The NBA Draft Blog Team Needs series continues to take a look at each team’s various draft scenarios. The Detroit Pistons are a franchise in transition – a young group led by Greg Monroe, Austin Daye and Terrico White hope to be the team’s future, but there are still some key pieces missing to bring the team back to its glory. Can the Pistons find a franchise center in this draft? Let’s look at the Detroit Pistons’ team needs:
Returning Players- Richard Hamilton (G), Ben Gordon (G), Charlie Villanueva (F), Jason Maxiell (F), Will Bynum (G), Rodney Stuckey (G – Qualifying Offer), Greg Monroe (F/C), Ben Wallace (F/C), Austin Daye (F), Terrico White (G)
Team Needs- Strong low-post presence, future scorers on the wings, better point guard options
Position Needs – PG, SF, C
Picks – Round 1, Pick 8 (#8)
Round 2, Pick 3 (#33) (from Toronto)
Analysis- While the Pistons seemed to have hit gold with Greg Monroe last season, the probable loss of Tayshaun Prince, and the team not being thrilled with Rip Hamilton, and to a lesser extent, Rodney Stuckey, leaves a lot of room for rebuilding for the once-dominant Eastern Conference power. What makes Monroe a special player is his ability to play away from the basket; therefore if the Pistons can add a low-post presence at #8, they can do a lot to help Monroe on both ends. I will get this out of the way now, Bismack Biyombo is not an option at #8. Detroit may go through 2 coaches and 2 GMs before Biyombo is ready to contribute. What I do like is the chance of Jonas Valanciunas making it to #8, especially if the Cavaliers pass on him at #4. While still raw, he at least has the presence to play the blocks well and will allow Monroe to move more towards the high post area. The other option is to look to replace Prince with an option such as Kawhi Leonard, and to a more desperate extent, Jan Vesely. Leonard will immediately bring back some of the toughness the Pistons have lost in recent years.
With a pick early in the 2nd round (#33), the Pistons can look to add a better point guard option than Stuckey and Bynum. I like the fit of Nolan Smith, Darius Morris or Malcolm Lee here, versatile guards who can play immediate minutes. Another option would to be look at a versatile forward option – Chandler Parsons, JuJuan Johnson, or Jon Leuer. One of these players can provide the ability for the Pistons to go with a big line up with 6’9-6’10 guys at the 3.