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Detroit Pistons #DraftDreams: Glen Rice Jr.


  • Measurables: 6-foot-6, 215 pounds, small forward from the D-League’s Rio Grande Valley Vipers via Georgia Tech
  • Key Stats: 13.0 points, 1.9 assists, 6.2 rebounds per game; shot 49 percent overall and 39 percent from three-point range
  • Projected: Second round

Random Fact

I’m rooting for Glen Rice Jr. to succeed in the NBA for several reasons, not least of which is his father is one of the greatest players the state of Michigan has ever produced. But aside from the fact that Rice Jr. has a famous dad who I loved watching, aside from the fact that he’s a great redemption story after getting kicked off of Georgia Tech’s team, he also represents a chance to bust the myth that the NCAA should not be automatically considered the best proving ground for NBA players.

Rice was an elite prospect in high school. He went to a middling (or some would say bad) program at Georgia Tech. He got into trouble off the court — telling Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress he was hanging out with the wrong crowds and wrong people. Rice spent three years at Georgia Tech, was undisciplined and, although he certainly wasn’t a bad player, he also didn’t look like a legit NBA prospect before he was kicked out of the program.

In the D-League with Rio Grande, Rice matured both as a player and a person. He was held to standards expected of NBA athletes. He had to earn his way into the rotation on a good team. And ultimately, he led that team to a championship with an amazing playoff performance — averaging 25 points and nearly 10 rebounds per game for Rio Grande in their playoff run.

The right college program can do wonders for players with professional aspirations. But going to a program that doesn’t help a player grow personally or athletically can also be detrimental. Rice’s problems at Georgia Tech were attributable to his own questionable decision-making, but once he got into an environment that was structured and expected him to be disciplined and committed and held him to that standard, he thrived. That’s certainly possible in the NCAA with some programs. But Rice could also shed light on the fact that the D-League could also prove to be a viable alternative for players with pro aspirations who might not be getting what they need from a college program.

Fits with the Pistons because …

Rice, who is projected to go in the early second round, has skills that would be great fits for the Pistons. He’s a strong, athletic wing player and he inherited his father’s sweet shooting stroke. He’s also a good rebounder and strong enough to become a quality NBA defensive player.

Doesn’t fit with the Pistons because …

The Pistons do have other recent second round prospects at small forward who have shown varying levels of promise in Kyle Singler and Khris Middleton. If the Pistons are sold on either or both of those players as potential rotation players next season, adding a third second round prospect at the same position who needs minutes to develop is probably out of the question. Also, after initial excitement about Rice’s potential based on his D-League playoff run boosted his stock, his so-so performance at the combine cooled it some.

Still, if Rice is available when the Pistons pick in the second round, he’s the only non-international prospect in this draft who is proven at the professional level. Increasingly, D-League players have made positive contributions to NBA teams, so his production for Rio Grande is a definite major selling point to give him a look.

From the Experts:

Chad Ford:

We put Rice in our top 30 several months ago after he started getting more minutes in the D-League and broke loose. It wasn’t a fluke. Rice led the Rio Grande Vipers to the D-League championship, scoring 25 PPG in the finals. He’s a bit of a tweener, but he has NBA athleticism, can really shoot the basketball and is an excellent rebounder for his size. Most importantly, in the D-League he excelled at a high level among elite college players and former NBA rotation guys.


Like his father, Rice’s most attractive skill lies in his jump-shot, which he’s honed into an extremely dangerous weapon as of late. Only shooting 30 and 33% from beyond the arc as a sophomore and junior at Georgia Tech, Rice has been absolutely deadly this season from the perimeter for the Vipers, making 39% of his overall attempts on the season, despite having to transition to the much further NBA 3-point line that the D-League plays with. He’s deadly with his feet set and is capable of coming off screens or shooting off the dribble, showing consistent mechanics, a quick release, and deep range, sometimes making shots from a few feet beyond the NBA line even, and looking effortless when doing so.

On film:



  • Jun 25, 20137:23 pm
    by oats


    If he gets into the second round then Detroit better try to get him. I think he can play either wing spot, and frankly he was so good in the D League that he probably should be a fringe lottery candidate. It’s not like he was actually bad at the combine either, with acceptable running times and a 40″ vertical. He’s still a good athlete, just not a great one. I really don’t understand why the NBA would let this guy slide into the second round when so many teams want shooters. That makes no sense to me.

  • Jun 25, 20137:48 pm
    by jamesjones_det


    If he drops to the 2nd I think we would be a great pickup.  Very little risk if he doesn’t pan out and lets face it this team needs a spot up shooter given it’s filled to the brim with slashers.

  • Jun 25, 20138:01 pm
    by Filo Putz


    I’ve never seen him play but what is it that teams will see in him that they didn’t during the season? No team  bothered to give him a callup for a look from the Dleague and the cost would have been minimal. Loved watching his dad play tho.

    • Jun 25, 20139:02 pm
      by joe


      I don’t know too much about his situation but for some reason that had to do with how he left college, Rice JR wasn’t eligible to play in the NBA last year.

  • Jun 25, 20138:50 pm
    by Chris_saline


    He was not eligible to be called up or signed as a free agent. 

    • Jun 25, 20139:01 pm
      by Filo Putz


      Thanks for the info Chris. Can you explain the reason why he couldn’t be called up?

      • Jun 25, 20139:14 pm
        by Chris_saline


        He has never gone through the draft process. He was not draft eligible last year. He did not declare and wasn’t automatically eligible (4 years removed from his HS class) he has to go through the draft process once. 

        • Jun 25, 20139:49 pm
          by Filo Putz


          Got it. He didn’t file the paperwork declaring himself eligible for the draft.

  • Jun 25, 20139:19 pm
    by Gordbrown


    I would love it if the Pistons were able to pick him up, I think he could be a diamond in the rough and perhaps another Dumars reclamation success. Having said that, success in the D-League is sort of like summer league. It doesn’t really tell you who will be OK in the NBA, just who won’t.

  • Jun 25, 20139:19 pm
    by joe


    My dream draft picks for the Pistons

    #8: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope

    #37: Glen Rice JR.

    #56: Jackie Carmicheal or Mike Muscala 

  • Jun 25, 20139:20 pm


    Doubt he’ll be in the 2nd rd… several teams were eyeing him in the D-league ….

    • Jun 25, 201310:24 pm
      by joe


      I agree, but it would be nice Glen Rice JR was their at 37. My real draft prediction for the Pistons is:

      #8: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope

      #37: Jackie Carmichael

      #56: James Ennis 

  • Jun 25, 20139:21 pm
    by Mythx


    The more I look this talent pool the more I think it might be in the Pistons best interests to look at drafting one C and 2 PG’s this year. I know that might sound a bit crazy. But where they are picking and where the talent pools are deepest this may be the best option.  Especially considering they already have 4 back up quality SG/Sf’s on the roster now. Just no starters.
    Realistically I think the 3 most likely player we draft in the first round are Burke,McCollum and Zeller. They all have skill sets that would be very valuable and talent levels that seem to fit well. The more I think about MCW the worse I feel about drafting him. His question marks are huge and for a team that has 2 bigs at its core a PG who cant shoot is a huge liability.
    Second round seems to have alot of 3rd PG types that could develop well. Jackson and McCallum would add athleticism Wolters and Curry (last pick) shooting. Dont care for Green,Kabongo or Cannan.
    Also If any of them make it to the 2nd round Withey,Plumlee or most likely Muscala may be decent developmental picks.

  • Jun 25, 201311:42 pm
    by Bob


    What are your thoughts on this?

     Ian Begley: Based on early conversations, Milwaukee and Detroit are among several teams that have shown interest in free agent J.R. Smith, sources say.

    • Jun 26, 201312:32 am
      by jacob


      For a good deal of course. 7 mil a year sounds good for about 3 to 4 years. Also if wouldn’t mnid MCW if we signed JR.

    • Jun 26, 20132:33 am
      by Worm


      The only problem I have with that is that JR has proven that he is best served as a 6th man. I’m not sure they could justify paying 7 mil a year to a 6th man for 3 years when the Pistons might not even be a contender over the length of his contract. I’d much rather sign Calderon/Jack and sign some shooters like Redick/Korver/Webster/Martin. If somehow we could lock down a PG, 2 wing shooters, Millsap/Hickson for a combined ~22 mil plus the draft picks, I’d really like the Pistons roster going into next year.

      • Jun 26, 20134:24 am
        by Jordan


        Reddick and Millsap will get paid more than JR and maybe Jack and Hickson will too. No way we sign any 4 man combination of those 8 players you listed for just 22 million. Jack+Reddick+Webster+Millsap=~28

      • Jun 26, 20139:50 am
        by G


        JR Smith is kind of a crazy person & you need veteran leadership on the team to keep him in check. I think he’s going to take more money to sign than Millsap, and I suspect NY is going to want to re-sign him or else do a sign & trade. 

  • Jun 26, 20131:18 am
    by joe


    So everybody want the Pistons to draft Burke or Zeller at 8 so they come off the bench because don’t think for once that Knight or Monroe gonna let either one of those guys take their position. I’ll rather the Pistons take Pope at 8 because one could argue that Pope is better player than McLemore and Oladipo. I even read an article where Ricky Ledo said that the hardest player he had to go up agains’t in these one on one’s was Pope.  

    • Jun 26, 20136:07 am
      by oats


      Knight has been a bad PG. Burke would definitely be expected to take that starting job. The question is if Knight could win the starting SG job or if the team would add someone that would beat him out for that job.

    • Jun 26, 201312:11 pm
      by Huddy


      Knight’s position hasn’t been starting PG for some time now…theres no one to take it from if Calderon isn’t back.

  • Jun 26, 20139:08 am
    by Jeremy


    I don’t really know how to feel about Glen Rice Jr. From what I’ve read on the guy, he started off this season really slow and his regular season stats really don’t tell the whole story (13 ppg, 1.9 apg, 6.2 rpg). His postseason stats are quite a bit more impressive (25 ppg, 4.3 apg, 9.5 rpg) but he averaged nearly 16 minutes more per game in the postseason than the regular season (39.2 vs. 23.7 minutes per). Pretty apparent the better you play, the more minutes you’ll get. His numbers in his last year at Georgia Tech are pretty similar to what he did in the d-league this past season. I’m just not that impressed by guys who “turn it on” late in the seasons and to me it seems like he fits that bill. I kind of look at it as guys in college that did nothing during the regular season but when the tourney rolls around they get hot and they become the hot name come draft time because of a 4 week sample of play. I prefer consistent high levels of play all season.
    I honestly would rather see Joe D do what he can to package some sort of deal that included one or both 2nd rounders, and/or future second rounders, and/or players to move back into the late first round and make a play at Tim Hardaway Jr. I think that he is this draft’s Aaron Afflalo – a very good (not quite All-Star) SG in the NBA.

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