Cody Zeller. Richard Mackson-US PRESSWIRE
There is a shakeup in the latest 2012 NBA mock draft from ESPN (Insider) -- whereas the first mock had the Toronto Raptors selecting Harrison Barnes with the fifth pick in the draft, leaving the Detroit Pistons to select UConn big man Andre Drummond, mock 2.0 predicts Toronto will select Drummond instead.
That leaves the Pistons the option of drafting Harrison Barnes, Cody Zeller, Perry Jones III, Kendall Marshall, Jared Sullinger or John Henson. And ESPN predicts that from that crop the Pistons would select young big man Cody Zeller.
Writer Chad Ford says of Zeller:
Analysis: The Pistons are in desperate need of size and athleticism in the frontcourt. While I think the Pistons would prefer Drummond, Zeller would still be a great get. He's quick, tough and very polished for a freshman. Pairing him with Greg Monroe would immediately make the Pistons better -- if Zeller actually decides to declare.
While Zeller is a good prospect he is young, raw, and only weighs in at 210 pounds. I'm not a prolific college basketball watcher so I'd be interested in how people assess his defense. The first four picks in order were: Anthony Davis, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Thomas Robinson and Bradley Beal.
Personally, I think I would think seriously about taking Barnes at pick No. 7. While the Pistons definitely need help up front they also could use an accomplished scorer such as Barnes.
And with a franchise center in Greg Monroe already in place they don't necessarily need to fill that need with a young project. They could easily trade a player (Prince?) for an adequate defensive big man, and the team would also be in a position to trade future first-round picks to make a deal more enticing as the team would already pretty stocked in young talent.