TAMPA, FL - MARCH 17: Kalin Lucas #1 of the Michigan State Spartans drives against the UCLA Bruins during the second round of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at St. Pete Times Forum on March 17, 2011 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
While conventional wisdom says the Pistons will look for a big man with the No. 8 pick, it's quite possible they go small in the second round. As such, the team will evaluate a handful of second-tier guards Wednesday afternoon, including, Vince Ellis of the Freep confirms, Michigan State's Kalin Lucas:
Former Michigan State standout Kalin Lucas will be among a group of guards working out for the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday, Lucas’ agent, Michael Whitaker, said this afternoon.
Lucas is scheduled to be joined by Andrew Goudelock (College of Charleston), Malcolm Lee (UCLA), Norris Cole (Cleveland State), Cory Joseph (Texas) and Andrew Albicy (France).
Unless Lucas has a phenomenal workout (or, I suppose, Dumars reaches to appease his new Spartan boss Tom Gores), there's a good chance he'll go undrafted, according to DraftExpress' most recent two-round mock.
Cole Impresses: As for Lucas' workout mates, Norris Cole apparently did his best to impress Joe Dumars earlier this year. From Vincent Goodwill of the Detroit News last week:
Pistons president Joe Dumars was at Calihan Hall for the Cleveland State vs. Detroit Mercy game on Feb. 7, and Cole spotted him entering the arena during warmups.
"I saw Joe Dumars walk in and it amped me out even more," Cole said Thursday at the NBA Draft Combine. "When you see a Hall of Famer walk in there, your game has to be at its finest."
Cole, who was Horizon League Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year, had 27 points, seven assists and six rebounds in a three-point loss to Detroit that night. He knew scouts were watching him but felt a little extra pressure.
For a scouting report, check out Patrick Hayes at PistonPowered.
TZ Brings Detroit Dunks and Blocks from the Congo: In his latest mock draft at the SB Nation mothership, Tom Ziller predicts the Pistons will land Bismack Biyombo, missing out on Brandon Knight and passing over the fast-rising Kawhi Leonard:
7. Sacramento Kings: Brandon Knight, PG, Kentucky
The Kings have bigger holes than at guard; Biyombo, the athletic big man, and Kawhi Leonard, a tough small forward, are better need fits. But Sacramento struggles to create sentient offense, and a guard rotation of Knight, Tyreke Evans, Marcus Thornton and, for now, Beno Udrih would be promising. Udrih is older than all the rest and on a shorter contract (assuming the Kings re-sign Thornton this summer, as seems a priority), paving the way for a future with Knight.
8. Detroit Pistons: Bismack Biyombo, PF, Democratic Republic Of The Congo
If Biyombo is left on the board, it seems as if the Pistons have an easy decision. Joe Dumars knows the impact an elite defender can have, having rode Ben Wallace to a (near-)decade of dominance. Biyombo is comparable in optics, an energetic and hyperathletic ball of fire with wings that don't quit.
9. Charlotte Bobcats: Kawhi Leonard, SF, San Diego State
Sure, the last time the Bobcats picked a small forward from a Pacific Coast mid-major, it didn't work out. But Leonard is the opposite of Adam Morrison: a tough, strong fighter who struggles to score efficiently. Charlotte needs more scoring, but a replacement for Gerald Wallace is also high on the priority list.
DX Brings Detroit Dunks and Blocks from Belgrade: According to DraftExpress, the Kings will snag Leonard at No. 7, the Pistons will select 21-year-old Jan Vesely, a 6-11 forward from the Czech Republic. Marcus Morris is slotted to go No. 9, with Biyombo No. 10. For those of you who don't know anything about Vesely, Jonathan Giovany's SI.com profile from March should help, as well as this mixtape:
As for the second-round, DX predicts the Pistons will take Duke senior PG Nolan Smith at No. 33 (four slots above Norris Cole, incidentally). Here's DX's interview with Smith at the NBA's Draft Combine.