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Detroit Pistons #DraftDreams: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope

Info

  • Measurables: 6-foot-5, 205pounds, sophomore guard from Georgia
  • Key Stats: 18.5 points, 7.1 rebounds, 2.0 blocks per game; 44 percent shooting.
  • Projected: Top 15
  • Hickory High Similarity Score

Random Fact

I have a growing suspicion that Caldwell-Pope might be Detroit’s pick, and it was strengthened by Dan Feldman’s report yesterday that KCP has not worked out for the Pistons.

Joe Dumars has a bit of a history of drafting players who are a bit under the radar — Rodney Stuckey and Austin Daye, for example. Not working out KCP could mean the Pistons have zero interest in him and don’t like his game. That doesn’t make much sense to me to have a definitive conclusion like that on a consensus top 15 guy who has a skillset and plays a position that is a weakness on the roster. Or conversely, the Pistons could like him so much that they don’t want anyone else to know they are taking him that high, hence not working him out. Again, the Stuckey and Daye picks stayed relatively quiet right up until the selections were made. Caldwell-Pope is similar to those guys as a late riser. It wouldn’t make much sense for the Pistons to take him without ever working him out. But it also wouldn’t make much sense for them to have zero interest at all. Which of those similarly far-fetched scenarios is accurate though?

Fits with the Pistons because …

Caldwell-Pope is a strong wing player, a good shooter and he projects as a solid defensive player. He’s not Victor Oladipo, Ben McLemore or Otto Porter — the clear prizes on the wing in this draft — but if he can continue to hit the three at a decent rate as a pro and adjust to guarding NBA perimeter players, he wouldn’t be a bad consolation prize. The Pistons need shooting, athleticism, toughness and size on the wing, and they might be able to find some of those qualities in Caldwell-Pope.

Doesn’t fit with the Pistons because …

The Pistons go out of their way to tell everyone that Brandon Knight was a steal in the draft and that he ‘fell’ to them. In reality, Knight only ‘fell’ because he rose a bit too high in the pre-draft process. Knight was mostly considered a mid-first round pick early on in the 2011 draft season. But he used a great tournament performance, along with the fact that some big names like Harrison Barnes, Jared Sullinger, John Henson and Perry Jones decided to stay an extra year in school, to shoot up into the top five in some early projections. So Knight didn’t really ‘fall’ as much as he came back to Earth and went closer to the range that was more realistic for him.

I only highlight this because Caldwell-Pope is on a similar, seemingly out of nowhere upward trajectory. He’s more productive than Knight was in college and there are certainly legitimate reasons to take him, but he also wasn’t necessarily considered a potential top 10 pick until fairly recently. Depending on who is left on the board when the Pistons pick, taking him at eight might prove to be a reach. Maybe not an egregious one, but a reach nonetheless.

From the Experts:

Chad Ford:

Caldwell-Pope didn’t particularly shoot it well in workouts, but the more I speak with GMs and scouts, the more likely it seems that he’s going somewhere in the mid-to-late lottery. Not only are teams attracted to his shooting ability and size but many feel as if he has a great grasp for the game and could be special someday. I could see him going to a team such as the Pistons, Wolves, Blazers or Sixers.

DraftExpress:

Caldwell-Pope’s biggest weapon when he looked to score was his pull-up jump shot. With nearly three-quarters of his shot attempts coming from the perimeter in the half court, roughly half of which were off the bounce, he scored a second ranked 1.118 points per-shot as a pull-up jump shooter, an impressive mark relative to his average 1.066 points per-shot in catch and shoot situations.

On Film:

Previously:

35 Comments

  • Jun 27, 20139:56 am
    by tarsier

    Reply

    Pope is only my 10th favorite prospect in this draft, but I could live with that if none of the top 6 are available.

  • Jun 27, 201310:22 am
    by Greg

    Reply

    He´s my favorite realistic pick for the Pistons. At #8 there is simply no small forward to be picked, If Trey Burke falls the Pistons they might consider him instead but I wouldn´t take MCW over KCP. It seems the pistons havn´t given up on B. Knight as their point guard and him and KCP would look great in the backcourt. I don´t think he´s a reach since it seems that Minnesota would grab him instantly if the pistons would pass on him.

    Another suggestion…Tyreke Evans…he´s a restricted Free Agent. I think the Pistons should try to pray him away from Sacramento. The Kings offer starts at 6,9 Mio. He´s still 23 years young and posted 20/5/5 in his rookie season. Since then he was used in the wrong position to succeed in an instable invironment. He has to be the primary target in free agency this offseason. I think the Pistons should offer up to 10 Mio / year for him. Many may see him as a Rodney Stuckey type, but he has shown he can really ball and with better players and personalities around him (not like Cousins) I think he could be the Star-player the Pistons need.

    • Jun 27, 201310:46 am
      by Keith

      Reply

      The Pistons don’t need more non-shooters, especially ones as inefficient overall as Evans has been 3 out of 4 years. He’s also proved an inability to play PG. He’s a decent passer for an off-guard, but that’s it. Quite simply, he’s not a fit, and nearly superfluous with only slightly better skills than Stuckey. 

      • Jun 27, 201311:06 am
        by Greg

        Reply

        I get your point but which other Free Agent do you see the Pistons getting who is more desireable? 

        • Jun 27, 201311:16 am
          by Greg

          Reply

          Tyreke was used as Small Forward last season, then at the Point and at shooting guard…there was no stability in the System…he shot a career best 34% from deep last season which isn´t bad…he´s young, has the potential to grow, especially on defense. He could be a very good addition, he´s way better than Stuckey, and I would prefer him over just any other realistic Free Agent this offseason (JR Smith, Milsap)…Joe will use his cap space this season, since if he does not the Ben Gordon trade was horrible…and I don´t see him pulling of two trades to use our cap space for players like Granger or Gordon. Thats why I strongly consider Tyreke Evans.

          • Jun 27, 201311:30 am
            by zdh

            I think Evans would be great on the Pistons, especially if Stuckey could be traded. He shoots OK, but really, he can finish at the rim better than anyone on the team currently. He would probably have more assists on the Kings, except everyone on that team is shoot first, if he passed he wouldnt see the ball again. Evans has potential and is for sure worth considering.

          • Jun 27, 201311:32 am
            by G

            Shooting 34% from three is below league average, which was 36% last season. 

          • Jun 27, 201311:50 am
            by Huddy

            Shooting can be improved and his regular FG% is pretty good for a guard.  being moved around and playing at SF he still averaged about as many assists as BK.  I’d prefer a better 3pt shooter, but don’t hate Tyreke for the right price.  I really would rather Monroe pushes himself to develop a decent mid range jumper so that the team doesn’t need a 1,2, and 3 that are good 3pt shooters to make the starting line up make sense.  It reminds me of Orlando with Dwight, which worked pretty well but the team is basically foul trouble away from being stagnant on offense when all they have are 3pt shooter and in the paint big men.  A player like Tyreke who has shown ability to get to the line and create for himself really opens up the options (again at the right price since he is far from a sure thing).

          • Jun 27, 201311:51 am
            by Greg

            Kobe shoot 33% from deep…

          • Jun 27, 201312:10 pm
            by G

            @ Greg – what’s your point about Kobe? He’s a below average 3PT shooter & has been his entire career. He’s managed to shoot above league average only 3 or 4 times in 17 seasons. 

            Evans had his best shooting year ever last year. If he’s able to improve on his long range shooting, he’ll be worth the money it’ll take to get him here. I’d like the Pistons to get a better wing defender than Evans though. 

          • Jun 27, 201312:10 pm
            by oats

            Kobe isn’t on Detroit’s roster. Detroit has more of a need for shooting due to the fact that neither of their bigs can hit a jump shot. If Monroe had Gasol’s range then I wouldn’t care so much about the 3 point shooting of the perimeter guys, but he doesn’t. More importantly, Kobe is just better than Evans. Kobe put up 27 points a game, and did it efficiently. If Evans can keep his efficiency up while scoring 12 points a game more than he did this past season then by all means ignore the 3 point shooting thing. I’m going to wager a guess that Evans won’t be doing that anytime soon though.

          • Jun 27, 201312:31 pm
            by Keith

            Shooting (and defense) do tend to get better over time. But, it’s probably not prudent to look at Evans as a completely revamped (competent) shooter after one year. Many players never manage to become quality shooter after much longer careers. Look at Andre Iguodola. Iggy shot better from three in his sophomore campaign than Tyreke ever has. Yet, from then on he only reached league average once in seven years (most often well below). I could also point to Evans’ mediocre FT% and terrible mid-range shooting to show how little it is reasonable to expect he has improved as a shooter.

            The other issue is that we already have that player in Stuckey. You can claim all you want that Evans has the vastly superior talent or potential, but there really isn’t evidence to back it up. Check out Stuckey’s best years (2010-12) and compare them to Tyreke’s. Tyreke shoots better overall, Stuckey gets to the line more – efficiency is slightly in Tyreke’s favor last year, but Stuckey’s best two are more efficient together than Tyreke’s best two. Both assist well for off-guards, but poorly for PGs. Both are not great rebounders, though Tyreke has a slight edge. PER is the opposite of their shooting efficiency, Stuckey has the top mark, Tyreke has a better two year average (specifically in his best years). Neither is a great defender, but both are competent. Stuckey’s best years were years 4 and 5, followed by an outlier (based on his career, we should expect him to be better next year). Tyreke’s best year came as a rookie, and valiantly salvaged himself last year. Career to career, it’s unlikely Tyreke would be any better in our bad situation than Stuckey is. What do we gain then?

    • Jun 27, 201311:25 am
      by tarsier

      Reply

      Definitely KCP over MCW. But there are 11 guys in this draft I’d take over MCW.

  • Jun 27, 201310:38 am
    by I HATE FRANK

    Reply

    I could live with Pope…but his college box scorers Suggest its going to be a love Hate Relationship..

    A few nights he’s going to do 10-17 (5-9) for 3′s

    But more nights he will go 5-13 (1-6 ) for 3′s

    But if you want a guy that will have to be respect for his shoot ranging to the hash marks, he is your guy, but he is not going to give you anything going to the basket right away. All depends on the system

    • Jun 27, 201310:52 am
      by gmehl

      Reply

      Yep his draftexpress breakdown said he struggled taking it to the hole and was something he had to work on. Still he brings 2 things that we really need. 1) Perimeter shooting 2) Defence. Those 2 points which coincide with the act that he fills a position of need. I’d be happy with KCP too and if we come away with McCallum or Cannan in the 2nd round I’d be ecstatic. Fingers crossed that one of the top 6 drop and we have a wider choice then we thought we’d have. I’m so nervous but I really have a good feeling we’re gonna get lucky again.

    • Jun 27, 201310:55 am
      by G

      Reply

      I feel like if you partner him with a PG that can get him the ball in good spots, you’ll see more of the 10-17 nights than the 5-13 nights.

      • Jun 27, 201310:58 am
        by gmehl

        Reply

        I assume you mean offer Calderon a front ended contract and have either KCP or Knight become the 6th man. That would be an interesting 3 guard rotation.

        • Jun 27, 201311:30 am
          by G

          Reply

          I don’t mean Calderon necessarily, nor do I mean the Pistons (necessarily). I just think KCP will shoot better off the ball. If the Pistons do draft him & re-sign Jose, ideally Knight would come off the bench as a combo guard & share PG duties with free agent X while KCP runs around playing D & shooting threes.

      • Jun 27, 20132:14 pm
        by frankie d

        Reply

        @g
        your assessment of KCP is dead on.
        he is rip hamilton-lite with more range and a 4 cylinder motor instead of hamilton’s v-8.
        not a bad player and if i had a pick in the teens or early 20′s i’d take  him, but he is absolutely a reach at 8.
        i’ve said it plenty of times before, but i will say it again. i’d like someone to indicate why KCP is worth the 8th pick while a guy like tony snell is supposedly a second rounder?  or at best a late first rounder.  
        snell does some things better – better handle, assists, more athletic, larger wingspan – while KCP does some things better – rebounding, eg – but are those differences worth 20 some odd spots in this or any draft?
        imho, no.  
        if detroit takes KCP at 8 it will strictly be a matter of drafting for need over talent.  there will be several more talented guys there for the pistons at 8.   

  • Jun 27, 201310:53 am
    by DG

    Reply

    I agree with tarsier.  But I also think that with bigs like Len and Zeller in the draft one of Burke, McLemore or Oladipo will fall.  If they don’t, then Pope or MCW is probably the man.  Of the two, I think Pope is the safer pick.

    But what I’d really like is to see Detroit get aggressive and land a second pick in the first round via trade and go for broke with a potential high reward type of player (Ledo/Mitchell/Goodwin/Muscala).  Guys that are probably going to go shortly before Detroit picks in the second round, but if circumstances were different could have been drafted in the lottery.

    Right now I’m assuming Burke is gone and can’t get MCW and Ledo out of my head as a combo I’d love to see land in Detroit.  I think Ledo may well turn out to be a better pro than McLemore.  He’s just less of a sure thing given his off court history.  But he’s got mad ball handling and shooting skills (Michael Redd draft redux?). 

  • Jun 27, 201311:03 am
    by Keith

    Reply

    Pope wouldn’t bother me too much as the pick. But I am desperately hoping for one of the top 7 to fall. Each has their own flaw, but we simply need more versatile players on the roster. 

    • Jun 27, 201311:44 am
      by oats

      Reply

      I only see a top 6. Are you including Len? He’s part of the consensus top 6, but I really don’t understand why. I’d much rather have Pope, or Muhammad, or even MCW than Len. I must say that I’m delighted that other teams seem to like him because I don’t see it.

      • Jun 27, 201312:39 pm
        by Keith

        Reply

        I was considering Noel, Oladipo, Porter, McLemore, Bennett, Burke, and Len (probably in that order). I can see why we wouldn’t take Len, but it’s more about fit. An athletic 7-footer with good touch around the basket is more valuable than Pope, Muhammed, or MCW. I’m not saying I wouldn’t call up OKC and ask for the 12th pick, 29th pick, and Lamb, but I wouldn’t pass on Len for lesser prospects.
         
        Ideally it’s Burke or McLemore falling (although I think McLemore is going to be Danny Green), and those two realistically could because of their question marks.

  • Jun 27, 201311:41 am
    by deusXango

    Reply

    IMHO Pope is a watered down version of Middleton, who we got in the second round last year. If a gamble is to be made, “a bird in the hand….” The kid’s good but, not lottery good, not #8 good! I like Zeller.

    I’m staying away from Evans, when there’s a need at SF and a possibility that we can get Al-Farouq Aminu, a 6′ 9″ rebounding machine, with all the physical attributes of Josh Smith but, none of the mental clutter to his game; he’s also only 23 years old, when the season starts.  

    • Jun 27, 201311:49 am
      by Patrick Hayes

      Reply

      Yes. He’s exactly like a worse version of Middleton. Except more productive by every measure in a tougher conference.

    • Jun 27, 201311:56 am
      by joe

      Reply

      If Pope is a watered down version of Middleton, then what is Oladipo and Mclemore?  I can see people arguing that McLemore maybe better than Pope but Oladipo is definitely not! I just hope the Pistons don’t waste no more of the fans time with dumb ass picks.

      • Jun 27, 201312:15 pm
        by oats

        Reply

        I have to disagree with that. Oladipo is a way better defender than the rest of this draft class. He looks like a guy that will be one of the league’s best perimeter defenders in no time. He also was a way more efficient scorer than Pope. Assuming Oladipo can continue hitting open 3s then he looks likely to be the better player. Even if his 3 point shooting drops off, the odds are still decent that his superior defense has him playing better than Pope.

    • Jun 27, 201311:56 am
      by Greg

      Reply

      Aminu will come cheap, theres no reason the Pistons couln´t sign Aminu and Evans, but Aminu shoots 20% from deep…not exactly what we need from our starting Small Forward…Maybe we could trade Stuckey for Evans via sign and trade. Or maybe trade for Granger for a package surrounding Jerebko and Singler.

      • Jun 27, 20131:06 pm
        by zdh

        Reply

        Yea Aminu would be terrible on the Pistons. He is one of the worst shooters in the league, although he is a very good rebounded.

        I wouldnt get your hopes up for any trade for danny granger or any player of that caliber for players like Singler and Jerebko. Would have to give Indiana Monroe and Stuckey or something like that.

  • Jun 27, 201311:50 am
    by @Pistons87

    Reply

    ^ why zeller ? ? We need STARTERS!! I would love to see some one in the rotation!!! Who can score.

    • Jun 27, 201312:45 pm
      by Keith

      Reply

      This is a fallacy. We don’t need “starters” nearly as much as we need talent. The better the players we can keep on the floor at all times, the less terrible the rest of the team looks around them. If we take Zeller, we can fill all 96 minutes of the frontcourt with quality players. No more Villanueva or Maxiell stinking it up, no more Jerebko being overmatched in the post.

      Getting starters is actually a lot easier for the Pistons because our 1-2-3 positions are so bad. We could get a cheap vet just to start, but talent is what will eventually make us good. 

  • Jun 27, 201311:59 am
    by joe

    Reply

    Anybody that is trying to knock Pope as player without evidences don’t no what they talking about!

  • Jun 27, 201312:05 pm
    by jacob

    Reply

    I would take KCP if Burke Bennet Oladipo Porter Mcelmore and Noel are all gone. He is should be next after that list.( in no order.)

  • Jun 27, 201312:06 pm
    by jacob

    Reply

    Ford has Burke falling all the way to OKC at 12.

    • Jun 27, 20131:15 pm
      by Keith

      Reply

      Just what the league needs, more top teams landing top players.

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