David Thorpe at ESPN has an intriguing article up (Insider only) with his take on what a redo of the 2011 NBA Draft would look like. And while Thorpe might know a thing or two about NBA prospects, I'm not sure he's the best at assessing the needs of the Detroit Pistons.
As we all know, the Pistons selected Kentucky freshman guard Brandon Knight with the eighth pick of the draft. Well, in this new version, Thorpe has the Pistons selecting ... MarShon Brooks senior guard out of Vanderbilt.
Thorpe says of Brooks:
With Rodney Stuckey and Ben Gordon on Detroit's roster, any rookie guard would have to share time. I like Knight a lot, but Brooks fills a bigger need and has just as much upside (more downside, too, though).
Brooks has the look of someone who can be a top-two scorer for his team, and he's also a willing rebounder and defender. He'd be a nice fit next to Stuckey.
To me that kind of sounds like what they already have in Knight.
Edited to eliminate confusion: Don't get me wrong, I think it is pretty obvious that Brooks has had a better season than Knight. But in this hypothetical scenario you don't have to look any farther than the two picks following the Pistons' selection to see th e kinds of players the Pistons should really have been interested in: Nikola Vucevic and Kenneth Faried.
Just take a look at what Thorpe writes about the Faried pick, with some helpful edits inserted by myself:
This is one of the easiest picks to make simply because of Faried's talent and the
Kings' Pistons need for someone like him. Toughness, energy, explosive athleticism and a good feel for the game -- all things every team needs but none more than SacramentoDetroit.
CousinsMonroe front line would be terrific from day one. I'm not sure anyone could havesave d Paul Westphal'sJoe Dumar's job, but Faried would have at least helped the KingsPistons to a much better start.
Assuming the redo of the draft would have occurred just as Thorpe has selected (dubious, I know), who should the Pistons have drafted if they had the ability to go back in time and do it all over again? The first seven picks, according to Thorpe: Kyrie Irving, Tristan Thompson, Enes Kanter, Derrick Williams, Jonas Valanciunas, Kawhi Leonard, Bismack Biyombo.