Between Stephen Curry making it rain on every defender that crosses his path, Carmelo Anthony shooting 10 percent from the field (clearly a joke… kind of), and Nate Robinson putting on for little men everywhere, I’ve had the opportunity to breakaway from the highly entertaining 2013 NBA playoffs and look into the upcoming 2013 NBA Draft which will be held on June 27 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.
After finishing the season with a record of 29-53 and winning a coin flip against Washington Wizards, the Detroit Pistons will have the seventh best odds heading into the upcoming NBA lottery. The coach-less team will have 36 chances out of 1,000 to grab the No. 1 overall selection.
While the odds of the Pistons grabbing the first selection in the draft are very slim, there is still always a chance.
Last time the Pistons selected 7th overall it was in 2010 when they drafted center Greg Monroe out of Georgetown. Monroe is coming off of his best season as a pro in which he averaged 16 points and 9.6 rebounds per game while starting in 81 games. The third-year player was tied for ninth in the NBA with 37 double doubles during the regular season.
With the growth of Monroe and the shockingly quick development of rookie Andre Drummond, it’s safe to say that the Pistons are set in the paint for years to come. However, second-year player Brandon Knight and guards Rodney Stuckey and Kyle Singler have not proved that they can be starters in this league, and the lack of consistent production on the wings has to be the primary concern of the Pistons entering the draft and free agency.
Like I previously stated, while the Pistons have the seventh best odds it doesn’t’ necessarily mean that they will have the seventh pick, so below I have added my two cents on what the Pistons should do if they select anywhere from pick one to pick 10.
Note: While doing these predictions I’m also predicting what the teams before them will do with their picks based on odds and team needs.
No. 1: Ben McLemore, SG, Kansas
McLemore is probably the best scoring guard in this draft, and at 6-foot-5 he has a sweet stroke.
No. 2: Ben McLemore, SG, Kansas
According to ESPN’s Chad Ford, the No. 1 overall selection will be Kentucky big man Nerlens Noel. With the Pistons’ frontcourt already set for the future, there is no chance the Pistons go big in the first round, therefor, McLemore would be the choice at No. 1 and No. 2.
No. 3: Otto Porter, SF, Georgetown
Standing at about 6-foot-8, Porter is probably the most diverse player in this years draft. In his sophomore season at Georgetown, Porter averaged 16.2 ppg and 7.5 rpg while shooting 48 percent from the field and 42 percent from three. His lengthy frame — 7-foot-1 wingspan — helps make him a solid defender, and if I had to compare him to someone for Detroit fans I would say he is a more offensively gifted Tayshaun Prince.
No. 4-No. 6: Trey Burke, PG, Michigan
Perfect. Another undersized guard to add to the Pistons rotation full of tweeners and tiny point guards. However, Burke will be closer to Chris Paul or Kemba Walker than Will Bynum or Aaron Brooks in my opinion. If they take Burke that means that they need to decide whether they will ship Knight or move him to shooting guard. I think some NBA teams will be scared of Burke’s lack of size which could drop him, but I believe that if the Pistons pick anywhere from four to six that he would be their best selection. Monroe and Drummond would benefit immensely from having a great passing guard like Burke (see Mitch McGary’s 15 minutes of fame).
No. 7-No. 8: C.J. McCollum, G, Lehigh
McCollum will be this year’s Damian Lillard, mark my words. The 6-foot-3 guard broke his left foot during his senior season, but prior to that, McCollum was averaging 25.7 ppg while shooting 53 percent from downtown . This kid can really score, and if it weren’t for his injury as as senior I really think he would be the second guard taken in this draft class. McCollum is the Pistons ideal pick if they are seventh because he has superstar qualities that will not only fill buckets, but fill seat as well.
No. 9: Shabazz Muhammad, SF, UCLA
At 6-foot-6 225 pounds, Muhammad has body to withstand the physicality of the NBA. As a freshman, Muhammad averaged nearly 18 points per game, and has one of the best offensive arsenals in the country. However, his shooting from three and his inability to create for others is a major concern. I wouldn’t suggest the Pistons look at him unless McCollum and Burke are both gone.
No. 10: Victor Oladipo, SG, Indiana
Oladipo would be a perfect selection at No. 10. He isn’t the most offensively gifted player in this draft (and I think the Pistons needs an offensively minded guard), but he could be the hardest worker and most explosive player. Oladipo does everything on the court, and if he ends up in the right situation he could be a big time player in the NBA.