The NBA Draft is coming up on October 16, which means The Game Haus will be doing draft profiles for each NBA team. Each day, a new team will be analyzed for their past season, their team needs and projected targets. Today, the Detroit Pistons will be evaluated.
By the end of this year’s regular season, the Detroit Pistons’ roster was on the brink of disaster. The team finished 13th in the East at 20-46, and with breakout stud Christian Wood heading into unrestricted free agency, the Pistons are without a beacon of hope for the future. Their other two best players, Derrick Rose and Blake Griffin, are both in compromising situations.
Rose’s revival has been a fun storyline, but for a player turning 32 in a month whose career has been plagued by injuries, he’s not who you want running an offense. Griffin, though he had an All-NBA season just a year ago, has one of the most untradeable contracts in the league due to his unrelenting injury status and $38 million salary. It has yet to be seen if he’ll return to the player he was in the 2018-19 season.
This draft is a crucial step in the rebuilding process for Detroit. As of now, they have just three real rotation guys that show potential in Luke Kennard, Sekou Doumbouya and Bruce Brown. Other than that, they’ll have to clean ship if they ever want to contend for a title.
The Pistons took a step in the right direction by hiring former OKC exec Troy Weaver as their new general manager. Weaver has a fantastic track record in the draft, being partially responsible for the Thunders’ James Harden, Russell Westbrook and Serge Ibaka picks in the late 2000’s, which laid the groundwork for a true contender.
Detroit will likely be a lottery team for years to come, but their seventh pick in this draft could speed up the rebuilding process.
The Pistons have one pick in the 2020 NBA Draft.
First Round: Pick No. 7
Point Guard- Dating back to Chauncey Billups, the Pistons have lacked a dependable point guard. Brandon Knight, Brandon Jennings, Reggie Jackson and others have tried to fill the hole but it was never successful. This draft class features several high-profile point guards in its ranks, including LaMelo Ball, Killian Hayes and Tyrese Haliburton.
Derrick Rose clearly isn’t the future of the organization, and giving Brandon Knight a second shot at running the offense would give Pistons fans a headache. The Pistons have weapons to surround a rookie point guard with shooters like Kennard, Tony Snell and possibly Christian Wood. Sekou’s progress could also improve with the addition of a playmaker who can get him involved with the offense.
It’s clear that the Pistons need to start fresh with their offense, and the best way to start would be with a point guard.
Rebounding- Though it was likely for the best that the Pistons parted ways with Andre Drummond, his absence leaves a gaping hole in the team’s rebounding. The Pistons ranked last in the league in rebounds per game and if Christian Wood leaves, there is currently no one on their roster who averaged more than five rebounds per game last year.
Even if Wood returns and starts as a stretch five, the Pistons will need some sort of backup center who can protect the rim and more importantly, rebound.
First Round, Pick No. 7: Tyrese Haliburton, PG (Iowa State)
By the seventh pick LaMelo Ball will likely be gone, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Ball has extremely high upside, but he’s nowhere near as close of a finished product as Haliburton. Ball is criticized for his poor shot selection and has yet to play with a team where he’s not the complete focal point. Haliburton’s high-IQ playmaking and unselfishness leaves room for other Pistons prospects to evolve.
Haliburton is praised by scouts and former coaches due to his basketball genius and small decisions he makes on the court. He certainly has room to grow as a defender, but he knows what he’s doing and what rotations to make. With his 6’5 frame, he’ll have the size to be able to switch onto slightly bigger defenders.
Despite his odd shooting form, he is a good shooter with range. Haliburton shot 42% from 3 on 5.6 attempts per game at Iowa State. His overall feel for the game and focus on team play makes him an ideal fit for this Pistons team, who desperately need an anchor at the point guard position.
Featured Image courtesy of NBA.com