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Hoping for Anthony Bennett, debating Shabazz Muhammad/Kentavious Caldwell-Pope

Me at the Detroit Free Press:

At this point, Noel, Burke, Porter, McLemore and Oladipo are pipe dreams for the Pistons.

That makes Bennett, ranked by some in a group with the aforementioned five players, Detroit’s dream pick.

Bennett, a freshman forward from UNLV, is an explosive athlete whose ball skills and mobility make him a matchup issue for opposing power forwards. There’s a chance he can transition to small forward, but I wouldn’t count on it. Obviously, that’s not ideal with Monroe and Drummond — and neither is Bennett’s defensive indifference at UNLV nor the rotator-cuff surgery he had that will keep him out until the fall — but Bennett is so far ahead of the next prospect that if he’s there, he should be the pick.

[C.J. McCollum] scored very well at Lehigh, but he didn’t show the passing skills his height (6-feet-3) will require in the NBA. Lehigh needed McCollum to score, and it’s possible he has playmaking skills the system never allowed him to showcase, but it’s a risk to draft a player who didn’t prove himself, regardless of the reason. Another question is whether he and Brandon Knight are big enough to defend in tandem, but at this point, I wouldn’t let Knight’s presence influence any draft decisions.

UCLA’s Shabazz Muhammad is probably the best fit in this tier, considering the Pistons need another wing player. Muhammad has taken more criticism than anyone in this draft — both deserved (lies about his age) and undeserved (NCAA scrutiny, backpack). But he works hard and always plays hard, and those traits should get more consideration than they have.

Maryland’s Alex Len is skilled and tall, but maybe soft. Indiana’s Cody Zeller produced very well in the nation’s best conference, but his wingspan and tendency to get pushed around leaves questions. But both big men can add only so much value to a team that already has Monroe and Drummond.

Syracuse’s Michel Carter-Williams makes excellent passes, but he also turns the ball over too much and is a terrible shooter. He and Knight would complement each other well in the backcourt (besides combining for too many turnovers), but there’s no guarantee either will become good enough to start in the NBA.

Georgia’s Kentavious Caldwell-Pope has seen his draft stock rise quickly. He’s a good shooter and defender, an important combination, though question marks about his ballhandling limit his perceived upside.

He fits as well as Muhammad, so that leads to the question that has a very good chance of determining Detroit’s pick: Is Shabazz Muhammad or Kentavious Caldwell-Pope a better prospect?

Click through to the Free Press to see my early top-seven mock draft. I’ll share my current prediction for the Pistons’ No. 8 pick in a post here later today.


  • May 24, 201311:25 am
    by Greg


    There is a post somewhere about possible scenarios for the Pistons in this Draft including trades. A possibility would be to acquire the Mavs Pick #13 and a future second-rounder, and therefore take on the contract of Shawn Marion worth 9 MIo, which expires at the end of next season or could be used as Trade-Chip at the 2014 Trade Deadline. With #8 and #13 the Pistons could for example grab Zeller at #8 and KCP at #13. The Pistons really need depth and I think adding 2 picks for 9 Mio is worth it, plus Shawn Marion has some value to contenders, so he could be shopped around for some other Prospects. The Mavs can go after Dwight Howard and add some other pieces with the Cap space. Another possibility would be to shop the #8 Pick for example to OKC for #12 and #29 or to the Hawks for #17 and #18. I would prefer the deal with OKC which also could throw in Jeremy Lamb or PJ3 instead of the #29 pick. With #12 and #13 the Pistons could go after MCW and KCP and would have a nice young backcourt with great lenght, athletisism and defense. KCP is a great shooter who would compensate the still improving jumper of Carter-Williams. Brandon Knight could start at the beginning in front of Carter-Williams or come of the bench, which I think will be his future role. Should the #29 pick be inserted instead of Lamb or Perry Jones then the Pistons could still grab a solid Back-up Center in this draft class, which has plenty of them.

    The Main deal would be the Dallas-Trade and I think to loose 9 Million in cap space this year is worth it since there are really no good Free Agents on the Market worth their price other than maybe Corey Brewer who I would love to be a Piston. If there are some deals out there we could still amnesty Villanueva. With all that young Pieces there would still be flexibility this summer to facilitate 1 or two trades and then next year we could go after a Big Name if we chose to do so.

    We could also Package the pich at #37 and #56 for a late first-rounder of a contender, who doesnt want to commit to the obligated contract for a first-round pick if OKC would be reluctant to add #29 and rather inserts PJ3 or Lamb (hope for PJ3).

    • May 24, 201311:29 am
      by The Rake


      Part of the problem with this scenario is you really don’t want to pay 2 first rounders. Thats why many look at the first picks of the second round sa the most valuable in the draft. In a draft without supposed stars, those are the picks teams will want to target and the difference between picking late first and early second in quality will not be great, but financially will be significant.

      • May 24, 201311:40 am
        by Greg


        At #12 and #13 as it is proposed in my scenario you will pay maybe a combined salary of 3 Mio a Year for the possibility of a young future backcourt. I think thats worth a lot more than signing a free Agent in this price class where you know what you get, and for 3 Mio a year thats not a lot you get there.

        • May 24, 201311:52 am
          by Keith


          Please keep this in mind with that OKC scenario: Traded James Harden for Lamb, Martin, and that 13th pick. To think they would then turn around and trade everything they still have (Martin is a UFA and they are very close to the tax line) for the 8th pick in a weak draft just wouldn’t make sense. I could see them offering the 13 an 29 picks to move up for Len or Bennet, but definitely not  Lamb. This draft just isn’t that good, and Lamb’s future is too important to the value of that trade.

          • May 24, 201312:04 pm
            by Huddy

            I could see then moving PJII though. Playing behind Durant makes him a luxury in a big way.  OKC is so close to going over the edge with Westbrook and Durant that I could see them wanting to be sure they can get someone like Len down low if they feel like they just need one more piece to be the best. 

          • May 24, 20131:48 pm
            by Keith

            I do agree on PJIII, but at that point we’re still talking about a late first round injury risk who didn’t really do anything well last year. Jones has a lot of talent, but is a classic tweener with little range. He needs a lot of development, which is something I just don’t trust the Pistons with right now. Jones will probably end up being a good role player in OKC, because they have the talent and culture to do it, but I don’t like our chances of doing the same.

    • May 24, 201311:31 am
      by Huddy


      In this scenario with Dallas what does Dallas get?  The Pistons get Marion, a first and second rounder…for what?  Just cap space?

      • May 24, 201311:42 am
        by Greg


        Dallas gets nothing, except the Cap Space they free up. It´s practically the same deal which the Pistons did with the Bobcats. We gave them a first round pick to pay the salary of the second year of Ben Gordon.

        • May 24, 201311:54 am
          by G


          Why does Dallas need all that cap space? They’ve got Kaman’s $8M coming off the books this summer and $25M total coming off (counting OJ Mayo’s salary, since he’s opting out). They lose Marion’s $9M next year, I don’t see much advantage in dumping draft picks so you can get rid of an expiring deal to get cap space that you already have a year too early. That would be a dumb thing to do. The Mavs can pursue Howard with the space they already have, or they could wait for the better free agent year next year.

          • May 24, 201312:01 pm
            by Huddy

            They have been reporting Dirk will take a reduced salary as well…I don’t really understand why they need it either.  I did read they are trying to get rid of their #13 pick, but its only like 1.5 mil they save.  Marion frees up a lot, but who are they going to sign besides Howard to make a contender in this year’s FA?

        • May 24, 201311:58 am
          by Huddy


          I guess thats a lot of space for them, but boy are they screwed if they don’t get Dwight or CP3, which they probably won’t.  I guess they would re up and do 1 year contracts hoping for a big 2014 FA period.

          • May 24, 201312:13 pm
            by Greg

            Well, thats the way Free Agency goes, right? You have to gamble. Look at the Summer of LeBron…how many temas didn´t even get a Max Player that year. Boozer and Stoudemire were the No.4 and No.5 bodys after LeBron, Wade, Bosh, and they are not really worth a Max-Contract and even they were considered “Winners” since another half a dozen teams at minimum didn´t get anything out of this Free Agent Class or at least not what they wished for. 

          • May 24, 201312:21 pm
            by G

            You’re making the other case, dude. Why dump picks for extra cap space when you probably won’t even get a max player? They’ve got a lot of guys coming off the books, they’ll need cheap players to round out their roster if they’re signing a max guy. If they don’t end up with a max guy, they basically gave their picks away.

          • May 24, 201312:31 pm
            by Greg

            The obvious thing is, Dallas wants to trade the Pick. I assume they are pretty sure to land either CP3 or Dwight and want to surround them with players like Andre Iguodala or in case they get Howard, with Calderon. Time is running out in Dallas with Dirk not getting any younger.

          • May 24, 201312:51 pm
            by G

            Sure they want to trade the pick. Likely for a pick in a later draft, which the Pistons probably couldn’t (and shouldn’t) do. If Marion is part of the deal, then the Pistons are primed to be players in next year’s FA but not this year’s. They may be good enough to get a 7 or 8th seed in the 2014 playoffs, but that’s it. They won’t be bad enough to keep their pick. 

            What would the Pistons trade for the 13th pick? A future pick to be determined after Charlotte gets theirs? What would they trade for the 13th pick & Marion? Knight & the future pick? I’m not sure who that deal is worse for, Dallas or Detroit.

  • May 24, 201311:26 am
    by The Rake


    A good brief look at the options that should be available to us. If Bennett is not there (or Burke), I might consider moving down in draft to swap one of Hawks picks at 17 or 18. It seems worth exploring depending on the return and depending on the largely interchangable parts in wings at about that range. One fo the players mentioned (or even a THJ or Glen Rise Jr who are rising) will be there at that point and they might be as good an option as some of the other choices. The one thing that is routinely said though is that McCollum can shoot the 3 and his comp, rightly or not, is Steph, so you do have to be intrigued by him, though we do need someone to man the PG role and take it over effectively for the next 5 years and not sure BK has the court vision to do so.

  • May 24, 201311:37 am
    by The Rake


    One other thing we do every year is assume that the top 6 or 7 picks will go as all the pundits plan and inevitably, somebody slips or somebody or team jumps up into the mix. I think one of the main guys will be there for the Pistons if that is who their hearts are set on. Something says that history kind of shows that happening (although I know the tendency is to say, “well not this year”). All of our lsat 3 picks kind of fell into our lap. Many peg that as luck, but I think its just the inexact science ad unpredictability of a draft night. We’ll see.

  • May 24, 201312:17 pm
    by joe


    My dream drafts picks, if the Pistons got Dallas 13th pick:

    1st option: Bennet (SF) at #8 and Zellar (PF) at #13

    2nd option: Bennet (SF) at #8 and Len (C) at #13 

    3rd option: Zellar (PF) at #8 and Saric (SF) at #13 

    I think if you gonna take on Marion 9 million, I think a Big man is a lower risk than drafting a PG, SG or a small SF (under 6’7).  

    • May 24, 201312:26 pm
      by Greg


      Bennett and Zeller? Benett is considered a PF and there really is now way Zeller can hold his own against NBA Centers, and the chance Benett turns out to be a 3 is very low so you basically draft two Power Forwards. With Len I don´t think he will dropt this far and then again you would Draft two positions where you are alredy set at. With Saric I don´t know but who would you start then in your Backcourt? Do you resign Calderon, do you retry Stucky/Knight? 

      With KCP and MCW we would Draft need positions with the luxury of having Knight of the Bench and they both are good value at this stage of the Draft if they are available.

      • May 24, 201312:41 pm
        by joe


        An in shape Bennet is a nightmare for any SF in the league. He played SF coming out of high school so we don’t know what he can play on the NBA level. I don’t feel it’s to big of a jump for him to guard SF’s or score agains’t them because of his first step and his shot.

        • May 24, 201312:55 pm
          by joe


          What is the difference between Knight and Stuckey or Hill and Stevenson? I know, coaching! I’m not to too much worry about Knight and Stuckey playing another year together as long as we hire Brain Shaw, but what I do think the Pistons need to do is draft Ricky Ledo or Archie Goodwin in the 2nd round, to take Stuckey place after next year. 

          • May 24, 20131:18 pm
            by G

            Hill takes care of the ball MUCH better than Stuckey or Knight & is a better passer. That’s less coaching and more just being a better PG.

          • May 24, 20131:57 pm
            by frankie d

            agree wholeheartedly.
            i think indiana’s backcourt is exactly the model detroit could emulalte.
            in fact, that seemed to be the direction they were going in, towards the end of knight’s rookie year.
            last year, they changed course entirely and tried to make knight a ball dominant point guard.
            but hill is exactly the type of point guard knight might become, while stevenson is very similar to stuckey as a second guard.  in fact, when stevenson first came into the league, they played him at the point because of his ability to handle and see the floor.
            don’t know if knight can actually handle the kind of chores hill does, but i do think that coaching – or the lack of it – has a lot to do with his struggles so far.
            while he hasn’t performed well, imho, it has as much to do with how he has been used, and the failure of frank to understand how to best exploit the things he can do.
            every player has strengths and weaknesses.  it’s the coaches job to exploit the strengths and try to hide the weaknesses.
            hill has benefitted greatly from playing for a great coach and now playing for a good coach.  (although after those boneheaded calls this playoff run, i’m wondering about vogel’s good rep.) 
            knight, on the other hand, has been badly served by his handlers.
            i’d like to see what popavich could do with a guy like knight.   

          • May 24, 20132:21 pm
            by joe

            @G thats not true, Stevenson share a lot of the pg duties with Hill. If you look at the Pacers games, you will see that Hill plays off the ball a lot. I think the problem with the Pistons last season had more to do with direction than it had to do with is Knight a good pg. If you look at the Pistons at the end of the year they didn’t look half bad and that was because Frank started playing Knight/Stuckey like Hill/Stevenson’s style. 

          • May 24, 20132:50 pm
            by G

            @ joe – I have no idea what you’re arguing with me about. I said Hill takes care of the ball better & is a better passer.

            I DID watch the last few games when Stuckey & Knight were sharing PG duties and let me tell you, it was painful to watch. I was at the Philly game and those 2 guys couldn’t make a successful entry pass to save their life. Sometimes it was just a straight turnover, more often it was deflected out of bounds, back to the passer or to a different Piston player from the intended target.

            If your idea of a well run offense involves mind-numbingly bad PG play, by all means, trot out the Knight/Stuckey tandem of crap. 

  • May 24, 201312:24 pm
    by ryan


    I think that Kentavious Caldewll-Pope sounds like the best player available at this point. He’s a shooter, he rebounds well and plays defense. He also doesn’t need the ball to do his thing. All of that is valuable to any team in the league and especially so to us.

    Victor Oladipo is still my first choice if he falls but both Cody Zeller and KCP could be very helpful. Anthony Bennet I would draft if we could trade him for value.

  • May 24, 201312:30 pm
    by G


    Back to the actual article, out of all the potential options after Bennett I like KCP . McCollum looks good, but you probably couldn’t play him & Knight at the same time. The Pistons already have 2 combo guards, adding a third would be like recreating Isiah’s Knicks, and we all know how that played out.

    I like KCP a shade better than McCollum and Muhammad. Muhammad is a slightly better positional fit that McCollum, so he’d win that tie. So KCP, Muhammad, then McCollum.

    • May 24, 201312:56 pm
      by danny


      Why would you rank them ahead of McCollum?  If you look at the stats McCollum is a better prospect that the other two shooting and assisting.  I’m just curious of your assessment.

      • May 24, 20131:28 pm
        by G


        McCollum played in the Patriot league against pretty weak competition. I like KCP better because he’s got added value as a defender and has 2-guard height. I’m not a fan of stocking up on combo guards, and Detroit already has 2. KCP is a clear 2-guard, Muhammad is either a 2 or a 3. 

        Also, while McCollum got more assists than KCP & Muhammad, he also turned it over a lot. His ast/tov ratio is almost 1 to 1. That’s pretty bad. His shooting numbers I take with a largish grain of salt, since he only played 12 games and those were against REALLY poor competition. His sophomore & junior seasons he had pretty mediocre FG%’s.

        • May 24, 20131:33 pm
          by The Rake


          @G Respect. Good, reasoned takes, even if we tend to disagree at times. You give good thought and insight into your opinions, which is nice.

          • May 24, 20131:47 pm
            by G

            Thanks man. I try to keep it real & base my opinions on fact instead of the other way around. Sometimes I get pissed when the facts speak for themselves & whoever I’m arguing with still doesn’t get it, but I try not to get personal.

            With McCollum, I’m very leery about those shooting percentages in such a small sample size against poor competition, especially given the fact that he hadn’t remotely done that before. Prior to his senior season, McCollum was shooting .432/.359/.822. Other than the FT%, those are average numbers.  

  • May 24, 20131:17 pm
    by elshark81


    The Pistons need high percentage scorers preferrably who have range and can spread the floor and do so from the wing position. That really only describes McLemore and potentially Oladipo (his defense makes up for his lack of offensive skill).

    Picking at 8 and choosing between McCollum, Shabazz and KCP…lets also throw MCW into this tier and you have to determine what skill set is more essential and likely to translate to the NBA that each of these guys excel at. I think most fans would WANT KCP or Shabazz to prove they are effective scorers who can fit the team due to their size and ability to defend from the tradition 2 or 3 spot, which we need to fill. However, if McCollum is the superior shooter/offensive playmaker I think you need to take him regardless of his lack of fitting neatly into a traditional spot. However, can he play good enough defense as a 1 and force Knight to matchup with 2s (assuming he has better size and speed for it)

    Knight not really defining himself as a 1 or 2 makes picking McCollum a bit risky in the sense that you don’t want to end up with a guy who will be viewed in the same critical light a few years from now. I think they could play together but  their inability to matchup defensively scares me. I guess the best case scenario is that Shabazz or KCP shine in workouts and proove to be better shooters and scorers than McCollum and can use their size/athleticism to become solid all around. I have a feeling Shabazz will be able to answer the questions surrounding his game and distinguish himself as a clear top 8 player. Reminds me a bit about the concerns with Drummond and his lackluster showing in one year at UCONN. Shabazz had a late start with his recruiting controversy and probably had trouble adjusting as a go to guy without being with the team from the start.

  • May 24, 20131:35 pm
    by Vic


    I know I said a couple days ago I like McCollum… but if he’s not pg, that thought kind of scares me now. He didn’t have as good assist/to ratio as Damian Lillard and Steph Curry to play pg, and he’s a little small to play SG.
    If he can play pg I’m all for it.

    If not, I think I take KCP, then Tony Mitchell with Dallas’s #13 pick.

    As least we know KCP is big enough to defend SG, the position he is certain to play.

    With McCollum you have scoring but too many questions on defense and passing. 

  • May 24, 20132:23 pm
    by frankie d


    mccollum is the guy.  i think he’s smart enough to adjust and play the way he’ll need to play in order to run the point.  and unlike knight, he actually plays with a high BB IQ, which apparently reflects his off court intelligence.  the maddening thing about knight is that he’s supposed to be a smart guy, but he sure does play dumb.
    if joe wants a wing, he can probably get one later.
    as i’ve mentioned before, i like tony snell better.  
    he’s bigger, longer, had better measureables at the combine (except for the sprint), had better numbers, generally, during the season (especially assists/turnover) and, imho, will be a better value if you can pick him up later in the draft.
    according to some, one of caldwell-pope’s selling points was his elite athleticism.  well, as it turns out, it is not so elite and a guy like snell actually has better numbers.  he’s an inch and a half taller, with almost an extra 4 inches in wingspan, and 5 inches in reach.  and he’s quicker, more agile and a better leaper.
    i really don’t see how caldwell-pope warrants being picked at 8 while a guy like snell can be had later on in the draft.
     and muhammad?  please.  i’m just surprised that anyone would seriously consider taking that guy in the top ten.  he’s been exposed.  
    it is funny.
    snell was truly a victim of his college coach’s system.  steve alford ran a very rigid, disciplined half court offense that basically required that snell do nothing but run off screens and shoot jumpers.  that is what he did, and he did it pretty well.  but as a result, the rest of his game was not showcased.
    with muhammad, the ucla offense was essentially designed to get him shots, and he didn’t perform very well in that setting.  in other words, alford’s new mexico system hid snell’s talents while ucla’s system exposed muhammad’s lack of elite talent.
    you can get a guy like muhammad just about anywhere in the late first, early second round of just about any draft.

    • May 25, 20139:10 am
      by oats


      Before I get started, I’d like to say I’ve come around on Snell a bit. I was worried that his combine numbers would be a bit more mediocre, but he largely removed those concerns. He’s definitely in the list of guys the team should look at with the 37th pick.
      Don’t discount the importance of age in ranking prospects. I know a year doesn’t sound like a lot, but it does change the room for improvement from here on out. If they were actually equal prospects with what they do on the court, Pope being a younger player makes him a more valuable prospect because he has more room to grow. That’s not enough to justify that big of a gap, but it isn’t the entire argument either. Keep it in mind as I explain what actually separates them.
      Snell’s defense is well behind Pope’s. Snell looks like he can improve, but as of now he has a long ways to go. Defense is the primary reason to draft Pope as I see it. Snell is an average defender who looks like he has a chance to be good. Pope is already good and has a chance to be really good.
      Their shooting numbers were pretty similar, but Pope did it while attempting far more shots. Increased shot attempts tends to decrease shooting efficiency, and yet they were practically identical. Pope’s teammates were also worse, and that tends to translate to more pressure on Pope, which should also have decreased his efficiency. I just have a lot more faith in Pope’s shooting. I say all that, but I did miss one thing Snell has going for him. Snell is significantly better as a passer. Pope is pretty average, but Snell is actually good at passing. That goes a ways to closing the gap offensively, but I still would favor Pope over all as an offensive player.
      The athleticism difference is pretty minimal. Pope was better in the sprint. While worse than Snell, Pope was still 3rd in the lane agility at the combine. His jumping was only an inch less in the no step vert, and 2 inches in the max vert. He clearly measured out worse, but not significantly so. Pope did a much better job getting something out of his athleticism on the court though. I’ll concede Pope’s rebounding numbers are a little inflated by his terrible team, but 4.5 extra rebounds is a lot. Steals also significantly favors Pope, with an extra 1.2 a game. Blocked shots are even. Those three stats are the ones most effected by size and athleticism. I’ll concede your point about Snell using his athleticism to get off shots, but since his shooting numbers aren’t better than Pope’s this argument doesn’t really go much of anywhere. So why should I care that Snell is a slightly better athlete if he got that much less out of his athletic ability? Production trumps combine testing.
      Finally, the thing about a guy being sort of similar and available later is really kind of odd. The more I think about it, the less sense it makes. I get it when the guy is practically identical, but that isn’t the case here. You can get Snell later, but Snell is an inferior prospect and available later. That kind of argument can be made for almost any prospect in the draft. Don’t take Burke when Pierre Jackson is available later, or even Nate Wolters. Don’t take McLemore with Glenn Rice Jr available later. Don’t take Noel with Steven Adams available later. Don’t take Otto Porter Jr with Reggie Bullock available later. Don’t take CJ McCollum with Erick Green available later. The hardest guy to do that with is Oladipo, but I think my point is pretty clear. There is always an inferior prospect that is vaguely similar, but that guy is still an inferior prospect. There is also a ton of evidence that suggests the higher the draft choice the better the player is likely to be. In short, it just doesn’t make sense to wait for that inferior prospect because he is likely to be an inferior player. Make no mistake, right now Snell is clearly an inferior prospect and that is why he is a second round pick while Pope is in discussion for the top 10.

  • May 24, 20132:26 pm
    by Keith


    Honest quesiton, does anyone think we have the assets necessary to move up? Everyone at 8 (assuming no significant screw-ups in front of us) is a questionable fit at best with significant holes precisely where we need help. MCW is the passer and defender we need, but can’t hit a jumper. Shabazz is athletic and aggressive, but has the same problem. Bennett isn’t really a SF.  KCP is probably the best fit from a versatility perspective, but is still a bit lower on most draft boards. The big men would be career backups.

    Obviously I would love Burke or Oladipo, but we would need to get to 5 to make it happen. Do we have anything worth that trade (besides Monroe and Drummond, obviously)? Are any teams ahead of us vulnerable to a trade-down?

    If nothing changes, I think we have to try on Bennett’s talent if he is available. And if he’s not, KCP is the next best option. We need better athletes and defenders, but we really need efficient shooters.

  • May 24, 20132:39 pm


    Myself and oats have Gone backforth about Pope vs Shabazz. to me its no competition, and to him its no competition…

    But speaking of competition during the regular season

    I tire of this Pope talk its mostly hype he was a BIG fish in alittle POND that could not swim with the BIG BOYS…Against Indinia, UCLA, Florida(twice),Ole Miss, ,Missouri, and Iona…all teams ranked or that made the NCAA Tournament  0-7… Pope averaged: 15.1ppg 39% 40% for 3?s….. Often its talked about him having a good team, he played in a barely decent conference and feasted off of horrible teams…

    You Cant Shabazz played again tougher competition all year, against Top ranked teams or teams that made the NCAA tournament. Georgetown, San diego st,Missouri, California(twice) Oregon, Arizona(Twice) … 6-3 Shabazz averaged 17ppg 45% from the field, 46% for 3′s

    Its Really Not Close, and sure you can say that they are allowed to focus on pope more, its a legit arguement.

    But Shabazz has had a bigger target on him ever since day one.

    • May 24, 20132:45 pm
      by I HATE FRANK


      Im not gonna knock McMullom, because i havent done my full research on himyet.

      but at the end of the day, what is going to seperate him from Brandon Knight? Unless we are going to trade Knight.

      • May 24, 20132:54 pm
        by G


        Better scorer than Knight. He’s slightly more athletic and projects as a better defender. He shot a bit better than Knight did while scoring more, albeit in a much weaker conference.

        • May 24, 20133:13 pm
          by I HATE FRANK



          i dont know, he might have tested slightly better than did at the combine, but Brandon has looks like he plays more explosive than CJ. Knight was very good defender last year, and scoring we arent going to get into it because you know how i feel and you know where I will go with stats, and i know where you will go with stats.

          I give the clear edge, and even when you consider age it favors Knight. they are pretty much the same guy.

          its too risky to draft the same player twice, unless you just are in love with him

          • May 24, 20133:43 pm
            by G

            Scoring-wise he scored significantly more points thank Knight while also shooting better. Look at it any way you want, McCollum was a better scorer than Knight. 

            I’ve said it a million times, McCollum would be the third guard the Pistons have taken in the first round going back to Stuckey, all of them combo guards. McCollum would likely represent an upgrade over Knight, but I wouldn’t advocate picking him unless they were getting rid of Knight. 

          • May 24, 20134:46 pm
            by frankie d

            mccollum has a beautiful change of pace, something that knight rarely uses.
            lillard has that same change of pace and it is even more important than straight line speed.
            the frustrating thing about knight – and stuckey does the same thing – is that he fails to use his speed and quickness to his advantage, most times.  it is like leando barbosa.  barbosa is amazingly fast, but he only plays at that speed and can’t shift gears or change speeds, which is really what gets people off balance.  zach randolph does it in his own slow motion way, too.  
            mccollum has that nice little ability to hesitate and then shift right back up to full speed and it is that little extra something that makes him more effective, athletically, than a guy like knight, who may test out to be faster and quicker. 

    • May 24, 20133:04 pm
      by G


      Ultimately you should give KCP the same treatment you give Shabazz, if you’re going to be consistent. You’re doing the same thing you accuse oats & I of doing with Shabazz.

      If you’re looking at pure stats with no context, Pope is better. No question. Scored more, shot better (going by TS%), got more rebounds, more assists, more steals, more blocks, played better defense. If you’re going to put them into context, KCP played in a weaker conference and with TERRIBLE teammates. Shabazz played in a stronger conference with good teammates. I think it still shades in KCP’s favor. You’re entitled to your opinion, but don’t say it’s not even close. That’s asinine. Of course it’s close. 

      • May 24, 20133:32 pm
        by I HATE FRANK


        “”Ultimately you should give KCP the same treatment you give Shabazz, if you’re going to be consistent. You’re doing the same thing you accuse oats & I of doing with Shabazz.”"

        1. I have, I value Pope as a better long distance shooter. Also, if he plays for a team that loves to get up and down the floor and looks to get up the 3 ball he is a perfect fit.

        “”If you’re looking at pure stats with no context, Pope is better. No question. Scored more, shot better (going by TS%), got more rebounds, more assists, more steals, more blocks, played better defense.”"

        1. Defesnively, I’ll give him the edge based off of stats, but offensively…TS% includes FT% Shabazz was at 71% and Pope @ 80%, its not a knock but it does boost his TS%.Also shabazz is the better offensive rebounder, I’m give him the ast, but im sure over 40mins its pretty close.

        “”If you’re going to put them into context, KCP played in a weaker conference and with TERRIBLE teammates. Shabazz played in a stronger conference with good teammates. I think it still shades in KCP’s favor. You’re entitled to your opinion, but don’t say it’s not even close. That’s asinine. Of course it’s close. ”"

        2. We have a difference on how talented is scouted, which is cool, but IMO more scouts and GMs… will say against top competition he dropped off, while Shabazz stayed steady.

        OF course if i say look at the Freshman year, you or someone will say something about age…and i dont feel like it

        • May 25, 20139:36 am
          by oats


          I’d say if you are looking at needs for this team, two of the biggest are perimeter shooting and defense. Those are both big check marks next to Pope’s name. Pope is just a much better fit for this roster.
          As for the FTs, it’s hard to complain about someone being a better shooter at the line. That also doesn’t account for the entire discrepancy in their TS%. Let’s change it up real quick, and instead of TS% we’ll use eFG%. Effective field goal percentage, or eFG%, only accounts for points scored from the field and not the line which makes it a decidedly more narrow view of actual scoring. The method for calculating it is easy. For ever made 2 point attempt, count it as a single make. For every made 3 point attempt, count it as 1.5 made shots. That way the shooter gets credit for scoring more points per shot. Muhammad had a vaguely respectable 49% eFG%. Pope’s was a rather good 54%. There is clearly a gap here in Pope’s favor.
          Dropping off against elite competition is an argument that some scouts will certainly make. I believe tarsier has made it too. I think the fact that Pope has less support than Muhammad means he should be more effected by tough competition than Muhammad. The defenses are better for those good teams, and Georgia lacked the other threats necessary to properly attack the defense. Attacking good defenses is all about bending them out of position to create a better look. Georgia had neither the scorers to take pressure off Pope, nor the passers to attack the defense with ball movement. That means they should be forcing worse shots for Pope than they would for Muhammad, because Muhammad benefited from both of those things.
          Finally, your right that the freshman year argument leads to the age thing. I still think it’s really unfair to compare Pope’s freshman year to Muhammad’s freshman year since he was younger than Muhammad as a freshman. At this stage in their development that means a ton. Guys don’t really start hitting their athletic peak until they are about 24, so each year of development makes a big difference in athletic ability. Looking only at freshman seasons gives Muhammad an unfair advantage. I’m not trying to rehash that same argument again, but I don’t think I ever worded it quite like that before and I felt it might help you contextualize my side of the argument. I’m guessing your still unconvinced, so I’ll live it at that.

  • May 24, 20134:21 pm
    by Edgar


    I really don’t like Bennett. There’s just too much of a history of these undersized tweener types that dominated in college and then sucked in the pros. The most recent examples are Thomas Robinson and Derrick Williams, but it goes all the way back to Marcus Fizer. And Bennett wasn’t even that dominant! His rebounding numbers are poor given his competition level, strength and athleticism. 

    • May 24, 20135:05 pm
      by frankie d


      you have to look at each player.
      robinson shot so few 3 pointers they don’t even register statistically.  he could not shoot them.
      williams was a bad 3 point shooter, at 33 % his last year.
      bennett shot 38% his only year, a very good number for anyone and a great number for a guy projected to be a power forward.
      that fact alone separates him from those two guys. 

    • May 25, 20139:45 am
      by oats


      Thomas Robinson is 6’9″ and 245 lbs. That isn’t a tweener, that is pretty much a typical PF.

  • May 24, 20135:16 pm


    he’s not build like them…its more of a lean build

  • May 24, 20136:10 pm


    Greg And Stuckey to Portkand for Wesley Matthew and the 10 pick

  • May 24, 20138:51 pm
    by Corey


    Are you nuts? Just Monroe could get a top 3 pick in this draft. And Matthews wouldn’t be worth the difference. We don’y have to give someone monroe to get rid of Stuckey.

    • May 24, 201310:34 pm
      by I HATE FRANK


      They can throw in Meyers Leonard and a future pick

      • May 25, 20139:55 am
        by oats


        Meyers Leonard looks like he might be a stiff, and the future pick likely wouldn’t be that good. Not only is it a bad trade for Detroit, but by the time it starts making sense for the Pistons I don’t know if Portland does it anymore. Aldridge and Monroe would be an odd fit. All offense, no defense, and Aldridge will continue banging with big guys when Portland would prefer being able to have him guard PFs. 
        If I was Cleveland, I would be willing to send pick 1 and Tyler Zeller just for Monroe. If Detroit made me take on Stuckey as part of the deal, I’d do that too and probably just buy him out. Tyler is roughly the equivalent of Leonard, and pick one has more value than pick 10 and a future 1st that would likely be in the 12-18 range when Detroit actually gets it. That proposed trade just isn’t good enough for a young player who puts up a 16 and 10.

  • May 25, 201311:28 am
    by J Bo


    If getting 13 from Dallas were to happen, I like the idea of drafting shabazz at 8 and dennis schroeder at 13. Don’t know a lot about him but like what I hear. that would give us an immediate scorer on the wing and hopefully our pg of the future

  • May 25, 20134:42 pm
    by RES


    The probability is that Zeller and/or Len will be on the board when the Pistons pick, and both rate ahead of Caldwell-Pope and Shabazz.  Adding another big would give the Pistons a three-man C-PF rotation with more talent than any other team can put on the floor.  Between C and PF there are 96 minutes a game – plenty for all three players. 

  • May 25, 20134:49 pm
    by Justin


    Pistons should trade their best poker chip in Greg Monroe to the Charolette Bobcats.

    Bobcats get: Monroe and Will Bynum

    Pistons get: Kid gilchrist and a 1st round pick

    Bobcats are desperate for a good big so this deal is possible.
    Then the Pistons should pick Victor Oladipo with the 4th overall pick in the draft
    and Pick Cody Zeller with the 8h overall pick in the draft.  
    Both players played at Indiana together so they will be very comfortable playin agian at the pro level.

    Pistons new starting linge up would be: PG: Knight SG: Oladipo SF: Kid gilchrist PF: Zeller C: Drummond 


    • May 27, 201312:10 pm
      by Vegeta


      You want to trade Moose for that beta-male Gilchrist?

  • May 27, 201312:47 pm
    by Ryan Kelly


    Pope?   Not sure why he is an option.   He had one of the worst fg% from midrange according to draft express and just seems like a major reach.   I would have to see his work outs to get a better feel for him.     Comparing his combine interview with CJs or shabazz is kinda funny.    pope was so nervous.   I felt bad for the kid but it was interesting to hear him express himself.   He didn’t sound too confident.  Definitely like cj shabazz or zellar better at this point. 


    • May 29, 20136:30 pm
      by oats


      The mid range shot is the least efficient in basketball, and Pope rarely shoots it. That’s part of why he actually shot 50% on 2s. He wanted to take 3s or shoot from the paint. That’s smart basketball, and why he had such a good true shooting percentage.

  • May 27, 201312:54 pm
    by Ryan Kelly


    And yes one way or another a good team will have three good bigs.  If zellar is theryour may a nice pick.   Put it this way if we draft a sf sg or pg my new number one fa target would be Paul milsap.  So one way or  another this team needs more talent.   Guys like stuckey and maxiel just aren’t good enough to win with as big parts of a playoff rotation.  Time to trim the fat and get rid of all the bums on this team. 

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