The NBA Draft is under two weeks away, which means NBA Draftmas is back. Each day, The Game Haus will review a team’s past season, their team needs and targets. Draftmas continues today with the Detroit Pistons 2018 NBA Draft profile.
After dominating the majority of the 2000s, the Detroit Pistons have really struggled in the 2010s.
The Pistons have made the postseason just once in the last nine years. They have gone through five different head coaches during that period as well.
However, they may have just found a fix at that spot. The Pistons recently signed former Toronto Raptors coach Dwane Casey to a five-year deal. Casey made Toronto a contender with five straight postseason appearances.
Detroit has talent on its roster. Andre Drummond and Blake Griffin are both All-Star big men. Detroit made the trade for Griffin back in January, but lost a first-round pick, Tobias Harris and Avery Bradley in the process. The trade did not lead to as many wins as Detroit was initially hoping for either. The Pistons went 22-26 before the trade and 17-17 after it. Hopefully for Detroit, Casey can work his magic and get more out of these great talents.
Other players returning to Detroit include Reggie Jackson, Reggie Bullock, Stanley Johnson and last year’s first-round pick Luke Kennard. This team finished ninth in the Eastern Conference last season, which is already way better than where Toronto finished before Casey arrived there.
Picks and needs
Detroit has just one second-round pick in this draft after the Griffin trade.
Second round: Pick No. 42
With Drummond and Griffin filling the frontcourt, it would be best for Detroit to try and address their guard positions with this pick. They will not be finding any permanent solutions in the second round, but they could find a key role player at this pick.
Detroit’s bench ranked 21st in points, and the guards ranked 22nd. The Pistons should address the backcourt with this pick and hope to find a key role player off the bench moving forward.
Targets and thoughts
Pick No. 42: Malik Newman, SG, Kansas
After one season at Mississippi State, Malik Newman decided to transfer to Kansas. He improved in almost every statistical category.
In his sophomore season, Newman averaged 14.2 points, five rebounds and 2.1 assists per game while shooting 46.3 percent from the field and and 41.5 percent from the 3-point line.
He also caught fire in the Big 12 tournament and NCAA Tournament. In those eight combined games, Newman averaged 22.5 points, 5.5 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game while shooting 52.7 percent from the field and 53.6 percent from three. He also had a 30-point and 32-point performance in that span.
Newman really improved his draft stock in the tournament by showing he can play on the big stage. The 6-foot-3 guard shoots efficiently, is a good rebounder for his size and has good speed. All these things make him an interesting prospect in the second round.
The Pistons are moving in the right direction. Drummond and Griffin are two players they can count on. They have some young talent on the roster that still needs developing though. They also just hired an excellent coach in Dwane Casey.
Pistons fans should not expect too much from this draft, but there should be plenty of guards available at pick No. 42 that can give solid minutes off the bench. Malik Newman just might be that guy.
Depending on what happens in the offseason, Detroit could definitely be making a postseason appearance in 2019.
Featured image from Yahoo! Sports
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