Things had been looking grim for the Pistons ever since the NBA Draft Lottery when Detroit slid to the eighth spot in what was increasingly looking like a five-player draft.
But if there is one thing you can count on in the NBA, it is that general managers fall in love with tantalizing prospects of size (Andre Drummond, bizarrely, notwithstanding). And true enough the latest mock draft from ESPN's well-connected Chad Ford has a trio of big men (and one extremely tall point guard) being selected in the first seven picks.
That leaves the small in stature but not in production Trey Burke from the University of Michigan. While recent reports indicate that Detroit might not be too enamored with Burke, Ford has Detroit selecting Burke as its latest PGOTF (Point Guard Of The Future).
Burke is available because Ford has the Cleveland Cavaliers selecting Nerlens Noel at No. 1, the Charlotte Bobcats selecting Anthony Bennett at No. 4, the New Orleans Pelicans selecting Alex Len at No. 6 and the Sacramento Kings selecting Michael Carter-Williams at No 7.
The article is ESPN Insider, but I'll pull out his comment about the Pistons:
Analysis: The Pistons are hoping, for a third year in a row, that one of the top seven players on the board slides to them on draft night. However, it the draft holds true to form, look for them to try to address their backcourt at No. 8. The team thinks Brandon Knight is more suited to play the two and would like to bring in a "pure" point guard to run the team. While Burke is a little undersized, he's highly skilled as both a shooter and a penetrator and has great leadership capabilities. McCollum and Zeller also are possibilities here, especially if both Burke and Carter-Williams are off the board.
While I continue to be somewhat surprised that nobody ever links Kentavious Caldwell-Pope to Detroit (I'm a fan), having a choice between Burke, C.J. McCollum and Cody Zeller isn't all that bad. And I'm especially happy about whose names aren't mentioned -- Shabazz Muhammad, Anthony Bennett.