On June 28, the NBA will hold their annual draft. For many NBA fans, that means scouring the internet for mock drafts and reading up on all the top prospects. But for many Pistons fans this year, it means very little.
The Pistons traded the rights to their first-round pick to the Jazz last season in exchange for Carlos Arroyo, and after finishing with the best record in the league this season, they currently hold the 60th pick in the draft. Yes, that's "60th," as in "dead last." You know what the last pick of the draft gets you? Guys like Alex Acker, who was the last pick of the 2005 draft and appeared in just seven games and played in just 35 minutes the entire season.
But, if you believe the rumors, the Pistons may not be content holding put with the last pick for long. According to DraftExpress, the Seattle Sonics are looking to sell their second-round selection. That's right, sell; apparently the franchise is so hard up for cash that it's using draft picks to raise enough funds to pay for a new assistant coach next season:
Pistons looking to move up? The Detroit Pistons could be looking to move up higher into the second round in order to land a legit backup point guard. They will conduct a big point guard only workout on Thursday featuring Jose Juan Barea, Mustafa Shakur, Dwayne Mitchell, Will Blalock and Walker Russell. A 2nd round pick that is reportedly for sale is Seattle’s, slated 40th overall. The Sonics would use that money to hire another assistant coach for next year, as they reportedly do not have the budget at this time to do so considering how much money the ownership there has lost over the past few years.
It comes as no surprise that the Pistons are trying to add backup point guard, though I suspect anyone drafted in the second round this year will be an investment in the future and not a potential rotation candidate in 2006-07. Before you take my word as gospel, though, realize that I know next to nothing about college basketball and wouldn't know any of those point guards DraftExpress listed if I passed them on the street. Except for maybe Dwayne Mitchell, whom I just learned has fantastic hops after watching this YouTube video:
The Pistons aren't limiting themselves to just point guards, though; they're also rumored to be interested in a raw big man named Kyrylo Fesenko from the Ukraine -- assuming he doesn't make too much of a name for himself over the next couple of weeks. From DraftExpress:
The Pistons were reportedly initially hoping to draft Ukrainian big man Kyrylo Fesenko late in the 2nd round, and asked his agent to "hide" him overseas with a 2nd round promise so no one else catches wind of him. Fesenko smartened up, though, and decided to make his way over to the States to work out for NBA teams, which likely nullifies his promise by Detroit. He reportedly measured out as a legit 7-footer in one private workout, but still looks like he has a long ways to go skill wise. He has an NBA body with long arms and great raw core strength. From the tapes we’ve acquired, it’s quite obvious that he is very athletic for a player his size, European or not. His quickness is especially impressive, as he's both nimble with his feet but also runs the floor extremely well. His leaping ability is just average, though. The impressive numbers he put up early on in the season in the Ukrainian first division before moving to a new team seem to be in spite of the little coaching he’s received, not because of it. His footwork, post moves, and go-to moves around the basket all need serious work, as does his overall feel for the game. He's also not a great rebounder, and his defense is terrible any way you slice it. Fesenko’s really getting by solely on the fact that he's very athletic, plays hard, and is that much bigger than anyone else. He doesn't shy away from contact and definitely has some fight in him. The best NBA comparison for him would be Mehmet Okur, but he is very far from making a similar impact. His best bet would be to pull out of the draft, go to a better league, and enter the draft again either next year or the year after, as he’s only a 1986 born prospect. Should he stay in, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him drafted somewhere in the 2nd round, as his buyout is reportedly affordable. He wanted to play at the Eurocamp in Treviso, but requested to be added to the camp roster too late and was turned down.
A raw Mehmet Okur? Very interesting. His draft profile on Yahoo! Sports (which appears to be written by DraftExpress, as well) has a bit more info on him, including a much-less-interesting comparison to Jackie Butler.
(Special thanks go out to DBB reader JackDutch, who passed along the DraftExpress and Yahoo links. If you ever find some interesting Pistons news or rumors, pass them along to firstname.lastname@example.org)