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Archive → June, 2013

3-on-3: No. 37 pick in 2013 NBA Draft

1. Which player in this range should the Pistons especially covet?

Patrick Hayes: Glen Rice Jr. Rice is a good shooter, a good rebounder for a perimeter player and has the strength and athleticism to develop into a good NBA perimeter defender. Plus, he’s proven at the professional level as one of the top players in the D-League last season.

Jameson Draper: Obviously, the 37th pick in the draft is dependent on what the Pistons do with the 8th pick, but I really like Ray McCallum. If the Pistons end up not drafting a point guard in round one, McCallum is a steal in the second round and still a possible future starter in the future in the NBA. There’s a section in this incredible Hickory High article by Jacob Frankel and Cole Patty talking about how well Ray McCallum tested in their post about predicting success of future draft picks.

Dan Feldman: There are several point guards I like in this range, so much in fact that I’d love the Pistons consider beginning their draft PG-PG. Pierre Jackson, Ray McCallum and Nate Wolters would all be fine choices here, and if multiple are available, that’s the order I’d prefer them.

2. Which player in this range should the Pistons especially avoid?

Patrick Hayes: Any big. In all honesty, there are a lot of players in the second round who I find intriguing, but none of them are bigs. With wing players like Rice Jr., Tony Snell, C.J. Leslie, Ricky Ledo and Archie Goodwin all likely to go in this range and all offering intriguing potential, there are a lot of picks at this spot that would make me happy.

Jameson Draper: Alex Abrines. His defense leaves something to be desired, which is pretty big turnoff when there aren’t as many turn ons. At this point in the draft, the Pistons should pick the most well-rounded player. That’s not Abrines.

Dan Feldman: Colton Iverson. I was initially intrigued, but the closer I look the less I like. He really didn’t do much at Minnesota, but send him to a smaller conference and let him age past his opponents, and he turns into a star. The NBA is tougher than the Big Ten, and I don’t see Iverson cutting it. At least not to the point he’s worth the risk here.

3. Which player is most likely to be chosen by the Pistons in this range?

Patrick Hayes: Nate Wolters. This, of course, would be dependent on Burke not falling to the Pistons in round one, but if he doesn’t, Wolters in round two would be a nice consolation prize. He’s a big point guard at 6-foot-4, which would help Detroit’s rather diminutive backcourt, and he’s a great shooter (38 percent from three). I do have some concerns about the level of competition he faced in college (as an Oakland alum, I’ve watched a lot of Summit League hoops over the last few years, and it’s not great), but I’m also a big proponent of not ignoring elite production, and Wolters is definitely worth a look here.

Jameson Draper:

Most mock drafts are saying the Pistons will take a wing player at the 37th pick, so I’ll go with Glen Rice, Jr.  Rice was a highly touted college player who was kicked off Georgia Tech’s team in March 2012, so he entered the D-League Draft and was selected by the Rockets’ affiliates, the Rio Grande Valley Vipers. He surpassed expectations there and was invited to the Draft Combine, where he excellently showcased his skills, catapulting him into the late first round-early second round area. It’s easy to see the Pistons drafting a player that late in the draft with mid-first round talent.

Dan Feldman: C.J. Leslie. He’s an intriguing athlete who just hasn’t put together his skills. I’m not particularly fond of hoping he turns out, but it’s an appropriate place to take that risk.

Which player belongs No. 15 on the Pistons’ draft board?

Read this before voting

1. Ben McLemore

2. Victor Oladipo

3. Otto Porter

4. Trey Burke

5. Nerlens Noel

6. Anthony Bennett

7. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope

8. C.J. McCollum

9. Michael Carter-Williams

10. Shabazz Muhammad

11. Cody Zeller

12. Alex Len

13. Dennis Schroeder

14. Sergey Karasev

3-on-3: No. 56 pick in 2013 NBA Draft

1. Which player in this range should the Pistons especially covet?

Patrick Hayes: Ray McCallum Jr. Of course, this would depend on the Pistons not landing Burke or C.J. McCollum in round one or Wolters with the first of their second round picks, but if McCallum lasts this long (he probably won’t, if teams are smart), I’d love to see him on the Pistons. I honestly think he’s one of the most intriguing talents in this draft. He was a high major prospect and natural point guard with great athleticism and physical gifts who chose to play for his dad at U of D. I truly think McCallum is going to be one of the major steals of this draft for whoever takes him.

Brady Fredericksen: Ray McCallum. It’s looking like he could be a guy who may be looking at a lengthier wait in the second round. Based purely on talent and talent alone, this would be a great pick — plus point guard could be a target position for the team. Just because he played his college ball at a small school in University of Detroit doesn’t mean he still isn’t the uber-talented prospect that many loved coming out of high school.

Dan Feldman: An international player with upside who’s not coming to the NBA next season. The Pistons have 10 players under contract for next season (though not all are fully guaranteed and the amnesty clause is available), two other draft picks and cap room to use on a few good players. With a roster limit of 15, the Pistons might have trouble fitting the No. 56 pick into the fold. But even if they have roster space for him, he’ll likely be buried. Pick someone who can develop with playing time elsewhere.

2. Which player in this range should the Pistons especially avoid?

Patrick Hayes: Myck Kabongo. The Texas product wasn’t especially productive in college, had conditioning issues and reportedly has had only so-so workouts. At one time, he was a major prospect coming out of high school. I think there will be teams still intrigued by that potential late in the second round, but I hope the Pistons aren’t one of them.

Brady Fredericksen: This late in the draft, there isn’t necessarily a guy to really stay away from, but maybe former Arizona guard Josiah Turner. He was a five-star recruit when he joined the Wildcats in 2011-12, but drug and alcohol problems promptly got him kicked out of school during his freshman year. A guy like Ricky Ledo is troubled, but scouts LOVE his talent. Turner is troubled and scouts aren’t totally buying his talent — not worth the risk.

Dan Feldman: Derrick Nix. It’s OK to draft a local guy when he’s actually worthy of the pick. See Burke, Trey with the No. 8 pick. But there’s no evidence Nix is draftable, so if the Pistons were to draft to former Michigan State Spartan, it would almost certainly be for bad reasons.

3. Which player is mot likely to be chosen by the Pistons in this range?

Patrick Hayes: Raul Neto. Neto is an improving point guard but, more importantly for the Pistons, he’s an international prospect who might wait to come over. He’s a good shooter and playmaker and still only 21. If Kyle Singler, Khris Middleton, Kim English and Slava Kravtsov are all back this season, plus two rookies from Detroit’s earlier picks, it makes more sense for Detroit to take a player here who might not immediately be added to that mix of young players who all need minutes to develop.

Brady Fredericksen: It’s honestly a crapshoot. There’s been talk of the Pistons being interested in a player they can draft and stash in Europe for a few years, which, considering the amount of second-rounders from overseas who seem to be floating around this mid-to-late portion, may not be a bad decision. My complete shot-in-the-dark guess is Joffrey Lauvergne.

Dan Feldman: Brandon Davies. The Pistons, probably more than they should, have gravitated toward more proven players this late in the draft. Unfortunately, most of them, in their years of college experience, have proven they’re good for that level, but not quite good enough for the NBA. Though I’d rather take a chance on a boom-or-bust player here, Davies seems to fit the aforementioned profile.

PistonPowered Mock Draft: Will the Pistons make a good gamble two years in a row?

Patrick Hayes is not an accredited NBA Draft expert, nor does he have an advanced degree in scouting. He’s simply an enthusiastic young man with a sixth grade education and an abiding love for all NBA Draft prospects … join him for the annual PistonPowered mock draft.

I’ve done mock drafts the last couple of years, and this year’s top 15 or so picks are about the easiest. I know there is lots of chatter about teams not knowing what they are going to do at certain spots, but seriously … stop overthinking this everyone.

Feel free to post your own versions in the comments.

1. Cleveland Cavaliers – Nerlens Noel

Don’t screw this up, Cleveland. Or do, preferably. Noel is the only player in this draft worth t

aking No. 1 overall. The Cavs would be crazy to pass on him. Take him, pair him with the solid Tristan Thompson and Anderson Varejao, solidify your frontcourt and go shopping for a small forward. This is easy guys.

2. Orlando Magic – Victor Oladipo

Another no-brainer (see, I told you this draft was easy!). Make the rumored trade with the Clippers that will bring Eric Bledsoe to the Magic, draft Oladipo and GET ALL THE STEALS with an insanely fun, defensive-minded backcourt.

3. Washington Wizards – Otto Porter

Washington, like Cleveland, makes itself a potential up-and-coming playoff contender with this pick. Adding the versatile Porter to a perimeter attack that includes John Wall and Brad Beal with Nene in the middle and Washington is in business (yes, I know that logo is the old Wizards logo … I’m too lazy to upload the new one though).

4. Charlotte Bobcats – Ben McLemore

I want to believe that Rich Cho is too smart to do something like take Alex Len or Cody Zeller here, as rumors have suggested he might. The Bobcats are still light years away from being competitive. McLemore and his nice jumper make him a good complement to last year’s perimeter pick, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. A Kemba Walker-McLemore-MKG perimeter trio is not a bad start, especially if the Bobcats can add anything at all to their frontcourt.

5. Phoenix Suns – Anthony Bennett

Another team that could do just about anything, including crazy things like draft any of the three top point guard prospects, none of whom are likely as good as the one they have in Goran Dragic. They should take Bennett, a raw but intriguing forward who would allow them to move Luis Scola and/or Marcin Gortat for young players and picks and actually do a rebuild the right way.

6. New Orleans Pelicans – Trey Burke

I would love for Burke to fall to the Pistons, but I just can’t envision it happening. New Orleans is too needy at point guard, although Greivis Vasquez did have a good season for them, and Burke is a perfect fit. They’ll do the right thing, take Burke, let him work with Vasquez and Eric Gordon (if they don’t trade him) in a versatile backcourt and never let Austin Rivers onto a basketball court again.

 

7. Sacramento Kings – C.J. McCollum

I don’t want to live in a world where the Kings don’t draft a combo guard. I know they have new ownership and a new front office, so it might not happen this year, but adding McCollum to a list of not really point guard not really shooting guard guards that includes Isaiah Thomas, Jimmer Fredette and (if he’s re-signed) Tyreke Evans would be amazing. The best part is, even if the Kings and their new leadership are smarter and don’t want to draft another combo guard, how great is it that they could be in a position where the best player available — McCollum — is exactly what they don’t want?

8. Detroit Pistons – Shabazz Muhammad

In 2011, the Pistons took a college player with a great pedigree but so-so production in Brandon Knight. The jury’s still out on that one. Last year, they took a college player with a great pedigree but so-so production in Andre Drummond. He looks like a potential star. Joe Dumars has shown a willingness to value potential over all else when picking late in the lottery, and the player still on the board with the most potential is Muhammad. I’ll be rooting for Burke to fall to Detroit, but if he doesn’t, based on Dumars’ own draft strategy the last two years, Muhammad most closely resembles the type of player he is willing to gamble on. If it pays off with Muhammad, the Pistons will have another star.

9. Minnesota Timberwolves – Cody Zeller

Nikola Pekovic is a free agent and Kevin Love is about to become the superstar most talked about in trade rumors/’will he leave in free agency?’ rumors. Zeller will likely give quality minutes right away as a pro. He also reportedly had a good workout in Minnesota. If the T-Wolves are convinced they can re-sign Pekovic, they might look at guards, but unless someone falls here, Zeller is probably the best player available.

10. Portland Trail Blazers – Steven Adams

The Blazers have several needs, but the most pressing might be up front since LaMarcus Aldridge is reportedly hoping to be moved elsewhere. An Adams-Meyers Leonard frontcourt may not be good, but both have potential and, if the Blazers get picks and prospects if they decide to move Aldridge, giving those young bigs plenty of minutes to see if one or the other develop wouldn’t be the worst idea if they do try to rebuild without Aldridge.

11. Philadelphia 76ers – Alex Len

I don’t think Len is going to be good, and I’m certainly not buying him as a potential No. 1 pick. But the Sixers are thin up front and relatively set on the perimeter with Jrue Holiday and Evan Turner. Len is the biggest name left here and gives them some insurance in the likely event Andrew Bynum doesn’t re-sign.

12. Oklahoma City Thunder – Kentavious Caldwell-Pope

Kevin Martin insurance! The Thunder reportedly want to move up, but if they can’t, they’d be extremely lucky to get KCP here, making it less of a concern if they’re not able to re-sign Martin in free agency. Caldwell-Pope and Jeremy Lamb, a first round pick last year acquired in the James Harden trade, could then battle it out for Martin’s role.

13. Dallas Mavericks – Dennis Schroeder

The Mavs reportedly have tried to move this pick, so don’t be shocked if that happens. They’d reportedly prefer to not pay a first round pick and instead use the money to pursue free agents. If they don’t move the pick, they could draft an international player and try to keep him overseas for a year or two.

14. Utah Jazz  – Michael Carter-Williams

The Jazz have been looking for a young point guard since they traded Deron Williams, and Carter-Williams still being around here would be tough for them to pass up. He could go as high as the top 10, and his passing ability would make him a good fit feeding the ball into Utah’s young bigs.

15. Milwaukee Bucks – Reggie Bullock

With Monta Ellis and J.J. Redick both good bets to leave, the Bucks add a knock-down three-point shooter who also has good size to pair next to Brandon Jennings (assuming the Bucks match any offer he signs as a restricted free agent).

16. Boston Celtics – Sergey Karasev

With Boston allegedly looking to gut its core and move Paul Pierce this offseason, the team can draft a potential replacement with Karasev, a 19-year-old Russian player.

 

17. and 18. Atlanta Hawks – Lucas Nogueira and Giannis Adetokunbo

The Hawks are another team with the cap space to be active in free agency. Drafting international players gives them the option to try to convince their prospects to stay overseas for a year and conserve those salaries. But if they do decide to come over, they get frontcourt help, athleticism and, in Nogueira’s case, shot-blocking, in case Josh Smith leaves as a free agent.

19. Cleveland Cavaliers – Kelly Olynyk

I probably have him falling too far, but the Cavs would be thrilled to get him here. Olynyk with his shooting range and offensive ability would add nice versatility to a strong, young Cavs frontcourt that also includes Noel, Thompson, Varejao and Tyler Zeller.

20. Chicago Bulls – Tim Hardaway Jr.

Aside from the fact that his dad was a Chicago prep scene legend, Hardaway Jr.’s shooting makes and position make him an instant fit for a Bulls team that needs help at the shooting guard spot. Marco Belinelli is a free agent and Richard Hamilton has perennially been both injured and a trade candidate since he arrived in Chicago. Hardaway Jr. might not be an immediate starter, but he could definitely give spot minutes at that spot as the Bulls seek a replacement.

21. Utah Jazz – Jeff Withey

Utah could lose Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap to free agency. Withey probably isn’t going to develop into a NBA starter, but he could be a sturdy rotation player. The Jazz don’t need a starter anyway, if Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter continue to develop into a productive duo who handle the bulk of the frontcourt minutes.

22. Brooklyn Nets – Shane Larkin

The Nets could use depth in the frontcourt and backcourt, as well as a long-term replacement for the declining Gerald Wallace. But with Larkin still hanging around here, getting a promising backup for Deron Williams in case of injury and as a way to get him more rest during the season would be a good find for them in the draft.

 

 

 

23. Indiana Pacers – Isaiah Canaan

Another team that could use some point guard depth behind its starter (apologies, D.J. Augustin), the Pacers could grab Canaan here, a productive player from one of the top Mid-Major programs in the country. I was really tempted to give them the other Plumlee brother though. All dopey brother duos should be united on teams forever. Get Robin Lopez to Brooklyn while we’re at it.

 

24. New York Knicks – Rudy Gobert

The Knicks are really old, particularly up front, and Gobert gives them some youth to infuse with Tyson Chandler, Amar’e Stoudemire and whatever 1,000-year-old vets minimum guy Mike Woodson decides to add too the rotation next season. Their great find from last season, Chris Copeland, is also a free agent who might be hard for them to re-sign.

 

25. Los Angeles Clippers – Pierre Jackson

This might be a tad of a reach for Jackson, but if the Clippers trade Eric Bledsoe for Arron Afflalo, they’ll need a backup point guard. Jackson, a lighting-fast guard from Baylor, would potentially spell Chris Paul and still be a good fit pushing the pace and throwing lobs to Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan.

26. Minnesota Timberwolves – Allen Crabbe

The T-Wolves passed on guard help early on, so they’ll take a pretty decent backcourt prospect here. Adding a shooter will help both Ricky Rubio and give Pekovic (if he’s re-signed) more freedom to operate inside.

27. Denver Nuggets – Jamaal Franklin

The Nuggets might have to replace free agent Andre Iguodala. Franklin is nowhere near as good as Iguodala, but he’ll give them a strong, athletic presence on the wing with the tools to develop into a competent defensive player.

28. San Antonio Spurs – Ricky Ledo

Ledo has lottery talent, but never touched the court in college for a variety of reasons. Few teams have the structure the Spurs can offer to help him eliminate distractions and realize his vast potential.

29. Oklahoma City Thunder – Gorgui Dieng

Dieng isn’t the most highly skilled big out there, but he’s a great shot-blocker, and if the Thunder find a taker for Kendrick Perkins, perhaps between Dieng and Hasheem Thabeet, they can put an awkward rim-protector on the floor to occupy some of those minutes.

30. Phoenix Suns – Tony Snell

I had the Suns adding Bennett earlier, and they get even more athletic in the frontcourt with the addition of Snell. The Suns are trying to reinvent their days of exciting offense, and surrounding Dragic with athletes who can run and finish is a start.

I’ll tackle the second round after the jump. Continue reading →

Detroit Pistons #DraftDreams: Anthony Bennett

Discuss Draft Dreams on Twitter using the #DraftDreams hashtag.

Info

  • Measurables: 6-foot-7, 239 pounds, freshman forward from UNLV.

  • Key Stats: 15.8 points, 8.0 rebounds, 0.9 assists, 1.2 blocks per game; shot 52.6 percent from the field and 38.3 percent on 3-pointers

  • Projected: top-six pick

Random fact

Bennett had the stereotypical experience of a big-time recruit at a mid-major program on the court, but off the court, UNLV shielded him. Mike Grimala of Vegas Seven:

Not to throw around the term “kid gloves,” but there’s a reason why Bennett is whisked away before reporters can speak to him after practice and has rarely been brought to the podium for postgame press conferences. Like a lot of kids who just turned 20, Bennett is soft-spoken and somewhat camera shy. So if he prefers not to talk to the press, the program is willing to shield him.

And when Bennett’s questionable conditioning led to some notable instances of loafing during early-season games, the blowback from the coaching staff was minimal. Reducing his playing time was out of the question: Why risk upsetting Bennett when the safer option is to let him enjoy his time at UNLV and then watch him smile for the cameras on draft night and tell the world how much he loved it here?

Don’t forget, Rice is a young coach. This is just his second year as the head man, and he’s never gone through the experience of shepherding a one-and-done superstar through a college campaign. Like all kinds of rare good fortune, it’s a complicated business.

Fits with the Pistons because …

He’s really good. Bennett is a better prospect that anyone likely to available to the Pistons at No. 8 (unless you think Trey Burke is likely to be available at No. 8). Joe Dumars has never shown a tendency to reach for need, and if Bennett is the only top prospect to slip, I bet he’s the pick.

Bennett is capable of scoring inside and out, possessing a frame that allows him to bully smaller defenders in the paint and quickness that allows him to drive past bigger defenders for the perimeter.

For all the reasons Bennett scores so well – his size and athleticism – he could be a better defender and rebounder. When given a choice of how to channel their energy, most players would probably focus on scoring. Maybe that’s what UNLV needed, and Bennett can display better peripheral skills at the next level.

Doesn’t fit with the Pistons because …

Perhaps, Bennett can transition to small forward so he can play with Andre Drummond and Greg Monroe, but I don’t think the move would be as easy as some indicate.

Bennett moves well for a power forward. He dribbles well for a power forward. He shoots well for a power forward. All those strengths become average at small forward, at least in the short term.

Also, he’ll likely be off the board before the Pistons pick – though of the draft’s consensus top six players, he seems most likely to fall.

From the experts

Chad Ford:

Bennett might be the most versatile player in the draft. He’s equally comfortable on the perimeter or in the post. While some will call him a "tweener," Bennett is so talented that he looks more like a mismatch waiting to happen. He’ll need to keep his weight down and step up his defense, but he could provide instant offense for whichever team lands him.

Quick fact: Bennett ranked eighth in the nation with 1.3 isolation points per play and did not commit a single turnover on such plays (min. 20 plays).

DraftExpress:

The place where Bennett has the most room to improve at the moment seems to be on the defensive end. He often looks like he’s only going half speed here, jogging the floor lackadaisically, relaxing in his stance whenever he can, and losing his focus easily. He regularly gives up deep post position to opposing big men without putting up much of a fight, and loses track of his matchup relatively frequently off the ball. Like many young players, Bennett’s fundamentals are fairly poor on this end of the floor, and his intensity leaves a lot to be desired at times. Maximizing his conditioning-level could help here.

With that said, Bennett’s talent does shine through on this end of the floor as well on occasion, as he’s capable of making some very impressive plays with his terrific combination of length, strength, explosiveness and quickness. He can move his feet well, is very difficult to shoot over when he’s dialed in, and has solid anticipation skills blocking shots and getting his hands on loose balls.

On film

Detroit Pistons #DraftDreams: Shabazz Muhammad

Info

  • Measurables: 6-foot-6, 225 pounds, freshman G/F from UCLA
  • Key Stats: 17.9 points, 5.2 rebounds per game; 44 percent shooting, 38 percent three-point shooting.
  • Projected: Late first/early second round
  • Hickory High Similarity Score

Random Fact

Oh, Shabazz. You poor thing. What’s happened to Muhammad this draft season is nothing new, of course. Every year, and for a variety of reasons, a player or two who was once highly thought of suddenly becomes the WORST PLAYER IN AMERICA AND A DEFINITE BUST. It happened to Andre Drummond and Perry Jones last year. It happened to Jared Sullinger. There’s a long list of players who were expected to be selected near the top of the draft only to see their stock plummet as the draft neared. Sometimes those reasons turn out to be justified, sometimes they’re not. But Muhammad has most definitely become this year’s version of the ‘so overrated he might be underrated’ meme. There are certainly reasons for the Pistons to hesitate when selecting him or any of the other players potentially available at eight, of course. But at a certain point, Muhammad’s potential outweighs his risk, and I would probably argue that eighth overall in an intriguing but flawed draft might be the right spot.

Fits with the Pistons because …

Muhammad is the scoring wing the Pistons desperately need. He can create his own shot, he’s strong and can absorb contact and he’s an absolutely fearless scorer. He doesn’t have a reputation as a great perimeter shooter, but his percentages at UCLA actually weren’t that bad. He’s also a pretty good offensive rebounder for his position. The Pistons have had perimeter players the last few years who can get in the lane and finish, but can’t draw and absorb contact. They’ve also had players who can draw contact but cannot finish (Mr. Stuckey, looking in your direction). Muhammad should, theoretically, give them both of those things in one player if he’s able to realize his potential as a pro.

Doesn’t fit with the Pistons because …

Ignoring all of the silly ‘motivation/character’ concerns that I tend to not pay much attention to with any player, Muhammad’s game does have some flaws. His conditioning wasn’t great at UCLA. He’s left-handed and struggles going right. And there have been reports that his workouts, particularly his shooting in those workouts, have not been great. Muhammad does get to the line at a reasonable rate, but he doesn’t make enough free throws once he gets there, hitting just 71 percent.

There are legitimate reasons to question Muhammad’s game. But that’s about as far as my concerns go. Andre Drummond was a perfect example last year. Often, impressionable young players caught up in dysfunctional programs don’t get the development and attention they need and aren’t held as accountable as they would be in a better-run program. Once Drummond got more structure, he excelled. The culture at UCLA was probably even more screwed up asthan the UConn program Drummond was a part of. For a team in the position the Pistons are, with money/flexibility to add to their roster through other means, making a high risk/high reward pick with Muhammad and betting that the structure that helped Drummond could also help him would be a good gamble.

From the Experts:

Chad Ford:

While it’s clear that Muhammad was overrated at the start of the season, it’s less clear why he’s having a hard time finding a landing spot somewhere now. He’s still a great scorer, a good offensive rebounder and plays really hard. But his flaws (no right-hand handle, trouble shooting off the bounce, so-so lateral quickness) are being blown out of proportion. Yet, this is where Muhammad is on the eve of the draft. He’s going to be playing with a very large chip on his shoulder next season.

Quick fact: Muhammad led the Pac-12 with 1.18 points per play and a 41.1 field goal percentage on guarded catch-and-shoots.

DraftExpress:

From the perimeter, Muhammad has been better than advertised this season, as his reputation coming out of high school was that of a non-shooter. He’s very good with his feet set as a catch and shoot threat, making 40% of his jumpers in this situation, which renders him a legit floor-spacer, even if his shot-selection can leave something to be desired at times. Off the dribble is another story altogether however, as Muhammad made just 12 of his 53 (23%) pull-up attempts.

While he’s wasn’t quite as effective as you might hope (13-39 from the field), Muhammad also has potential as a post-scorer, as he’s strong and skilled enough to punish similarly sized or smaller opponents in one on one situations on the block. His mature frame and relentless style of play help a lot here, and this appears to be an area in which he can continue to find success in at his position as time moves on.

On Film:

Previously:

Pistons pass on Trey Burke for Anthony Bennett in ESPN mock draft

Chad Ford prefaced this mock draft by calling the 2013 NBA Draft the most unpredictable one he’s ever covered, but he’s still providing his best stab at a mock draft, and with the eighth pick, he has the Pistons taking Anthony Bennett:

For a third year in a row, the Pistons are hoping that one of the top seven players on the board takes a surprise dip on draft night. They might get their wish. While the team is after a point guard, Bennett might be too good to pass up. He can play both the 4 and the 3 and gives them another great scoring option in their frontcourt. Carter-Williams would be another serious option here.

I have Trey Burke, whom Ford has falling to the Thunder at No. 12, rated ahead of Bennett. If you want to understand why I’m so high on Burke, Michael Rosenberg of Sports Illustrated wrote about why Burke is underrated, and his reasons largely overlap with my own. I’d be pleased with Bennett in a vacuum, just not quite as happy if it meant passing on Burke.

Ford also updated his second-round mock, giving the Pistons Archie Goodwin at No. 37:

Goodwin was billed as a poor man’s Russell Westbrook coming into Kentucky. He struggled mightily, but the raw talent is there. He’s got elite speed and athletic abilities. If he ever figures out a jumper, he’s got a lot of upside.

And Solomon Hill at 56:

The Pistons could use a small forward and Hill is a player who doesn’t excel in any one area, but is a leader on the floor. A perfect fit with a team like the Pistons.

Which player belongs No. 14 on the Pistons’ draft board?

Read this before voting

1. Ben McLemore

2. Victor Oladipo

3. Otto Porter

4. Trey Burke

5. Nerlens Noel

6. Anthony Bennett

7. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope

8. C.J. McCollum

9. Michael Carter-Williams

10. Shabazz Muhammad

11. Cody Zeller

12. Alex Len

13. Dennis Schroeder

Detroit Pistons #DraftDreams: Tony Snell

Info

  • Measurables: 6-foot-7, 198 pounds, junior forward from New Mexico
  • Key Stats: 12.5 points, 2.6 rebounds, 2.9 assists per game; 42 percent shooting, 39 percent three-point shooting.
  • Projected: Late first/early second round
  • Hickory High Similarity Score

Random Fact

The Pistons have done OK with a couple of guys with the ‘wildly inconsistent’ and ‘occasionally passive’ labels coming out of college in Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond. Because of the success of those two, I have less reservation than I normally would about taking a talented but sometimes disappearing player like Tony Snell.

Fits with the Pistons because …

Snell is a traditional small forward who has been a workout star since declaring for the draft. He’s fast, athletic and is a long-armed defender who can also hit the three-pointer — perhaps a poor man’s Kawhi Leonard. The Pistons still don’t have a long-term answer at the three spot and if Snell’s around when they pick early in the second round, it’s conceivable he could eventually develop into a starting-caliber small forward.

Doesn’t fit with the Pistons because …

Other than his inconsistent production, which I mentioned above, Snell is not a great rebounder despite his length and athleticism. There are plenty of small forwards in the NBA who don’t rebound that well — the Pistons just had one for a long time in Tayshaun Prince — and if Snell proves to be a capable defender, his lack of rebounding won’t matter as much. But with shot-happy guards on the roster, it wouldn’t hurt to have someone on the court along with Monroe and Drummond who can crash the offensive glass.

From the Experts:

Chad Ford:

The appeal? He’s a super athletic wing with NBA length and defensive abilities. He was very inconsistent at New Mexico, but I’m told numerous NBA teams love the talent.

DraftExpress:

Snell’s game on the offensive end is built around his outstanding perimeter shooting, and he does a very good job moving without the ball to get open for his shot, as he was constantly being run off of screens in the Lobos’ offense. He connected on 39% of his 3-pointers as a junior and has range that should stretch out past the NBA 3-point line. He does a nice job of rising and squaring himself up for jumpers off of screens or spotting up, and he’s also able to pull up smoothly after a dribble or two.

On Film:

Previously:

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: