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Detroit Pistons #DraftDreams: Jeremy Lamb

Discuss Draft Dreams on Twitter using the #DraftDreams hashtag

Info

  • Measurables: 6-foot-5, 180 pounds, sophomore guard from UConn
  • Key Stats: 17.7 points, 4.9 rebounds, 1.2 steals per game, 48 percent shooting, 34 percent 3-point shooting
  • Projected: Lottery
  • Hickory High Similarity Score

Why I like this guy

Big, defensive minded two guards who can shoot and don’t need to dominate the ball to be effective are a commodity in the NBA these days — think Arron Afflalo or Eric Gordon. I don’t know that he’ll get to their level, but Lamb is in their mold. He’s a lanky 6-foot-5, athletic, has range on his jumper and he’s a potential defensive stopper. In other words, he’s a prototypical new breed NBA shooting guard.

Pros for the Pistons

I don’t mean this as an affront to Brandon Knight necessarily, but Rodney Stuckey is still the best point guard on the Pistons roster. I’m a believer in Knight’s work ethic, I think he has upside, but the Pistons aren’t in a position to draft for need. Their need is exceptional players. If the Pistons end up picking near the bottom of the lottery, there’s a chance that Lamb could be a better option than reaching for a limited big man. Knight has yet to establish himself as even an average starting PG production-wise, Stuckey is at the very least average (and perhaps more dynamic in Lawrence Frank’s offense) as a full-time PG and Lamb could be the best available when the Pistons pick, depending on who goes where before. So, if a such a far-fetched scenario plays out, would the Pistons take a guard in the lottery?

A Lamb-Stuckey backcourt would be intriguing simply because of the size they’d have and matchup problems they’d create. As an effective player off the ball, Lamb could help both Stuckey and Greg Monroe by either stretching the floor with his spot-up shooting or by making sharp cuts to the basket and using his strong finishing ability. And as a team that is supposedly recommitting to a defensive philosophy under Lawrence Frank, a Stuckey-Lamb combo has the potential to be lockdown defensively if both guys commit to that end of the floor.

I hope the Pistons aren’t in a scenario where the best player available when they pick happens to be a guard, but it’s still a scenario fans should think about just in case it happens. And if it did happen, Lamb is the type of player I wouldn’t mind the Pistons adding, even if it did require some other roster shuffling.

Cons for the Pistons

There are definite problems to the scenario above. Namely, what to do with Knight? Opinions on him and his actual ceiling vary more widely than any young player I can remember recently. He has definite positive qualities that he brings, along with some weaknesses — despite technically being the ‘shooting’ guard, Stuckey still handles the ball and initiates the offense more than Knight and turns it over far less.

The question really boils down to whether Lamb at shooting guard is an upgrade over Knight at point guard? I don’t have a good answer to that question. If the Pistons believe Lamb is better and take him, that will be two straight lotteries where they’ve ignored a glaring need up front and drafted a player at a position where they have some roster depth. I’m not sure Detroit is willing to do that.

As for Lamb’s weaknesses, the one thing I’d be concerned about is the fact that his 3-point shooting declined from a good 37 percent mark last year to a more pedestrian 34 percent this year.

I think Lamb’s defensive capability makes him a fit with the Pistons and what they’re trying to build. Whether they’d consider him depends on how much faith they have that Knight-Stuckey is the long-term solution as the starting backcourt.

What others are saying

Chad Ford:

The Good: Lamb is a super lanky wing player who can score from just about anywhere on the floor. He’s mastered the art of the midrange game and is equally adept at putting the ball on the floor and getting to the basket.

The Bad: He’s struggled with the role of alpha dog in the absence of Kemba Walker. Occasionally he shows the ability to take over games, but he can also just disappear. He too could use a few more pounds on that frame.

The Upside: Lamb’s draft stock got a huge bump in the NCAA tournament last year. He’s struggled — a little — to live up to the hype his freshman performance created, but he’s still a very good NBA prospect.

DraftExpress:

Defensively, Lamb has the physical tools to excel, as he has good lateral quickness and instincts and is able to utilize his tremendous wingspan to cause havoc on the ball and in the passing lanes. His energy on this end looked very inconsistent this season, however, not displaying the competitiveness, fundamentals and attention to detail that will likely be demanded from him at the NBA level, particularly off the ball.

NBADraft.net:

Lamb’s ability to make plays off the dribble, his late blooming status, physical and athletic tools, potential on D, and versatility has made him a hot name in scouting circles and among NBA execs…There will be a lot of eyes on him this upcoming season to see how he performs in a completely different role and with all-everything G Kemba Walker off to the NBA … Despite not coming home with gold, his play in the U19 World Championships in Riga, Latvia was extremely encouraging.

UConn By The Numbers:

Unlike last season where UConn’s most prolific scorer (Kemba Walker) started possessions with the ball in his hand, Jeremy Lamb requires a functioning offense to get his points. Where Walker could create his own shots and shots for others, Lamb gets his shots in the flow of the offense. I think this, as much as anything, has contributed to the awkward offensive interaction between Lamb, Shabazz Napier and the rest of the team. Lamb should be the team’s go-to-guy, but struggles to create for himself and needs a competent team offense to score.

What is the best thing Jeremy Lamb does for his team?

Matt McDonough (follow him on Twitter) is the UConn basketball beat writer for The Daily Campus, UConn’s student newspaper:

Jeremy Lamb will be in the NBA for a long time to come. Although he would most likely be best suited as a role player on a contender, Lamb is a valuable scoring option to have on any team. His incredible length and work ethic makes his potential very attractive. After two years at UConn, he was more than ready to make the jump to the NBA. As a freshman, he progressed into arguably the second-best player on the team behind Kemba Walker. At times during the Huskies’ postseason run to a Big East and NCAA national championship, Walker deferred to Lamb on offense, even during clutch moments. Lamb is a cool character who shows little emotion and keeps his game-face on and off the court. As exhibited at times during his sophomore campaign, Lamb is not a vocal leader who will take charge of a locker room. Home-schooled during his youth, Lamb is a quiet, reserved player that lets his game speak for itself.

Previously

31 Comments

  • Apr 18, 201212:18 pm
    by steve battle creek, mi

    Reply

    lamb is soft and plays NO DEFENSE, only way pistons draft him if he is in 2nd round.  he was supposed to be the leader of UCONN this year and there season was horrible, marked by the LACK of leadership on the team.  

    • Apr 18, 201212:54 pm
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      Lamb as a second round talent? And you accuse me of not watching the game? Wow. Dude has been considered a lottery talent by DraftExpress, Chad Ford, etc. for the last two seasons. So, just to get this straight, you are blaming the one player who actually had a productive season for UConn’s failures? Personally, I’d pin that more on guys who underachieved, like Drummond or Napier or Oriakhi.

      • Apr 18, 20121:13 pm
        by steve battle creek, mi

        Reply

        also if you look at those sites, chad ford, draftexpress, etc, they ALL had lamb higher at the beginning of the year.  As his stock has gone down because of the “less” than spectacular year he had.  Now lamb is projected in the late lottery, where as before it was top 7 pick.  DO YOUR RESEARCH.  please 

      • Apr 18, 20121:18 pm
        by steve battle creek, mi

        Reply

        and btw, did you ever read what those exper sites said above??  all say he is inconsistent and had drop off this year. 

        • Apr 18, 20121:25 pm
          by Patrick Hayes

          Reply

          Haha, you mean the sites I linked to and excerpted in the post? Yes, I read those.

  • Apr 18, 201212:27 pm
    by steve battle creek, mi

    Reply

    and the only VARYING opinions on knight are from this pistons GOSSIP site.  if you review experts at espn, SI, yahoo, draftexpress, ALL have knight as star quality player.   again, he is 20yrs old playing starting PG in the nba, can we give him 3 yrs at least?!?!?  i have NEVER heard of replacing a no. 8 overal pick rookie PG after 25 games(as your suggested earlier on this site). an he doesnt have to be all star player to be a cornerstone for the team.  just look at past champions and there pg’s, kidd last year was not all star, fisher w/ lakers, rondo WAS weak link when celtics won!.  so if he NEVER makes all star team doesnt mean he is not a valuable player on this team now and going forward.  his main weakness is TO’s which should decrease with EXPERIENCE and his decision making which should improve with EXERIENCE.    

    • Apr 18, 201212:48 pm
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      Hey Steve, the solution is pretty simple then: if you don’t like this site, go comment on Yahoo or Draftexpress or the other places you think are superior. I think we’ll survive here without your poorly punctuated, moronic sentence fragments.

      • Apr 18, 20121:09 pm
        by steve battle creek, mi

        Reply

        no i will continue to provide comments on this gossip site as this is one of the only sites for strictly pistons content.   and if you cant understand what i was saying about Knight, then you are the moronic HACK! HELL look at mlive and the comments from his teammate(monroe) and coach (frank).   monroe states he is learning and getting better as first few months in the league everything goes 100mph.  while frank said he is beginning to become more distrubtor and keeping his scoring.  Knight himself states that the system at kentucky was attack attack dribble for 5-6 times then attack.  While here in Detroit, Frank’s offense is keep the ball moving.  So please cut out the nonsense about knight and look just a lil bit ahead of what he can be.  If you are going to be a pistons content provider you should atleast be able to reference EXPERT sources, like i mentioned above.  ITS CALLED RESEARCH PATRICK!.. DUD!! 

        • Apr 18, 20121:18 pm
          by Patrick Hayes

          Reply

          Well, maybe you could just start your own blog. You’ll build an audience in no time with your unique mix of analysis and exclamation points.

          • Apr 18, 20121:24 pm
            by steve battle creek, mi

            THIS IS MY NEW BLOG SITE.  give me by the time start of the next season, and i GUARANTEE, i will have ppl on this site looking for my comments.  btw, how can you are not backing up what you are saying in facts and analysis?   you seem to just be saying rude comments to me.. weird.   im a moron, can punctuate sentences, personal attacks are not necessary.  thank you

          • Apr 18, 20121:38 pm
            by Patrick Hayes

            What, exactly, am I not backing up with facts? The whole point of every one of these draft profiles I write is to look at the pros and cons of taking certain players.

            There was a time not long ago that Lamb was considered a better prospect than Knight. Remember, last season, Knight wasn’t considered a lottery level lock until he had a good tourney run and five big name players (Sullinger, Barnes, Henson, PJ3, Zeller) all decided to stay in school another year.

            I don’t necessarily have a strong opinion on who is better long-term between Lamb/Knight. Both guys have positives and negatives. I’m just saying that the Pistons could draft in a spot late in the lottery where Lamb happens to be the best player available. Dumars has always maintained that his draft strategy is to take the best player available, regardless of position. In fact, he did it last year with Knight — Pistons clearly had a glaring need in the frontcourt, Knight was still on the board, Dumars felt he had more upside than the available bigs, so he took him.

            Your comments throughout this thread are all over the place and not grounded in reason. For example, you said Lamb is not a good defensive player. That’s actually false — Ford and DraftExpress both stress that defense is arguably his best attribute. You also criticize Lamb for not progressing as much as many thought he would as a sophomore, but the truth is, he still had a pretty good season in an unstable environment with three other big time prospects who flopped. I think Lamb performed pretty well considering how dysfunctional things seemed at UConn this year.

            Yeah, I resort to insults sometimes. I’m immature, what can I say. But in general, I think your comments speak for themselves and the work Dan and I have done on this site the last two seasons speaks for itself. I don’t have much tolerance for trolls like you who are out to question my credibility.

          • Apr 18, 20121:54 pm
            by steve battle creek, mi

            well if you look above at the draftexpress, it clearly says has the ability to excel on defensive end, BUT was inconsistent and did not display the fundamentals or competive nature needed at the nba level.   did not see at all where he was said to be a good defensive player!??  i understand Joe’s philosophy of best available player, BUT we have 4 guys at the guard positions right now!  Not sure where lamb fits in??  that was my point, in my response.  Did not mean to offend you, just was seeking a dialogue on pistons basketball and why they WOULD not choose lamb.  Thus i said only way they take him is if it’s one of the 2nd rd picks.. 

          • Apr 18, 20122:00 pm
            by Patrick Hayes

            That’s all fine. Dialogue is great, reasonable disagreements and debates are great. Your second comment, though, was disparaging — ‘Gossip Site’ – WTF? — and stuff like that makes me mad, especially since it’s not the first time you’ve called me out or questioned how much I put into what I write here. That stuff makes me mad and it makes it impossible for me to have reasonable discussions when it happens.

          • Apr 18, 20122:10 pm
            by steve battle creek, mi

            GREAT!! that was my point of the “gossip” site comment, i want more facts, more sources, more expert analysis.   Sometimes i read your articles on Knight and i say wtf?  As you seem to just see no way that Knight pans out.  I mean since prolly his 25th game you have been railing on him.  You said he needs to be traded, you question his ability etc.  An whereever i see other sites they all say the same thing, that he has star potential ONCE he cuts down on TO’s and distributes more.  It seems he is doing a better job at this the last few games, but you still question if he can do it.  Its almost like your saying if he is not top 5 at his position, he needs to go and get someone else.  I mean he is the 4th leading assist rookie(counting rubio), 2nd leading scorer, 3rd in 3pt%, 2nd in minutes and has started basically every game this season. Also the leading TO rookie…K. Irving.   Lets give the 20yr old rookie some credit.

          • Apr 18, 20122:30 pm
            by Patrick Hayes

            “As you seem to just see no way that Knight pans out. “

            I have never written anything remotely close to that. In fact, I’ve written pretty much the complete opposite of that.

            “I mean since prolly his 25th game you have been railing on him.”

            Again, this is untrue. For example, the sub-headline in a post I wrote in December: “Brandon Knight should start right now.”

            “You said he needs to be traded”

            NO. I never said that. We did one post on Knight which discussed what his trade value would be if the Pistons did move him (we did this for EVERY player on the roster), but never once did I say Knight ‘needs to be traded’ or anything close to it.

            “you question his ability”

            I don’t. I’ve written about his upside too many times to count, actually. His current flaws are he turns it over too much and he’s not a natural pass-first player. Those things are fair, accurate and true. I have written much more about his work-ethic, my belief that he could become a top notch defensive player because of his long arms and speed and my belief that he’s been forced into a tough situation playing huge minutes at a position he’s still learning.

            “An whereever i see other sites they all say the same thing, that he has star potential ONCE he cuts down on TO’s and distributes more.”

            Dan Feldman and I have both written variations of that same statement too many times to count. Check the archives.

            “It seems he is doing a better job at this the last few games, but you still question if he can do it.”

            After the Chicago game, I wrote that it was Knight’s 3rd straight 7-assist game, the best passing stretch of his career.

            “Its almost like your saying if he is not top 5 at his position, he needs to go and get someone else. “

            Nope. I’m not saying anything ‘almost like’ that at all. I’ve never said anything remotely close to that.

            “Lets give the 20yr old rookie some credit.”

            I’ve written by far way more positive than negative stuff. It’s not even close really.

            You’re making false arguments man. Anyone can make shit up and then use it against someone. You’re not being honest and you’re not accurately reflecting what I’ve actually written over the course of this year. It’s really annoying.

          • Apr 18, 20122:35 pm
            by steve battle creek, mi

            ok great, we are now on the same page. NO LAMB FOR DETROIT.  You made my points beautifully. 

  • Apr 18, 20121:01 pm
    by jay

    Reply

    Iv’e been telling people this for the last few months; if we cant get our hands on drummond, davis, mkg, or barnes i think we should go with lamb; he is the best player available…i like a thomas robinson but him and monroe would be a bad interior defensive combination and both are slightly undersized for their position ……GREAT ARTICLE!

  • Apr 18, 20121:03 pm
    by steve battle creek, mi

    Reply

    im not saying he is a 2nd rd talent… duh, i said only way Pistons should take him is with one of their second rd picks… duh.   not with there lottery selection.

  • Apr 18, 20122:16 pm
    by Tiko

    Reply

    I’d take Lamb as long as Stuckey gets traded for a quality big or small forward

  • Apr 18, 20122:40 pm
    by vic

    Reply

    if we cant get davis, drummond, or henson, I’d say get Perry Jones and trade Tayshaun.  at least PJones is remarkably talented, and if you put him in his right position – i’d rather have that than another shooting guard, or a soft or undersized big man. sullinger’s not a sure thing, meyers leonard is not a sure thing. Perry jones is surer than both of them because all you have to do is put him at his natural position. Then get a shot blocking big in the 2nd round like Festis ezeli or Kyle Oquinn (more likely).  ps,  i hope you cover Kyle i think he’s a sleeper that will allow us to go BPA in the first round

    • Apr 18, 20122:41 pm
      by sop

      Reply

      FYI every scout in the NBA would put PJIII above Henson.

      • Apr 18, 20124:48 pm
        by vic

        Reply

        yeah i agree with that, but every Pistons fan knows we need a defensive shot blocker over another sF. the only way i’d take PJ is if all the first round ones were gone.

        • Apr 18, 20125:17 pm
          by sop

          Reply

          how about an effective player vs. a non-effective stick. PJ3 has a great skill to size level. Henson will struggle hold position against NBA bigs and many GMs think he’ll only be a half-decent weakside help shot blocker.

  • Apr 18, 20122:40 pm
    by sop

    Reply

    At best J. Lamb becomes Rip 2.0. There’s no way he’s the 9th or even 10th best prospect in this draft.
    Top 30 Prospects

    1.     Anthony Davis
    2.     Michael Kidd-Gilchrist
    3.     Bradley Beal
    4.     Andre Drummond
    5.     Thomas Robinson
    6.     Jared Sullinger
    7.     Perry Jones III
    8.     Harrison Barnes
    9.     Terrence Jones
    10.  Tyler Zeller
    11.  Jeremy Lamb
    12.  Damian Lillard
    13.  John Henson
    14.  Dion Waiters
    15.  Arnett Moultrie
    16.  Austin Rivers
    17.  Meyers Leonard
    18.  Terrence Ross
    19.  Tony Wroten Jr.
    20.  Kendal Marshall
    21.  Jeffery Taylor
    22.  Tyshaun Taylor
    23.  Royce White
    24.  Will Barton
    25.  Marquis Teague
    26.  Doron Lamb
    27.  Fab Melo
    28.  Andrew Nicholson
    29.  Draymond Green
    30.  Evan Fournier

    • Apr 18, 20123:02 pm
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      If Lamb’s ceiling is Rip 2.0, how is he barely a top 10 worthy prospect? Hamilton was an All-Star and went 7th in a pretty loaded draft in 1999. That ’99 top 10 produced six All-Stars, one of the steadiest PGs of the last decade in Andre Miller, two sixth man winners in Odom and Terry and a guy in Bender who displayed a ton of potential before a career-ending series of injuries. You think this draft is that superior to that one where someone who is comparable to Hamilton is only on the fringe of the top 10?

      • Apr 18, 20125:22 pm
        by sop

        Reply

        That’s the idea of a ceiling. He could reach Rip’s level, but it’s pretty unlikely. He’s not aggressive, explosive or vocal enough and will probably only end up as a decent bench player. He’s just not worthy of a ton ten pick, especially when there are a number of skilled big men who are much harder to get than a wing of Lamb’s ability.

        • Apr 18, 20125:31 pm
          by Patrick Hayes

          Reply

          Really? How many two guards in the NBA right now are as good as Hamilton in his prime? It has actually become one of the weaker positions in the league. Kobe, Joe Johnson, Ginobili and Ray Allen are aging. Wade is still in his prime, but his style of play is not conducive to playing deep into his 30s at a high level. If Lamb’s ceiling is Rip Hamilton — and I’d argue that Lamb does project as a better defender and 3-point shooter than Hamilton did coming out of college — he’s definitely worth a top 10 pick. Name great young twos around the league right now — Kevin Martin, Monta Ellis, Eric Gordon, Harden, Afflalo, maybe Stuckey if you consider him solely a two … the list is shrinking once those older guys retire and decline.

          Not necessarily from the Pistons perspective, but just in general, I’d probably take a chance on a two like Lamb in the 7-10 range over a big with limited upside like Sullinger or Zeller.

          • Apr 18, 20125:57 pm
            by sop

            I’m glad your such a believer in Rip even after he gave us so many seasons of mediocrity after Billups left his side, but all this is besides the point. Rip lead UConn to a title. Lamb couldn’t lead UConn out of the 1st round. The fact is Lamb isn’t a leader I would prefer not to pick up another follower who also can’t get to the rim.

          • Apr 18, 20128:31 pm
            by Patrick Hayes

            “I’m glad your such a believer in Rip even after he gave us so many seasons of mediocrity after Billups left his side”

            It has nothing to do with believing or not believing. In his prime, he was a fringe All-Star caliber player, in the top third of starters at his position in the league. If you’re saying Lamb “only” has a Hamilton ceiling, I’d certainly gamble on that in the late lottery. Sullinger, for example, might only have like a Kenny Thomas ceiling.

            “Rip lead UConn to a title. Lamb couldn’t lead UConn out of the 1st round.”

            You’re right. Lamb wasn’t the best player on a title team. He was just the second best player on a title team as a freshman.

             

  • Apr 18, 20124:45 pm
    by Andrew

    Reply

    I personally like Lambs game a lot, I think he can get a little carried away with his dribbling, but if I were a GM I would probably pick him top ten, he has that type of talent and potential. He had to deal with his head coach not  being on the side lines for the majority of the season. And like you said Patrick Drummond, Oriakhi and Napier all played pretty small roles on a UCONN team that wasn’t supposed to be rebuilding, but reloading. I think it speaks a lot about his character on how he handled this season.

  • Apr 18, 20127:11 pm
    by Anthony

    Reply

    Trade Stuck, rights to Singler and our second round pick(s) to the Kings for Cousins. They take drummond to replace him. With our pick we take PGIII, Lamb or Marshall whichever is available or trade up using Charlie V or Tay and our first round pick as bait to land Barnes.
    Knight
    gordon
    barnes
    monroe
    cousins

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