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3-on-3: With the 44th pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, the Detroit Pistons select …

Modeled after ESPN’s 5-on-5, Patrick and I will answer three questions about a Pistons-related topic. In the days leading up to the draft, we’re going to discuss what the Pistons could/should/might/should not do with each of their three picks.

For each 3-on-3, we’ll be joined by a guest contributor. Today as we discuss the 9th pick, that’s J.M. Poulard, who writes for Warriors World, Forum Blue and Gold and various other TrueHoop Network sites. Follow him on Twitter.

Please add your responses in the comments.

1. Which player do you think the Pistons are most likely to select at pick 44?

Dan Feldman: Kevin Murphy. The Pistons probably want to upgrade their outside shooting, and as predicted by Chad Ford, the Tennessee Tech sharp-shooter might be a nice fit. I could also see Detroit opting for a European player who won’t come to the NBA immediately. Joe Dumars has previously stated a desire not to overrun his team with rookies.

Patrick Hayes: Tornike Shengalia. It’s not that I know all that much about him, but he’s young, possibly could be a player the Pistons stash overseas for a year or so and let develop and with two second round picks and a full roster, it does make some sense for the Pistons to take a project player who they don’t have to worry about using a roster spot on for another season or two.

J.M. Poulard: Hollis Thompson out of Georgetown seems like a good bet to be selected by the Pistons given his ability to stretch the court with his 3-point shooting. Also, is size will make it easy for him to look over defenders running at him to contest his shots. Given that the Pistons averaged only 13.9 attempts from downtown last season, getting someone to camp out there, makes shots and force opponents to defend the 3-point line is a must.

2. Which realistic target at pick 44 would make the best pick?

Dan Feldman: William Buford. I would love for the Pistons to get three big men in this draft. Detroit’s lack of promise up front – beyond Greg Monroe, a third of Jonas Jerebko (who’s two-thirds small forward) and the blind hope that Vernon Macklin’s small sample size is sustainable – is that influential. Quality bigs are difficult to acquire outside the draft, but other teams know this, and that’s why so many teams risk picks on bigs who have any potential at all. So, I think there’s a decent chance no quality big-man prospects will remain on the board at this point.

In that event, Buford would represent great value. At Ohio State, he looked like a late first-round pick. He has ideal size, shoots well from outside and possesses defensive smarts. He might not have the athleticism to get to the rim or be a defensive terror. But he knows how to play, and that’s important. I can’t figure out why he’s fallen so far, other than that he played four years for the Buckeyes and gave scouts too long to dissect his flaws – and that’s not a good reason to drop.

Patrick Hayes: Darius Johnson-Odom. I know, I know … I already begged for a Marquette player at pick 39 yesterday. But with Ben Gordon traded, the Pistons suddenly need guard depth and DJO is arguably the most athletic guard in this draft, he’s tough, he has a great work ethic, he’s fun to watch and he made 39 percent of his threes last season.

J.M. Poulard: Alabama’s JaMychal Green might actually be the best bet for the Detroit Pistons at this spot. The power forward is somewhat undersized, but nonetheless comes with athleticism as well as the ability to finish around the rim. Considering that the Pistons had some issues converting shots in the lane against opposing defenses, getting a back up big man capable of capitalizing on opportunities around the rim certainly seems like a necessity given the Pistons scoring woes last season.

3. Which realistic target at 44 nine would make the worst pick?

Dan Feldman: Selling the pick. I’m fine with trading for a future pick if the Pistons don’t like anyone when their turn comes up, but in that event, just selling the pick outright would be a tremendous disappointment. A bigger possible disappointment: the Pistons liking a player when their turn comes up but sell the pick either because they need the money or are afraid to add too many rookies at once. Another, albeit smaller downer: reaching for a player because he agreed to spend a year or two overseas (and off Detroit’s payroll).

Patrick Hayes: Henry Sims. Nothing against Sims, he just seems too much like last year’s second rounder, Vernon Macklin. Sims isn’t as old and probably has a bit more upside, but he is a limited big man and as we saw last year with Macklin, limited big men, even ones who were fairly productive in the spot minutes they were given, probably have a hard time cracking Lawrence Frank‘s rotation.

J.M. Poulard: William Buford out of Ohio State might be the worst selection Detroit could potentially make with the 44th pick. It’s not so much that he is a bad player, but more so that he is a bad fit. He’s a subpar finisher in traffic and will probably stay camped out on the perimeter for midrange jumpers. Once again, not necessarily a bad skill, but on a team possessing many players who already fit that mold, he would be awfully redundant and quite frankly useless.


  • Jun 27, 20126:33 pm
    by MNM


    Interesting convo about the draft. Pistons excerpt.. http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/8100861/ford-vs-simmons

    SIMMONS: Detroit deals Tayshaun Prince (expires 2015) and the no. 9 pick to Sacramento for the no. 5 pick and Salmons’s contract (expires 2015). Sacramento stays in the top nine and adds an unselfish veteran swingman who won’t really help them because it’s not like they can compete for a title; Detroit sneaks into the top five and rolls the dice with a Drummond/Monroe tandem that will eventually fail. Everyone loses!

    FORD:  Joe Dumars already drafted Darko. He’s not going to move up to do it again. At no. 9? Maybe, but Drummond is much safer at 9 than at 5. 


    SIMMONS:    Moving to no. 9, let’s agree that it would be hilarious if Joe Dumars dumped Ben Gordon and took Austin Rivers 24 hours later. We’re halfway there. Do it for comedy’s sake, Joe DAnyway, everyone has Detroit taking UNC shot blocker John Henson even though he’s 6-foot-11 but only weighs 216 pounds … which means he only weighs six more pounds than Grantland’s Dave Jacoby. Who’s in good shape, by the way. And probably has a more reliable offensive game than John Henson. The whole thing makes me nervous. I can’t think of any super-skinny shot blockers under 7 feet who actually made an impact in the NBA. I thought long and hard about getting kooky and taking Illinois center Meyers Leonard. He’s 7-foot-1, he’s 20 years old, he’s shockingly athletic for a white dude, and it sounds like someone accidentally reversed his name. There’s just a lot to love. Then I saw Leonard’s ranking on Hollinger’s Draft Rater. Ouch. (Can I trade this pick? I can’t? Crap.) I’ll begrudgingly take John Henson. Repeat: begrudgingly.
    FORD: Yeah, the Pistons are screwed. They need a big, athletic center to pair with Greg Monroe, and those guys are so rare, they’re never going to get them where they’re drafting and don’t have the goods to find one in free agency. So they can either (a) take the elite shot blocker who is too skinny to play in the paint, or (b) the big, physical guy with maturity issues who doesn’t scream “NBA starter.” I’d take Henson, too. But it’s by default right now. All the teams trying to trade up don’t have athletic bigs to offer, either.

    SIMMONS: Plus, the Pistons just gave a future no. 1 pick to Charlotte just so they could flip Gordon’s contract on Charlotte for Corey Maggette’s Expiring Contract. Anytime MJ just beat you in a deal, you know you’ve hit rock-bottom. Pistons fans need an uplifting Eminem/Chrysler commercial and they need it now.

  • Jun 27, 20129:31 pm
    by George


    Buford is a big man now? In what world?

    • Jun 28, 20128:29 am
      by Patrick Hayes


      No. By ‘ideal size,’ Dan meant ideal size for his wing position. Buford is 6-foot-7ish with a strong build. So physically, he looks like a prototypical NBA wing.

  • Jun 27, 201211:01 pm
    by Rob d


    I would love to see the pistons trade down with the Rockets and swap there #9 for the #12 and #16 or #18. This would only happen if the Rockets fail to get a big such as Howard or Bynum and if Henson or Drummond are off the board. They could possibly get guys such as Leonard, Sullinger, Jones, or Zeller. It may not make since to draft two rookie big men but that is something they are sorely lacking. Draft two and maybe you can get lucky with one. At this point the Pistons need to start gathering some assets to build for the future.

  • Jun 28, 201211:43 am
    by kamso


    doesnt buford remind you of austin daye

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