We're behind a bit on our pre-draft coverage -- earlier this week, A. Sherrod Blakely posted this list of players the Pistons plan on working out:
• Shan Foster, SG, Vanderbilt
• Omri Casspi, SF, Israel
• Bill Walker, SF, Kansas State
• Joe Crawford, SG, Kentucky
• Mike Green, PG, Butler
• D.J. White, PF, Indiana
• Joey Dorsey, PF, Memphis
• Courtney Lee, SG, Western Kentucky
• Trent Plaisted, C, BYU
• Giorgi Shermandini, C, the Republic of Georgia
• Kentrell Grandsberry, PF, South Florida
• Malik Hairston, SF, Oregon
Hat-tip to DBB reader Quick Darshan for emailing that over. After all the good things I heard about DJ White, it's encouraging to see he's on that list.
I also got an email from Israeli DBB reader Ohad, who was obviously excited to see the Pistons were talking to Casspi. I don't read Hebrew, but I'm told this article discusses Casspi's workout with the Pistons, saying that Michael Curry and Tony Ronzone ran the workouts while Joe Dumars looked on. Apparently Casspi has been on Detroit's radar the last few years. I was intrigued, so I checked out his profile on Draft Express, which posted this scouting report in March:
A legit 6-9 combo forward, coach Sherf used him mostly as a small forward, but Omri often officiates as a power forward as well, as he proved in his previous outing against Hapoel Gilboa/Afula (scoring 20 points off the bench, by the way). He’s long, he’s well built and he’s also quick for his size. Actually, the biggest concerns about his ability to play small forward come from the defensive end, but he’s showing a bit better lateral quickness and aggressiveness, staying closer to the ball (he used to rely more on his length to defend perimeter guys, conceding them too much space in order to prevent them from slashing past him). This is one of the main areas that coach Sherf has been helping him out the most actually, and he wouldn’t be able to get minutes for the old-school conservative coach if he wasn’t producing for him on this end.
Offensively we’re seeing mostly a face-up player, very incisive with the ball in his hands, but also active playing off the ball. Casspi enjoys nice ball-handling skills, a solid first step, and excellent footwork. He can attack both ways, and uses his body really well to work his way towards the basket. He’s an aggressive player with great body control, who doesn’t fear contact at all. Against Real Madrid, he beat one of the best perimeter defenders in the Old Continent, Charles Smith, off the dribble, attacking him in a pure one-on-one situation with his left hand. Without the ball, Casspi actively cuts, often in back-door fashion, delivering mostly moves towards the basket. Following this trend (of activity without the ball and getting near the rim), he also emerges willing to clean the offensive boards looking for second-chance points, always trying to cash in off his superior size.
He sounds like he has some promise, but for a guy who turns 20 years old in a couple of weeks, he may be more of a project than an immediate answer for the backup small forward spot. I also don't know if this is someone the Pistons are considering with their first-round pick or perhaps someone they hope falls to them in the second. Bear in mind, the Pistons have a glut of future second-round picks, so they could easily package a couple of those together if they'd like to move up from their current 59th spot in the second round this year.