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Detroit Pistons Draft Dreams: Isaiah Thomas

It just makes sense, doesn’t it?

Info

Measurables: 5-foot-9, 185 pounds, junior G from Washington

Key stats: 16.9 points, 6.0 assists, 1.3 steals per game while shooting 45 percent from the field and 35 percent from three

Projected: Second round

How would he help the Pistons?

Last week, I profiled Kenneth Faried mostly because he’s often compared to Dennis Rodman. This week, why not go with the guy who shares a name (spelled slightly differently) of arguably the greatest Piston of all-time? Pistons fans will certainly appreciate how he came to have the name in the first place, according to his bio:

Named after the former Indiana and NBA all-star guard Isiah Thomas when his father, James, lost a friendly wager on a Lakers vs. Pistons playoff game in 1989 … the name was approved by his mother since she desired a biblical name.

As for on the court, Thomas has been compared to former UW guard Nate Robinson because both are diminutive but haven’t let their size prevent them from being explosive scorers. Thomas has been used off the ball at Washington for the most part, but has played a lot more point guard this season. He’ll never be confused with a pass-first or “true” PG, but if he has anywhere near the scoring ability Robinson has in the NBA, he’ll be worth a second round pick should he leave school early.

How wouldn’t he help the Pistons?

The last thing the Pistons need is another shoot-first guard who may not be able to defend his position. But I’ve always been an advocate of taking the best available talent, particularly in the second round, regardless of positional needs. If you don’t abide by that philosophy, you end up reaching for the equivalent of Rafael Araujo or Todd Fuller in the top 15. Still though, with all of the incumbent backcourt players likely back and a hopefully healthy season from Terrico White, any guard who came in via a second round pick would be a longshot to make the roster, let alone push for minutes.

What are others saying?

From DraftExpress:

Looking at his point guard abilities, Thomas has matured substantially since we last profiled him, showing much better instincts and outstanding court vision. This 180 degree change in production and mentality as a playmaker makes all the difference in evaluating his draft stock, as it was nearly impossible to envision him making it in the NBA as a 5-9 shoot-first combo guard.

From ESPN:

Thomas’ ability to play the point helps his draft stock tremendously. At his size, it’s hard enough to project him, but if he can play the point, he stands a better chance of succeeding than he does at the 2. There aren’t many players Thomas’ size in the NBA, but I am hearing a number of scouts starting to refer to him as a legit draft prospect. That’s quite an impressive upward trend from where he was two months ago.

Hickory High’s Similarity Scores

Previously

14 Comments

  • Mar 21, 20116:41 pm
    by king

    Reply

    i dont think isaiah fits what we need but he is a good prospect i wouldnt hate it if we took him in the 2nd round

  • Mar 21, 20118:46 pm
    by gmehl1977

    Reply

    Sorry but we have Will Bynum filling this role. I say we go for size with our second rounder and hope Joe can unearth a gem.

    • Mar 22, 20119:25 am
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      So you’d rather reach for size in the second round? What if Thomas or another guard is by far the best player available?

      • Mar 22, 201110:13 am
        by Tim

        Reply

        See that’s the thing with the second round. There’s almost never a “by far the best player available.” If a guard was that, by all means take him. But the talent levels get so muddled by then that whoever one GM thinks is the best player left won’t even be in another GM’s top 20 remaining.
        I have to disagree strongly with your logic of not drafting for need in the second round. That’s what I would say in the first round when talent gaps are actually appreciable. In the second round, there is so little to go on, you might as well take someone who fits your needs unless a player really strikes you as definitely the best guy still on the board (you know, like a DeJuan Blair at pick 35 type).

      • Mar 22, 201111:09 pm
        by gmehl1977

        Reply

        I always think you go for the best player available but in the 2nd round it is never a sure thing with any player. If Joe see’s something in another undersized guard then i think i might neck myself. That is nothing against Thomas but rather against the fact that we already have 2 on the roster (Bynum, Gordon). I was very big on DeJuan Blair before word got out on his knee’s (or lack there of) and thought Joe was definitely going to take him with the 35th pick. When it came up on the board that we took DaJuan Summers i actually thought it was a mistake and it was meant to say DeJuan Blair. That was the kind of gamble Joe should of taken in the second round instead of gamble on a guy that has got absolutely no court time whatsoever. We need cheap front court options to get us through our huge over commitments to our back court and maybe the best way to do this is to draft one.

  • Mar 21, 201110:05 pm
    by Quick Darshan

    Reply

    Of the second round PGs, I like Demetri McCamey.  He has all the talent.  Based on Illinois season this year I don’t think he’ll live up to it, but the talent is there.

  • Mar 22, 20111:24 am
    by stan

    Reply

    i didnt realize he was going pro, which i personally think he would be way better off to stay in college for another year and try to get into the first round…  at this point i see no reason to pick up a 5’9″ pg.  what so we can put him on the floor with ben gordon.  their nickname will be the mircomachines.

    • Mar 22, 20116:50 am
      by gmehl1977

      Reply

      mircomachines…classic (luv it)

    • Mar 22, 20119:27 am
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      Stan:

      He hasn’t declared for the draft yet. No one has officially that I’m aware of. I’m simply exploring all of the potential guys who could be available. A few of these guys will stay in school, and I think Thomas would certainly benefit by doing that. But he had a good second half of the season and hit some big shots, so he has a lot of buzz right now, and guys like that usually throw their name in.

  • Mar 22, 20114:38 am
    by king

    Reply

    also do you plan on doing a draft dream on jordan hamilton out of texas or do you think they just go after a power forward

    • Mar 22, 20119:28 am
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      I plan to get to every first and second round prospect in the draft over the next couple months.

  • Mar 22, 20115:04 am
    by king

    Reply

    i also like brandon knight

  • May 25, 20118:54 am
    by vic

    Reply

    one thing Isaiah has that we lack is court vision…

    He ended up with the same assist per 40 rate as Darius Morris.
    If Darius is not available at 33, I say take Isaiah at 52.

    The Pistons have struggled too long with scoring point guards that struggle to play a pass first role.
    Isaiah is a scoring guard that just finished proving that he CAN play a pass first role.
    Sign me up.

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