The Draft Outlook for the Detroit Pistons
*Photo via USA Today
There aren’t many things that you can say for certain about the Detroit Pistons. Stan Van Gundy is their head coach, Andre Drummond is their center, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope will be somewhere in the line-up, and they go into this draft with the eighth pick. Other than that, the Pistons have a few situations they need to address.
Will the Pistons match all offers that come in for restricted free agent Reggie Jackson? Will Brandon Jennings’ achilles be strong enough for him to be an impact player once again? Is Tayshaun Prince ready for another 82 games? Will Greg Monroe stay in Detroit?
The answer to this last question is as close to a sure-fire “no” as it can get. Monroe has stated he wants out of Detroit, and due to Monroe being in line for a big payday elsewhere, he’s likely getting his wish. The Pistons recently acquired Ersan Ilyasova for Caron Butler and Shawne Williams in attempt to replace Monroe as simply as possible.
As for Reggie Jackson, he has a qualifying offer from Detroit. In his fifth year of professional basketball, teams may increase the bid on his qualifying offer, and if Detroit matches the bid, Detroit gets to keep Reggie. Detroit has stated that if Mudiay slips down to them at eighth pick in the draft, they may let Reggie Jackson walk into free agency. It’s impossible to say whether Detroit would do this for any other available point guard. However, it does appear that Brandon Jennings has the big bedroom in Detroit and Reggie Jackson is still in the guest house.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope came into a lot of minutes towards the end of the season and will likely hold on to those minutes as the team’s resident shooting guard. Should the team keep both Jackson and Jennings, he may get some time at the small forward position as well. This flexibility, intertwined with the approaching frailty at power forward, give the Pistons a lot of options for this 2015 NBA Draft.
It is a blessing to pick eighth in this draft. If you pick correctly, you WILL get an impact player. With Greg Monroe likely on the way out, and the assumption that SOMEONE good is playing point guard for Detroit, it appears Detroit’s void is at the SF/PF position. Who can feed Andre Drummond from the high post as well as defend the other team’s second best and biggest player?
Look no further than Stanley Johnson out of Arizona.
Stanley Johnson has accrued player comparisons of Ron Artest and Kawhi Leonard. With that kind of comparison, this tells you that scouts see him as a wing defender who also has explosive offensive ability. I personally believe that Stans stick together in this world and that Van Gundy will make his pitch with the front office to get Stanley Johnson if he is still available on draft day. I could see a chemistry with Caldwell-Pope and Johnson that could bring Detroit to the next level.