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If Pistons liked Kyle O’Quinn, they should have drafted him

Keith Langlois of Pistons.com:

If ?#Pistons? had gone big at 39 or 44, O’Quinn would’ve been the guy once CLE took B James. But Drummond, Kravtsov already addressed needs.

Orlando drafted Kyle O’Quinn with the No. 49 pick, so the Pistons had two chances to pick him. I wish they would have.

I like Kim English a lot, but I wasn’t sold on picking Khris Middleton.

Why did the Pistons draft Middleton? Langlois:

Piston personnel boss George David very excited about Middleton, English. Says Pistons had Middleton rated 1st round talent a year ago

I hope the Pistons had better reasons for drafting Middleton than that, because, alone, it doesn’t hold up. Middleton spent another season proving why he didn’t belong in the first round, and it would be a mistake to ignore all that additional evidence. Because of small sample sizes, drafting is difficult. When you get a larger sample, you don’t ignore it.

As Langlois notes, the Pistons also thought Texas A&M’s coaching change hurt Middleton. That’s obviously possible, but I wouldn’t put too much stock into it. I don’t think coaching – which matters less the higher level a player is – can sufficiently explain why Middleton was less productive last season than other players still on the board, like O’Quinn.

I also really hope the Pistons don’t think adding Andre Drummond and Vyacheslav Kravtsov – who’ve played a combined zero NBA minutes – means their big-man needs are met. Drummond and Kravtsov have promise, but until they prove they’re high-end NBA players, Detroit should stock up on as many young bigs as possible. Quality big men are difficult and expensive to acquire outside the draft, so I would place a premium on drafting someone with the potential become one when the opportunity arises.

This doesn’t mean Middleton will be a bust and O’Quinn will be great. It doesn’t even mean O’Quinn will be better than Middleton.

I just think adding a productive big man beats adding a less productive wing.

18 Comments

  • Jul 11, 201211:25 am
    by Travis

    Reply

    Ditto!

  • Jul 11, 201211:43 am
    by Birdman84

    Reply

    GAAAHHHHH! It’s like the Pistons are trolling us.

  • Jul 11, 201211:43 am
    by john

    Reply

    Thats why we rebuild for one more year then go for it

    • Jul 11, 201212:57 pm
      by Jodi Jezz

      Reply

      Heck no!! We’re headed to the playoffs this season…

  • Jul 11, 201211:58 am
    by sop

    Reply

    Forget O’Quinn. He’s old and will be lucky to stick in the NBA. BUT the Middleton pick was TERRIBLE pick. The real excuse for him is that he was still recovering from injury his senior year but he wasn’t even that great his Junior year. As I mentioned yesterday, when Doron Lamb, Tyshawn Taylor and Will Barton (all could become NBA starters) are on the board you don’t pick Middleton.

    • Jul 11, 201211:59 am
      by sop

      Reply

      Not to mention we have plenty of young SF prospects. Why not add another sliding back court player at 44?

  • Jul 11, 201212:02 pm
    by brandow

    Reply

    at least we dont have to worry about getting dwight howard

  • Jul 11, 201212:07 pm
    by Vic

    Reply

    Agreed. Still would’ve gone for Scott Macado though., then oquinn.

    The Middleton pick baffles me though. I know GM’s tend to sell their souls for talent but I just don’t see it. I even looked at a couple of his youtube highlight still wasn’t impressed. Even if he is offensively talented, he’s still useless if you can’t play defense as good as Jerebko can. In this LeBron Durant era your small forward either has to be crazy on offense or crazy on defense can’t be average. Even if you have eight of them on one team

    • Jul 11, 201212:09 pm
      by Vic

      Reply

      Unfortunately you can’t put them all together to form one super small forward that will match up with LeBron or Kevin Durant

  • Jul 11, 201212:17 pm
    by Tom

    Reply

    I think the point is less that we are all set for big men and more that having 3 rookies at the same position is too much. If youre going to develop a rookie he is going to need at least some time on the court and if the pistons are sold on our man Slava then where is the time for O? Monroe will grab close to 40 minutes a game, that leaves 56 to split between 2 rookies, Ben Wallace and Jason Maxiell; doesnt leave much for O. Even if Maxiell and/or Wallace are gone you would have to think Joe would want a veteran in there to provide some consistency and leadership. The same logic continues to apply for next year too; while there is room and even need for another big on this team there isnt room for another rookie big. 

    As for the abundance of wings it makes perfect sense to say that the 2 second rounders were battling it out for 1 spot; the same logic doesnt apply to the bigs because the decision was already made on Drummond and Slava, they are the long term prospects and will get the time even if a guy like O’Quinn outplayed them in the short term. 

    I don’t have an opinion as to whether O’Quinn or Middleton will be good players, never seen either of them play, but if Middleton was projected as a 1st rounder a year ago you at least have the argument that he has the upside. Given that O’Quinn went as late as he did, he went to a small school and I dont remember hearing his name in years past, it seems at though a whole lot of professional scouts and GMs have never thought he has a whole lot of upside.

  • Jul 11, 201212:50 pm
    by L Boogie

    Reply

    I am going on record like everyone else, MIddleton, I was concerned with? his highlights are nothing to brag about; where is English you can see his shooting ability right away, nothing jumps out for Middleton, and I heard he looks tentative in summer league, WHAT???? What are you scared of, man oh man, I think Joe has done it again with a wasted pick!!!

  • Jul 11, 201212:59 pm
    by DG

    Reply

    My initial impulse is to agree with you.  You can plainly see by my previous posts that I was in favor of drafting O’Quinn.  But there are three reasons I now think the Pistons made the right call.

    1.  Drafting O’Quinn would probably have meant he would start at PF (or Maxiell) with Monroe at center.  With Monroe playing at center, you cut pretty deeply into Drummond’s floor time.  I think what he needs most is time to develop against NBA caliber bigs.  I’m not saying he should start this year, but he needs 15-20 minutes a game.

    2.  Long term prognosis for O’Quinn is nothing better than a backup big.  While he has looked good in summer league, it is summer league.  He will be schooled in the league and has little more upside to reach into.  He’s not going to get much better.  Do you draft a career 3-5 big over a potential starting SF?  I’m not saying Middleton looks like a starting SF to me.  But clearly the Pistons had him rated higher than O’Quinn.  They may in fact feel like they have three first round picks in this draft. 

    3.  The Pistons are pretty set with long term starters at: PG – Knight, SG – Stuckey, PF – Monroe, C – Drummond.  They don’t have a long term solution yet at SF.  Half of the Pistons fans are calling Prince a black hole.  Daye can’t get his head straight.  Jerebko is more  of a backup on a playoff caliber team.  Maggette has as many questions as Prince does at his age.  Only Singler looks like a potential player now.  But they didn’t even know if he’d be coming over from Spain at the time.  Lets face it SF is a mess.  I like Singler’s scrappy play, but I’m not sure he’s starter in the league yet.  he is probably destined to be a fan favorite though.

    The Piston have other needs greater than more big men.  Right now with Monroe and Drummond they have more talent at the big men positions than they do at small forward.  I might use your argument that they need to throw bodies at positions of need until they get a fix.  But I would also say that right now SF is their biggest talent void.  They have a better idea of what their team looks like at all four other positions three years from now than they do SF.

  • Jul 11, 20121:15 pm
    by frankie d

    Reply

    could not agree more with feldman’s take on the situation.
    imho, however, this is simply another one of those head-scratching picks that joe routinely makes. 
    it is one thing to gamble on someone who actually will have a legit shot to get PT and show what they can do, and possibly barge their way into a rotation spot.
    it is another thing to gamble on a guy whose chances of actually seeing the floor are slim and none. middleton’s chances of seeing the floor, even before his dismal summer league play, has been extremely slim and none.
    why?
    magette, tayshaun, singler, daye, jj, stuckey.  anyone also recall that wilkins was supposedly told that the team wanted him back?  and english is obviously much more prepared to play in the league.
    the team is set for bigs?
    has anyone who would make such a statement watched this team over the last few years?
    absolutely incredible that anyone would make such a statement on the basis of the team acquiring two players who have not seen a minute of nba court time. 
    no, this is another one of those situations where joe has ignored a position of need – c/PF – and indulged his infatuation with wing players.
    while this is not as bad as the year he drafted walter sharpe while deandre jordan was right there for the taking, it is not far behind that fiasco.
    a horrible decision by joe, but not the first, or apparently the last.

  • Jul 11, 20122:09 pm
    by Quick Darshan

    Reply

    Kyle O’Quinn will most likely have a long Drew Gooden-like career.  If you’re the Spurs, Heat or Thunder he’s a great pick because he gives you cheap depth.  For a team like the Pistons he doesn’t help much.  

    Unless Drummond, Monroe and Knight become a “Big 3,” the DaJuan Blairs, Scott Machados and Kyle O’Quinns won’t make a huge difference in the team’s long-term prospects.

    To be fair, you could probably say the same about English.

    I don’t think Middleton has been that bad.  He moves well with the ball and always seems to make the pass (although he could stand to be more aggressive).  That being said, he doesn’t seem to have a lot of upside.

  • Jul 11, 20124:53 pm
    by Aaron

    Reply

    Will never  happen  but the  trademachine is fun!       

    http://espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=c5eg6gs

  • Jul 11, 20125:32 pm
    by bugsygod

    Reply

    We should have traded our 2nd rd picks an moved into 1st rd and got Perry Jones or Jared Sullinger.  Or we should have moved up to number two and got Thomas Robinson.  Or we should have taken pg machado.  or taken blah blah blah!   Every draft is 20/20, we wont know how any of these guys turn out until 4years from now.  Who knew Gred Oden would get hurt? OMG i thought for sure the debates would be around Drummond, but Middleton and Oquinn??  LOL  ppl kill me

  • Jul 11, 20125:35 pm
    by bugsygod

    Reply

    So i guess with him going #48 every other team messed up not picking O’quinn or just the pistons??  SMDH

  • Jul 12, 201212:27 am
    by tim

    Reply

    you clearly dont have a grasp on the collapse of the TAMU program last year.  their coach was diagnosed with parkinsons and missed a huge part of their season, particularly practices.  Not to mention the long term coaching turnover that keeps happening there.  It clearly impacted the entire teams performance this season.  Im not saying they shouldnt have considered a big with that pick, but I think middleton is probably a better nba skillset than any of the available bigs.  we shall see

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