We've heavily scrutinized mock drafts throughout the interwebs -- particularly Chad Ford who have good connections in the league and particularly seems generally plugged into the Pistons draft plans.
His final version has Detroit selecting Anthony Bennett and passing on Trey Burke. But I'm more interested in what people that use current or previous advanced metrics in order to create a more analytical big board.
We have ESPN's Draft Rater, courtesy this year of Kevin Pelton. Of interest to Detroit fans was that Pelton rated Kentavious Caldwell-Pope very highly, that Burke, Michael Carter-Williams and C.J. McCollum were all rated close together and that he threw up a big red flag on Ben McLemore who was in discussion at No. 1 but has started to slide.
But Pelton's not the only one crunching the numbers.
First, of course, we have our very own Kevin Sawyer who doesn't rely strictly on a spreadsheet but he knows the stats that matter and those that don't.
But I wanted to highlight a specific big board because I think the model works and it's hard to argue too harshly with the results. Especially if you accept the fact that it's always going to be somewhat of a craps shoot.
One of my favorite rankings is compiled by James Brocato, a longtime member of the Association of Professional Basketball Research forum. He has his own site shutupandjam.net and has a top 10 that falls pretty much where I'm at as far as this draft is concerned.
His top 10 for 2013 is: Noel, Porter, MCW, Burke, Oladipo, KCP, Zeller, McCollum, McLemore, Bennett.
Also of note, Shabazz Muhammad ranks 22, Nate Wolters ranks 12, Alex Len ranks 14, and Archie Goodwin ranks a respectable 33.
But the reason I take his rankings relatively seriously is the results of previous drafts, which show that his model works pretty well.
Here are his rankings for the past three drafts:
2012: Davis, Beal, Waiters, Sullinger, MKG, Lillard, Crowder, Drummond, Jones, Lamb.
Rankings to note for this year include: Thomas Robinson at 12, Meyers Leonard at 23, Austin Rivers at 29, Khris Middleton at 34, one spot above Andrew Nicholson.
2011: Irving, Leonard, Walker, Burks, Williams, Thompson, Butler, Vucevic, Faried, Shumpert.
This is a pretty impeccable list, especially capturing the value of Kawhi Leonard, Jimmy Butler and Kenneth Faried in the top 10. Klay Thompson and Chandler Parson also make the top 15. Brandon Knight comes it at No. 17 and Kyle Singler at 25.
2010: Wall, Monroe, George, Cousins, Hayward, Turner, Favors, Henry, Aldrich, Johnson.
Great catch on slotting Paul George at No. 3. Also, Greivis Vasquez at 16 and Ekpe Udoh comes in at 17. Terrico White was slotted 27.
APBR user VJL has some nifty metrics to examine. He has draft projections from 1983-2013. He also has run a player comparison for each draft prospect with some truly scary comps for those the Pistons might draft.
His 2013 top 10 are Noel, Porter, Zeller, Olynyk, Oladipo, Burke, Bennett, Muscala and KCP.
He also has rated the likelihood of all players reaching bust, bench, starter and star status. Interesting stuff.
*Of course these people are not nerds in their mothers' basements. They are passionate fans with something to contribute. I kid because I care.