The NBA Draft Lottery is less than 1 week away. So the Detroit Pistons don’t have to wait any longer to find out their fate in the NBA draft on June 23.
In franchise history, the Pistons have only had three number one picks, the most recent being Cade Cunningham last year.
The Pistons will be looking for the right candidate for a 20-year-old goalkeeper who has made a strong case to be captain. The players expected to enter the top three all boast offensive tools to be strong options alongside Cunningham.
If Detroit drops out of the top three, there are a few other options that fit what the team needs.
So this is what the latest batch of photo drafts looks like.
Complex Sports’ Danny Cunningham said the Pistons’ task in this year’s draft was to finally find the right player to pair alongside budding superstar Cade Cunningham. In this mock draft, Danny Cunningham wrote that Smith would be the best fit because he is the best player in this year’s draft.
The Complex reporter writes that Smith’s jump is smooth and that he’s NBA ready to shoot from distance. He noted that Smith’s responsibility appears to be growing as the season progresses.
Of Smith, Danny Cunningham wrote, “He’s one of the best athletes in this draft, but he needs to attack the edge more than he does. Smith has a solid chassis, but can still benefit from the NBA’s strength program as his body matures. Adding a 5 could make 10 pounds of muscle to improve his game even more. Defensively, he stands out as an interchangeable athlete who can develop into an all-around player in the NBA.”
USA Today, FTW! – Pick: 3 | Prospective prospect: Jabari Smith Jr.
Unlike the FTW Phantom Draft! Published in April, Brian Kalbrowsky predicted the Pistons would pick Smith with the third overall pick. Smith’s size, age and shooting ability are so alluring that the 18-year-old is expected to have a high ceiling.
“If he lands in Detroit on drag night, Smith and Kid Cunningham will make an especially killer duo for years to come.”
Ranger – Choose: 7 | Odds: Keegan Murray (female | Iowa | 6-8, 215 | 21 years old | 23.5 dpi, 8.7 RPG, 1.5 APG, 55.4% FG, 39.8% 3 FG)
In this repeat video of the mock draft, Kevin O’Connor still expects the Pistons to take Keegan Murray for Iowa with the seventh overall pick.
In the video, O’Connor said, “(I chose) Keegan Murray 7th in the Detroit Pistons. I’m a Keegan Murray guy and I bet Kid Cunningham would be Keegan Murray’s guy too, given his shooting ability, he’s selfless. He defends. Can you imagine Keegan Murray in Age 6-8 with his long arms and intensity in defense combined with Kid Cunningham and my legs Killian Hayes, who, by the way, absorbs attack, but puts them in defense. These guys can be great pretty soon at the end of the defensive floor, so I’m really into that.”
CBS Sports – Choose: 3 | Odds: Keegan Murray
CBS Sports’ David Cobb predicted the Pistons would take Murray with the third overall pick. With Murray finishing third, that meant Gonzaga’s Chet Holmgren was relegated to fourth.
One of the reasons Cope expected Murray to rise in the draft was because of his age. Murray will be 22 when the season begins and Cope wrote that his age could make him the darling of the Pistons. Cobb wrote that even if Murray’s age did not play a role in the decision, Hawke’s skill set would be enough to make a convincing case for it. Cope predicted that Murray’s skill set could make him the first in this class to become an All-Star.
“He’s coming from a program that hasn’t produced a first-round draft pick since 1998, and given the quantitative leap he made as a sophomore, it’s exciting to think of the additional items for Murray that the NBA can unlock. He’s well equipped to guard all positions. He is a particularly effective offensive maestro in transition.”
SB Nation – Prospect: Chet Holmgren (PF/C, | Gonzaga | 7-0, 186 lbs | 19 yrs | 14.1 ppg, 9.9 rpg, 1.9 apg, 60.7% FG, 39% 3FG)
SB Nation took a different approach in this mock draft and focused only on which teams they should pick if they win the upcoming Tueday Draw. So they made it clear that if the Pistons win the lottery, they should take Holmgren.
They wrote that since the Pistons took Cunningham in the draft last season, they don’t need a franchise player. So their argument is that Cunningham will take on most if not all of the playmaking duties, so “adding a front-court player who can clear the floor and captain of defense while protecting an elite edge seems like the most powerful long-term team-building move.”
Athlete – Choice: 6 | Probability: Benedict Mathurin (G | Arizona | 19 years | 17.7 ppg | 5.6 rpg | 2.5 apg | 45.0% FG | 36.9% 3FG)
James Edwards III passed five scnearios in his latest mock draft. In the first scenario, expect the Pistons to pick Mathurin with the sixth pick overall. Edwards said Mathurin will satisfy two needs, including athletics around the perimeter and three-point shooting.
“Several front office staff told me that Mathurin was the ‘best winger’ in the draft, and that was after it was clear that Sheldon Sharpe of Kentucky would be in the lineup. Mathurin probably won’t be an All-Star player at all, but I trust he will. He will be a good winger in the NBA for many years if the shot is translated to the next level without a hitch.”
In the second scenario, Edwards expected the pistons to take over Iowa striker Keegan Murray And that Hawk is likely to be the best alternative if Detroit trades with Jeramy Grant.
“It doesn’t have the highest ceiling of the above names, but I think it has one of the highest.”
In his remaining scenarios, Edwards expected the Pistons to pick Jaden Ivy, as well as Jabari Smith.