As you know by now the Pistons selected Gonzaga forward Austin Daye at #15. At the exact moment of the selection, I was unfazed and overall very uninterested, sort of felt the selection was a bit anti-climatic, I was expecting more of a shocker. I’ll blame it on the Walter Sharpe selection last draft. But anyways, a couple of days later and not much has changed in my view. During the past few college basketball seasons I have watched Gonzaga probably a half a dozen times or so. What stood out to me was the depth and unselfishness they displayed. Austin Daye being the fourth or fifth option on offense might or might not have stunted his growth as a basketball player. My guess is that it has not stunted his growth. I believe he will come into this organization with a receptive attitude and a willingness to positively use the critiques he will certainly receive for his betterment. Whether or not he has the raw skill to evolve into a legitimate NBA player is another matter, but it really simply comes down one concrete yet obvious label.
From where the Pistons were drafting, a 6’11 string bean forward with solid ball skills is enough to at least keep me from whacking my head repeatedly on the kitchen counter. Because for a time I was, especially at the thought of not snatching a point guard instead. But I can readily admit that the ceiling is high for Daye and it’s worth the risk. At least he’s not a project that involves teaching better shooting technique to, for he’s already got that down quite nicely, thank God.
Whereas Daye could turn out to be a catastrophic (too harsh?) blunder, second round pick DaJuan Summers seems to be much less of a stretch. I must admit though, I lost interest in Georgetown last season (they were pretty bad) and really am regretting it now. The early returns on Summers sound nice but I’m beginning to wonder if it was too safe of a pick. Sure DaJuan can shoot the three and handle the ball a little, but when I read just a little bit ago in a Baltimore Sun article that the 6’8 Summers only had one double double in 91 career games I sort of thought he might be too much of a nonchalant kind of player and just keen on fitting in instead of taking over. To me this is not a redeeming attribute, but what the heck do I know—didn’t I just say above that it might be a good thing Daye was in an unselfish system and had to fit in? However, difference is, Daye was forced to blend in and be unselfish whereas Summers seemed to flounder on a team with not a lot of talented players, almost delegating himself as just one of the guys instead of emerging as a leader figure. Or he just isn’t that good. That said I like that he can hit outside shots with regularity. The only way I ever made a school basketball team was because I could knock down an outside shot, so I take kindly to those who already have the shooting thing down before they get to the pros.
As for the Swede Jonas Jerebko, I, like a lot of others, don’t really have the knowledge to say anything one way or another. Like Forrest Gump said, “Life is like selecting young, European basketball players. You never know what you’re gonna get.” Or something like that. Just have to trust Joe D. on this one.