5 Players the Detroit Pistons Could Draft Tonight
Tonight is the NBA Draft where teams are looking to add some young guns to the roster and make the organizations future a little brighter. Yesterday there were some crazy trades that happened that will have an impact on tonight’s draft and there could be some more action tonight as the top two picks have already announced who they will be taking. The third pick has already been offered away, so expect some moves tonight during the draft. The Detroit Pistons own pick number 18 and 49 so let’s see who they could draft tonight.
1. Denzel Valentine – SG (Michigan State)
Valentine was the Player of the Year in college basketball last season and falling down to the number 18 spot seems like a stretch, but it could actually happen. His knee is getting scouts and teams to think about him twice, but Detroit should take the risk on him. He is a leader and can do everything that you ask him to do. His passing skills are his bread and butter as he can find the open man or make a play to get a man open. His defensive skills are there, knowing where to go for help and how much help to give. Valentine would be a good backup for KCP as Detroit could get rid of Jodie Meeks, getting a younger and cheaper player who is just as good as him. Valentine averaged 19 points, 8 rebounds, 8 assists and 1 steal a game last year.
2. Malik Beasley – SG (Florida State)
Another shooting guard that seems like to be a big need for the team. Beasley is very energetic and gives his all every second he is on the floor. He can make it to the rim quickly and make an explosive play. He is willing to grab the rebound and lead the fast break down the court. He seems like a younger Russell Westbrook, willing to grab the ball for rebounds, drive to the hoop and slam it down and he has a nice shot, whether it is from the 3 point line, or inside. Beasley would be a good pickup at 18 and might be a steal in the draft. He averaged 15 points, 5 rebounds and 1 assist per game last season.
3. Ivica Zubac – C (International)
Now we start looking at second round options in the draft. Center is something that needs depth with Aron Baynes being a serviceable backup, but Zubac could be his replacement. Zubac wouldn’t be on the team in 2016, but in 2017 after having a year in the D-League, he could become a good backup center who is cheaper and better than Baynes. Zubac is seven feet tall and his long wingspan of seven feet four inches helps him out as well. He can run the floor as a big and his up and under move is his go to. He can use either hand at the rim which gives him a little bit of an advantage over other players. Offensive rebounding is impressive as he can give his team multiple chances to score. International players scare me to death after Darko, but being a second round pick it is a lot less risky than being a top 10 pick. He averaged 10 points, 1 block, and 5 rebounds last season.
4. Tyler Ulis – PG (Kentucky)
While Ulis is small, he can be a leader and general on the court. Behind Reggie Jackson is nobody since Spencer Dinwiddie was traded and Steve Blake will not be returning to the team. Detroit could get that backup in the second round and a good one at that. Ulis averaged 17 points, 5 assists and 2 rebounds last season at Kentucky. He is a pass-first type of player, always looking for the best person who can shoot the ball. His defense is impressive for his size as he can keep up with players with his quick feet and can put pressure on the player. This could be a steal in the draft as well if any team can take Ulis in the second round. He has the talent as a first round player, but with so many guards in this years draft he could fall to the second round and if he ends up in Detroit’s lap, they shouldn’t let him walk. Remember when we picked Brandon Knight over Kemba Walker? Me too, it still stings to me this day, and Detroit should learn its lesson to not have someone fall in their lap and pass on them. I am not saying Ulis is as good or better than Knight or Walker, but when you have a good player on the board and you pass on him, it could end up costing you.
5. Caris Levert – SG (Michigan)
The biggest risk out of all the players on this list is Caris Levert. He has had three surgeries on the same foot in just under two years. Injuries have plagued this guy and last year he was a projected late first, early second round pick. Now it is easy to say he will be a second round pick and he could end up not getting drafted at all. Levert did produce at Michigan though, averaging 16 points, 3 assists and 4 rebounds last year. That is in only 15 games as well. If he can stay healthy he can produce more. He knocked down 45 percent of his 3-point shots last season. His size and athleticism are good for a shooting guard. He can score and help out his team with assists. Catch and shoot is smooth and easy for him. He thinks before he shoots and doesn’t waste a chance to score. If Detroit sees him and feels like taking a chance on someone who may never be healthy, they could take a risk on Levert.