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Another cold night for the Detroit Pistons

SECAUCUS, New Jersey – Greg Monroe came to NBA Entertainment Studios straight from his home in Louisiana, and if it were a chilly day outside in New Jersey, it was even colder in the studio during the NBA Lottery. Monroe breathed on his hands a couple times, trying to warm up. But I’m not sure he ever felt comfortable.

The Pistons certainly shouldn’t feel that way.

Detroit, which had the No. 7 seed, fell to eighth pick in the draft. A division rival, the Cavaliers, landed the No. 1 and No. 4 picks. The Jazz, which held the No. 6 seed and would have been a strong candidate to pick a guard the Pistons didn’t want with the sixth pick, moved up to the third pick, where they’ll likely pick a big man the Pistons covet.

The lottery is a funny event. Unrivaled in professional sports, it’s a scheduled event where teams don’t make any decisions, but it has a huge impact on their futures. Adam Silver, simply opening an envelope that displayed a Pistons logo, crushed Detroit’s dreams of Kyrie Irving, Derrick Williams and Enes Kanter. Heck, Silver, by unveiling the Pistons’ envelope a pick earlier than slotted, even made Bismack Biyambo supporters a little nervous that the Congolese big man would last until their pick.

Nobody in the Pistons’ camp can feel good about tonight’s result. After the television segment ended, everyone flooded the floor of the studio. The victorious nine-man Cleveland contingent – which included members of the Gilbert family (most notably, Nick, who stole the night), Bernie Kosar, Josh Cribbs and Joe Haden – dominated the scene, but representatives of several other teams stuck around.

Monroe, after doing a quick interview, headed for the exit. He hasn’t had much to celebrate in the NBA, and tonight was certainly no exception. Although Detroit used to treat its players to more thrills, that was never the case for this event.

This is just the Pistons’ eighth lottery pick, and they moved up only once – in 2003. They took Darko. So, Detroit has never benefited from moving up in the lottery. Not that there was much the Pistons could have done to reverse that fate.

After Monroe said he didn’t plan to take any lucky objects with him to the lottery, the Pistons, as a result of a fan poll to select a charm, sent a Chuck Daly pin with him.

“I didn’t, but the fans voted,” Monroe said with a smirk that, to me, indicated he found the whole luck bit a little silly. After all, the lottery balls didn’t bounce the Pistons’ way last year, and they still ended up with the second or third best prospect in the draft.

This year, finding an impact talent will be even more difficult. Thanks to circumstance, this draft was going to be weak. Thanks to the threat of a lockout keeping underclassmen in school, it appears horrid.

The Pistons will probably target someone in the Bismack Biyambo-Jonas Valanciunas-Kawhi Leonard-Jan Vesely-Tristan Thompson group, but there’s a good chance three, maybe four, of those players will be off the board by No. 8. That would mean Detroit has to take the worst or second-worst player of that bunch, choose a guard like Brandon Knight (or, ugh, Kemba Walker) or reach for one of the Morris twins, Donatas Motiejunas, Kenneth Faried or Alec Burks.

Sounds about appealing as leaving New Orleans for New Jersey. But if the Pistons want a new start from the last three years, they’ll have to play the hand they’ve been dealt.

I ran into Joe Dumars as he was leaving the lottery and asked for a few minutes of his time. He politely declined and said:

“I’ve got business to take care of.”

Doesn’t he know it.

16 Comments

  • May 17, 201111:29 pm
    by Quick Darshan

    Reply

    Let’s see if I can name 8 players I would want:

    Irving, Williams, Kanter, Biyombo, Jonas are the best five for the Pistons.  I wouldn’t throw a fit if they took Walker either.

    But, I might think of trading down and taking Lucas Noqueira if none of the others are on the board.

  • May 18, 201112:14 am
    by gmehl1977

    Reply

    Is it just me or am i the only one that thinks the pressure is off us. It is now up to who picks from 4-7 to make sure they don’t do what Golden State did last year and let a better player fall. If there is a lockout next season then this draft wont hurt as bad as if it would if the there was a season. With all that said and done i am still on the Biyombo band wagon and am hoping he falls down to us. I also think we can either trade up or down so all is not lost.

  • May 18, 201112:32 am
    by Laser

    Reply

    you should have punched joe dumars in the face.

    • May 18, 20111:59 am
      by rob

      Reply

      AHAHA!

    • May 18, 20117:17 am
      by gmehl1977

      Reply

      Always bring a smile to my face Laser. I am kind of hoping that Joe couldn’t talk because he had to make a phone call to Kahn to see if he wants Stuckey and pick 8. He ain’t no point guard but the tv screen always says at the start of games that he plays that position. Who knows maybe he will bite.

  • May 18, 201112:38 am
    by Jay

    Reply

    We need to trade down for JaJuan Johnson (Purdue), Keith Benson (Oakland) and Matthew Bryan-Amaning (Washington)

  • May 18, 201112:42 am
    by neutes

    Reply

    It seems like a big deal but you never know. There are so many unknowns in this draft. Everyone likes to claim it’s weak but there is guaranteed to be some good players coming out of this draft and it could be from anywhere. Irving and Kanter to me are the only sure looking players. But you could argue almost any of the top 10 players have the ability to become very good. Biyombo, Valanciunas, or Kanter would be ideal. Leonard looks like a Gerald Wallace type so I’d take him as well. Really hoping some teams reach for Walker and Knight and make it easy on us.

  • May 18, 20112:15 am
    by Mike

    Reply

    I’m not excited about the ‘stones dropping down and all, but I’ve got to say, in a draft like this one, I really wouldn’t mind seeing Dumars reach for Marcus Morris. He may not be a star, but he’s not a project either and he could sure as hell step in now and contribute.

    • May 18, 20119:49 am
      by Tim

      Reply

      Detroit doesn’t need someone to step in now and contribute. The Pistons will be bad either way. They need someone who at least has a chance of being a star in the future. Who cares if they are worse in the meantime. That just means more ping pong balls

  • May 18, 20116:58 am
    by Kris

    Reply

    I don’t really get the title and the grief of this post. I mean, chances of moving up from 7 spot were slim. We’ve slipped one place, so what!? It’s all open and one could not say how it’s going to play out late June, maybe except top 3, that we could not get into anyway.

    • May 18, 201111:23 am
      by Laser

      Reply

      it’s bad. it may be “just one spot,” but that’s one more guy we miss out on. one spot can be all the difference in the world if the guy you would have taken goes seventh and really pans out. last year the difference between 7 and 8 was greg monroe and al-farouq aminu.

  • May 18, 20117:35 am
    by detroitpcb

    Reply

    Burks

  • May 18, 20118:52 am
    by max

    Reply

    Love Reggie Jackson.Don’t know if we should pick him at 8,but if he somehow falls to the 2nd Round give him a shot.

  • May 18, 201111:25 am
    by Laser

    Reply

    given that we slid to 8, i wouldn’t necessarily be against trading down. i’d love to get two middle first round picks if we could. there are so many guys we could reach for and no sure things left on the board.

  • May 18, 201111:48 am
    by brgulker

    Reply

    We don’t even need a guy who could become a star. We just need someone who can become better than the crappy players we have now.

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