea for Detroit would be to take a point guard.
More than that, this actually is a pretty reasonable idea, perhaps a good one. Right now, Brandon Knight is the de facto point guard for the Pistons, but is he really a point guard? That is to say, is he a traditional, ball distributing point guard? As of right now, not really, although he’s still young. That being said, the Pistons traded for Jose Calderon last year, which seems to indicate Detroit may be particularly enthused about Knight as a point guard. His best attribute is shooting. He could be a shooting guard, albeit an undersized one, or, more aptly, be a sixth man combo guard off the bench. This isn’t a bad role, or one that doesn’t make good use of a high draft pick. Jarrett Jack had that role with the Warriors this year. If Knight could do that, he’d be tremendously valuable to the Pistons.
So, a point guard is a good option, but there is still an issue here. Namely, only one of the three potential picks for Detroit there really fits into their needs. Trey Burke, a Michigan Man, could excite the local fan base, but his size and athleticism are questionable. He’s maybe a tinge better than Knight, and the Pistons would need to add size elsewhere on the wings. C.J. McCollum from Lehigh is basically a combo guard himself. People are comparing him to Damian Lillard, and getting Lillard, in theory, helps Detroit, but still leaves them with some issues. That just leaves Michael Carter-Williams from Syracuse.
I like MCW. He’s huge, a 6’6” point guard, he’s got length and is great at stealing the ball, and he has legitimate passing skills. He’s a bit reedy and needs to improve as a shooter and at ball control, but making Carter-Williams their point guard would give Detroit something they really need. Plus, having a guy like Carter-Williams in a starting five with Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond would make for a huge team, Indiana Pacers-style.
Maybe the Pistons will take a wing in the 2013 NBA Draft. They do need scoring help, which MCW won’t necessarily provide. However, they will have the chance to add free agents, so it’s not an either/or proposition. It will depend a lot on how things play out when the time comes, and the last three drafts have all played out well for them, but Detroit could end up taking their point guard of the future at eight. Now, if they can just avoid their apparent desire to hire Mo Cheeks as their head coach…