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Detroit Pistons draft grades roundup, vote in our grade polls (that work!)

Dan Feldman of PistonPowered: B+

Instead of completely changing the team’s identity, Monroe should allow the Pistons to remain a half-court team. That only speeds up the rebuilding process – especially given how NBA-ready Monroe appears. With the possible exceptions of Kevin Love and Elton Brand, Monroe is the most fundamentally-sound big man out of college since Tim Duncan.

In all honesty, the pick probably doesn’t matter much. As much we were spoiled by Jonas Jerebko and Mehmet Okur, most second-rounders never make an impact. But it’s the logic – or lack thereof – behind the White pick that bothers me.

White might be the best athlete in the draft. He’s fast and can jump. He doesn’t draw a lot of fouls or pass extremely well. He’s built for the fastbreak.

So, how does he fit?

You obviously don’t cater your system to a second-round pick. But White obviously doesn’t fit with Detroit’s system.

Chad Ford of ESPN: A-

The Pistons started the night addressing a major need and ended the night swinging for the fences with one of the best young talents in the draft.

Taking Monroe at No. 7 wasn’t the Pistons’ original hope; they wanted DeMarcus Cousins. But Monroe was the second-best big man on the board, and he brings a lot to the table. He’s the draft’s best-passing big man, he competes on the boards, and he has some sophistication to his offensive repertoire. On the other hand, he doesn’t have the elite athleticism or length the Pistons really desire.

With their second-round pick, the Pistons went the opposite direction. White isn’t as skilled or fundamentally sound as Monroe, but he is one of this draft’s best athletes and has the versatility to play both backcourt positions. If not for his off year, he would’ve been a potential lottery pick based on his physical tools, so getting him at No. 36 was a steal.

While Pistons president Joe Dumars certainly didn’t solve all the team’s problems in the draft, he did take another important rebuilding step.

Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated: B+

Greg Monroe fell into the center-less Pistons’ lap at No. 7, and they pounced. Monroe is a terrific passer with burgeoning offensive skills and should instantly upgrade a Detroit lineup that was forced to give an aging Ben Wallace extended minutes last season. In time, Monroe could develop into a front-of-the-line starting center. Second-rounder Terrico White is a superb athlete who can play limited minutes at both guard positions. If he makes the team, White could provide added protection should the Pistons part ways with Richard Hamilton.

Dave Del Grande of CBSSports.com: A (Monroe), B (White)


A pass-first big man means even more shots for Ben Gordon. That can’t be a step in the right direction.


Nice fill-in talent if the Pistons choose to unload Tayshaun Prince and head in a new direction.

Tony Meija of Pro Basketball News: A+

Greg Monroe is exactly the type of presence the Pistons have been lacking, capable of facilitating fluidity in a halfcourt offense. They were fortunate that the Warriors went with Ekpe Udoh, who while better defensively, isn’t as proficient a post threat. Monroe may be most ready to contribute of any of this draft’s elite bigs, giving Detroit an opportunity to bounce back quickly. Second-rounder Terrico White has the tools to play at this level if he gains consistency. Good stuff out of Joe Dumars, Scott Perry and the crew.

Kelly Dwyer of Ball Don’t Lie: B+

I’m not going to destroy the Pistons because they fell a pick short, because those lottery balls left them at seventh in what may have been a four-man draft (when the Timberwolves and Warriors are in the top five, the sixth pick in a four-man draft is a good thing to have). Monroe is a clear step down from DeMarcus Cousins, at least on paper, and the Pistons are still trying to convince Sacramento to send Cousins to Michigan. Monroe can play, though, and White’s upside is huge. Not what they wanted, but a good night out considering the pick placement.

Tom Ziller of FanHouse: A-

The Pistons picked up a new starting center, Georgetown’s Greg Monroe, in the first round, and solid 20-year-old combo guard Terrico White in the second round. White might be an insurance policy for Will Bynum, who will be a restricted free agent this summer. Some question whether White can play point guard in the NBA. Lord knows that if he can’t, Monroe — the most skilled passer at center in years — can.

Kurt Helin of NBC Sports: B

Greg Monroe is a good pick at No. 7, a passing big man with a good offensive game coming to a team that needed some scoring along the front line. Nothing fancy here but solid picks that help.

Christopher Reina of Real GM: A-

Depending on how serious the Kings actually were about doing business, the grade for the Greg Monroe pick fluctuates. I don’t see any situation where holding onto Prince makes sense if it meant ruining a chance for Cousins. It is something that we will never actually know and Monroe delivers something that the team doesn’t already have. He won’t be an All-Star, but if he can develop defensively to supplement what he brings in his offensive versatility will be a good first step for the Pistons.

Even though Terrico White is a redundancy with Ben Gordon and Rodney (Stuckey) on the roster, he is a great talent at 36. We also know that Dumars has a definite fetish for this type of player, which shows a little bit of (narcissism) considering the kind of player he was. White is a great athlete and has a general strong all-around game. The only thing separating White between the beginning of the second round and the top-15 is his jumper, which needs to improve for him to be anything more than instant offense off the bench.

Adi Joseph of NBADraft.net: A

Cheer for your team, Detroit. The Pistons land two excellent picks, one filling the team’s biggest need. Monroe should start from Day 1 in a desperately weak frontcourt. White might be the draft’s top athlete, and while he doesn’t fit a need for Detroit, at No. 36, he’s a tremendous value pick. He has the potential to be better than Rodney Stuckey, but could also play with Stuckey if and when the team lets Richard Hamilton go.

Matt O’Brien of SB Nation: B+

Monroe was perhaps the fifth-best prospect in the class, so the Pistons did well to land him here. His deft passing and high skill level give him a chance to be a legit star in the right system, something the Pistons desperately need. White is a solid athlete, though he duplicates much of what Rodney Stuckey already gives them.

Crunching the numbers


  • A+: 1
  • A: 1
  • A-: 3
  • B+: 4
  • B: 1

Average: B+



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  • Jun 28, 201012:18 pm
    by brgulker


    Quote from Mannix:
    <blockquote>a Detroit lineup that was forced to give an aging Ben Wallace extended minutes last season.</blockquote>
    This “analysis” is laughable. Anyone who watched Detroit play last season would have realized that Detroit was not forced to play Ben Wallace. Precisely the opposite. Ben Wallace for Detroit to play him because of his stellar play.
    He’d have been a centerpiece of anyone’s frontcourt rotation, except maybe LA’s, given how well he defended and rebounded last season. How much you wanna bet Mannix didn’t watch one full Pistons game?

    As for the grades, Monroe was a fine pick, but Dwyer’s ultimately right. He’s plan B, still an A- though. The White pick was mind-bendingly stupid (unless White somehow proves him otherwise). There were at least two big men who would have been equally a gamble that could have addressed team needs. What a waste. White pick: F

  • Jun 28, 20103:01 pm
    by Dan Feldman


    Gulker, I’m not sure how Mannix meant what he said. If he meant it how you interpreted it, you’re spot on. But I think he may have meant it as they were forced to play him too much. Sure, he played well, but at 35, it was just too many minutes. Into February, Wallace was playing more than 30 minutes per game. I think that’s part of the reason his body broke down late in the season.

    Cousins was Plan A, but the Kings loved him, too. What are you going to do? Given getting Cousins was nearly impossible, it’s amazing Detroit still got Monroe.

    There were a few bigs I would’ve liked at 36, too. Which two are you referring two?

  • Jun 28, 20103:42 pm
    by brgulker


    Varnado or Parkhouski. Both are substantial risks, but so is White I think. I’d rather have taken a flier on a big man, given team needs. Maybe White is less risk than those two? I don’t know for sure. What I do know is that we don’t have a true C on the roster.
    You could be right about Mannix. I guess what I was trying to say but didn’t do well is that Big Ben earned every one of his minutes with brilliant play. Mannix phrased it as if Detroit was playing him ONLY out of desperation, which to me, undersells how well Ben actually played last season.
    It’s really nitpicky, and I’m probably reading too much into (I’m kinda biased, love Big Ben and the Pistons).

    • Jun 28, 20109:11 pm
      by Dan Feldman


      I liked those two guys, too. My main picks, though, were Alabi, Lawal and Jordan. I like all five of those guys ahead of White.

      And I won’t ever get on you for sticking up for Ben Wallace. It still bugs me when people say the Pistons won their last title without a dominant player. Ben Wallace was dominant.

  • Jun 30, 201010:38 am
    by DoctorDaveT.com


    OK, I get the complaints about who they  couldn’t take at each pick; but how can you downgrade the Pistons for that?
    Monroe at #7? That’s ridiculous! Outside of Wall & Cousins, he has to be the Pistons #3 choice (and there’s no way Wall is falling past #1, is there?). From where I’m sitting, Cousins has “potential disaster” written all over him; and since Cousins wasn’t even available here, how can you rate this pick anything other than “perfect” (outside of potential trades – and how do you grade “the trade that didn’t happen”?)? Monroe at #7 is an A+.
    As to White in the second round – let’s see… for a second round pick, you get to grab a consensus “potentially the best athlete in the draft”? How can you do better than that with a second round pick? OK – maybe he’s another Stuckey/Prince/Hamilton type player; but he’s a second round draftee. How many second round picks even make NBA rosters? This seems like a slam dunk. White in the second round is another A+.
    Again, it seems to me in grading a draft, you have to base the grades on who is available at the draft slot and the needs they fill; not on trades that didn’t happen. As such – this might be the best draft Joe Dumars has ever had (and he needed it, didn’t he?).

    • Jul 3, 20106:09 pm
      by Dan Feldman


      Dave, I suspect the Pistons would’ve picked Evan Turner and Derrick Favors ahead of Monroe, too. But you’re certainly right, getting a player with such a high skill level who also fits a need at No. 7 is pretty great.

      I’ve addressed my thought on picking White in a post after you commented.

      And, yes, this could be Dumars’ best draft. But not only is it way too early to tell, picking Tayshaun Prince in 2002 set a pretty high bar.

      • Jul 5, 201010:39 am
        by DoctorDaveT.com


        Hey, Dan,
        thanks for the kind reply. May I point out a flaw in your reply?
        I don’t think you can compare the 2010 draft to the 2002 draft fairly in 2010. You’d have to compare the 2010 draft to what was known the day after the 2002 draft. Example – Darko looked absolutely great on draft day ’03 (and still very good 12 months later) – but how did he look 24 months later? What about today? Can you spell B-U-S-T?
        Prince in 2002 was a kid who was too skinny to play NBA ball. He was going to be hurt all of the time. But – it turns out the experts were wrong. Prince is an Iron Man!
        Just on the merits of who was taken and when they were taken, being judged 24-48 hours after they were taken, 2010 is Dumars’ best draft class.

      • Jul 5, 20104:52 pm
        by Dan Feldman


        Ah, DDT, I didn’t understand what you were going for. In that case, I’d go with 2003. Here’s how Chad Ford graded that Pistons class:

        “How many teams with the best record in their conference end up with the best big man in the draft and a draft-night steal in Carlos Delfino? By now, you know about Darko, but Delfino will also be important down the road. He’s tough, a strong shooter and plays aggressive defense. He reminds me a lot of Michael Finley. He could play an immediate role on the Pistons if he stays here next year. Gliniadakis was a nice pickup at the end of the draft. He’s a 7-footer who can actually play. The Pistons will leave him in Greece for a few years and bring him over when he’s ready.
        Grade: A+”

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