NBA Draft 2013: Is Kentavious Caldwell-Pope an outside possibility for Pistons?


I'm just throwing out an argument for a guy I've mentioned casually in the comments for someone we could pick if the 7th pick thing happens. Kentavious Caldwell Pope SG 6'6 (in shoes) 205 lbs. Georgia.

I'm gonna clue you in on where I'm coming from. Orginally after looking at Draft Express' latest mock draft, i thought (piggy backing on Mike Payne's idea) that the Pistons could get a whole new back court in one draft a la 2007 (Stuckey and Afflalo) and actually stick with it. This was the idea that Burke would be available at number 7 and we could package our 2 second rounders and get a low 1st round pick (like the Knicks at 24) and take this guy Pope.

Well with Marcus Smart going back to school, we know all the draft options basically move up one, thereby lowering the chance for us to get Burke. Then I noticed that other draft sites (ESPN, NBADRAFT.NET, NBA.COM) had Caldwell Pope already shooting up (as of this writing Draft Express is the only site that has him still in the high 20's at 26 to the Wolves). NBA Draft has him at 14, NBA.COM'S Dave Aldrige has him as the third best shooting guard. ESPN's Chad Ford has jumped him from the 21st overall pick on April 15th to now listing him in the lottery at around the 10-12 pick (did the auto-draft game for a while one time did he fall out of the lottery and was replaced with Gorgui Dieng from Lousiville, don't know why.)

Kentavious at this point has been a sleeper because as Aldridge has pointed out:

His Georgia team didn't make the NCAAs, losing to LSU in the second round of the SEC Tournament and finishing below .500 (15-17... He put up some numbers and did the best he could for that team.....Caldwell-Pope wasn't the most consistent perimeter shooter -- he shot just 43 percent from the floor this season -- but he also was the only game in town most nights for the Bulldogs....I thought he was really compliant with what [Georgia coach Mark] Fox asked him to do, but he was ready to take over when needed."

But here is what he does do, and this is an amalgamation of Express, NBA.COM and NBADRAFT.NET: The guy can shoot, from the floor his weakness is driving to the basket (after the last two years of Stuckey and Knight, does this bother anyone?) Defensively ...

For the most part, he does a good job consistently locking in to straight man-to-man situations. He can run into some trouble when dealing with off-ball movement or fighting through screens on pick-and-rolls, where he seems to just go through the motions at times, but has the tools to be an excellent defender and doesn't appear resistant to putting in the effort on this end of the floor.

The guy didn't have the Gaudy numbers of CJ Mcollum or the percentages of Mclemore or Oladipo, but here is what he did have from College Basketball Reference a true shooting percentage of .579, efg% of 53%, total rebound percentage of 12.4, steal percentage of 3.8, clearly adjust for rookie learning curve, I'm just saying the numbers appear to be in the park for a legitimate NBA prospect.

So that is my pitch for Kentavious Caldwell Pope, 7th pick Detroit Pistons 2013 NBA draft. Above Oladipo (not sold on his offensive contribution potential) Muhammed (too one dimensional) and McCollum (can't handle having ANOTHER combo guard). I'll leave it at that.

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