Pistons draft haul: Quality character, questionable results

The Pistons sat at No. 8 in the draft and the top big men — Tristan Thompson, Bismack Biyombo and Jonas Valanciunas — were off the board. No problem, said Joe Dumars I’ll just draft the best player available. And so he drafted Brandon Knight. Thought for weeks to go as high as No. 3 to Utah Jazz the pick was not what I was hoping for. Knight has all the qualities of a terrific leader, he’s just never shown that he has the qualities of a terrific basketball player. He was mediocre or worse in nearly ever major statistical category but starred on a big stage as the floor general of the Kentucky Wildcats squad that advanced to the Final Four. Of course, much the same was said about reigning MVP Derrick Rose when he was selected first overall a few years ago. And that isn’t where the similarities end. They, in fact, had the same college coach in John Callepari. The numbers say this was a mistake.

The makeup of the roster was says this pick was unnecessary.

The Pistons already had a glut of guards last season with Ben Gordon, Richard Hamilton, Rodney Stuckey and Will Bynum fighting for minutes. All of them fell in and out of the regular rotation and it was a large part of the horrible relationship recently ousted coach John Kuester had with his players. Adding Brandon Knight, who many view as a combo guard, certainly doesn’t seem to help. If there is a silver lining, however, it is that this move might finally put an end to the Rodney Stuckey as starting point guard experiment. Stuckey has never seemed comfortable as a point guard and seemed to flourish any time he was allowed to play off the ball. But there is just no way that the team goes into training camp with all five of these guards on the roster.

In the second round the Pistons selected another high-character player from a big-time college program — Kyle Singler. Singler could find minutes as a rookie as the first small forward off the bench, but he has never been a terribly productive college player. He doesn’t shoot efficiently, is long-limbed but skinny and doesn’t rebound well for his position.

Finally, with the 52nd pick, Detroit selected Florida power forward Vernon Macklin. Considering where he was picked in the draft it makes a certain amount of sense. Macklin is a big body — 6’9 with a 7’3 wingspan and weighs 243 pounds. Physically he looks imposing but he doesn’t have good rebounding numbers which indicates a lack of effort. If he can put in the work he could be a useful big body off the bench in case of foul trouble.

Topics: Brandon Knight, Detroit Pistons, Kyle Singler, NBA Draft, Vernon Macklin

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  • http://www.thehouseofspears.net Latif Masud

    I don’t think you can make draft picks based on what veterans you have on the roster currently. Rip Hamilton started 39 games last year, and will probably start even less if he isn’t dealt. Rodney Stuckey is a free agent and might not brought back.

    The fact is that the Pistons need a point guard, and we are talking about the 8th pick, not the 2nd. They had to take a player with flaws and question marks at that spot. Brandon Knight was really the best option left.

  • Richard Harris

    You say this pick was a mistake/unnecessary. Who would you have taken at that point in the draft other than Brandon Knight? Brandon Knight was the best player available. Teams often get in more trouble when they don’t draft the best player available.

    • http://www.lifeondumars.com Sean

      I’m not sure he was the best player available. I didn’t watch a ton of Kentucky basketball so maybe there are signs he will greatly improve, but based on his performance in college he was not a top-tier point guard. His stats were middling in every conceivable category. I wasn’t in love with Kemba Walker as a point guard, either, but I think he has a very good chance to be a much better pro than Knight, to name but one example.

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