After picking up six-time All-Star Blake Griffin and former Toronto Raptors head coach, Dwane Casey in 2018, the Detroit Pistons have been looking to build the roster around them.
The Pistons didn’t make a pick until the second round last year after their first-round pick was involved in the trade that acquired Griffin. Ultimately, in the 2018 NBA Draft, the Pistons acquired two guards, Khyri Thomas and Bruce Brown Jr. Some would say that the Pistons found success during the 2018-19 season, despite finishing the season with a 41-41 record. The team found itself just barely in the playoffs.
However, with injury concerns regarding Griffin, the Pistons took a first-round exit, getting swept by the Milwaukee Bucks and Giannis Antetokounmpo. Even with the loss, it was the Pistons second playoff appearance in three years, which is a good sign.
Looking to bounce back from a first-round exit, the Pistons would now have to focus on adding young talent to the roster. The team has needed to add a wing since Tobias Harris was traded away. Also, the point guard position is another area the Pistons should pay close attention to. Reggie Jackson will be entering his final year of his contract. Fellow guards Ish Smith and Jose Calderon will also be entering into free agency after the upcoming season.
In case none of the three guards decide to re-sign, Detroit could look to add a guard with its 15th pick of the draft next month. Although, it would be nice for the Pistons to select someone like Murray State point guard Ja Morant, there is little to no chance he will be available by the time the Pistons are on the clock.
However, Purdue guard Carsen Edwards is expected to be an option. Edwards averaged 24.3 points during his junior season at Purdue. He can shoot well from deep and he runs the pick-and-roll very efficiently. Although, his style of play on offense may come off as a shooting guard, he could fit right in with the Pistons rotations. But the Pistons shouldn’t be locked into taking a point guard with their pick.
A solid wing would be the next option. If Gonzaga forward, Rui Hachimura somehow falls between the 10th and 20th pick, the Pistons should surely take him. Hachimura could be just what the Pistons need, as he can play small forward and power forward. Throughout his three years at Gonzaga, he averaged 19.7 points and 6.5 rebounds. He is also decent from 3-point range, shooting 41 percent last season. The Pistons could capitalize from that, considering the fact that the team is nearly at the bottom of the league when it comes to 3-point percentage.
Other players who could fit in the rotation would be Keldon Johnson (Kentucky), Romeo Langford (Indiana) and Nickeil Alexander-Walker (Virginia Tech). Almost every year, Pistons fans seem to be very upset with the front office and its choice in draft picks. Fans can only hope that this year’s draft would be the change the franchise has been desperately needing.
The NBA Draft will take place on Thursday, June 20 at Barclays Center in New York.