What a fricking surprise, Joe Dumars trades away a draft pick to get cap space. Joe Dumars failed us with the Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva signings, but he really outdid himself this time. How Joe Dumars convinced himself that playing a guy without a jump shot and with terrible shot selection at Small Forward was a good idea is mystifying. Not to mention the other bigs can't stretch the floor. The level of apathy that went into this decision is almost funny. The only answer is that Dumars wanted to keep our draft pick so he is secretly tanking. But seriously the level of Jackassery that goes on when both Jennings and Smith are on the floor is amazing, Jennings runs the pick and roll only to turn and run to the corner and throw up a fade away three. Or he dribbles the clock down until he passes to Josh Smith, those possessions often end up something like this:
Jackassery at it's finest.
So other than Andre Drummond being denied possessions and having his developments stunted what else is there to care about this season? The Draft! This may be the only thing that Joe Dumars isn't terrible at as a GM. He has a good track record recently. He has drafted Andre Drummond, Greg Monroe, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Kyle Singler, and the two that got away Arron Afflalo, and Amir Johnson.
The obvious Joe Dumars move to make would be to draft more players who can't shoot the basketball so that Andre Drummond has to start shooting threes to try to space the floor. But Dumars is a wildcard, you never know what he is going to do. Let's take a look at the prospects we could have a shot at and who make sense for our team.
1. Jabari Parker, SF: He is by far the best player in the draft, he is the player Carmelo Anthony should be. He works hard, he is a good defender, a good team player, but if he needs to score 40 points he could do that too. He is sporting a very efficient 50/40/75 shooting slash. The only knocks on Parker are that he is not a world class athlete and he was too heavy in high school. There is no denying that this guy could turn our team around, a Small Forward who defends, scores at a efficient rate, and is unselfish. We just need to find some poor GM who doesn't realize that Josh Smith is not good at the game of basketball to trade Smith to. I have been watching Parker recently and he has really struggled, Parker likes to have space on his shot, if he doesn't he will kick out his leg on his jumper leaving him off balance. This has caused some ugly misses, Parker needs to make sure he isn't settling for bad shots. Another issue is if a defender forces Parker to catch the ball in a spot he doesn't like you can often force him to hoist a bad shot or give up the ball. He doesn't often try to get it back, he needs to be more aggressive in these situations and create more off the dribble, this is often what happens when he catches the ball in a spot where he doesn't want it:
Parker should have found the open man or kicked the ball out top again to reset, the big man that had come over to double him would have left to get his man and Parker would have a one on one situation where he can quickly get the ball back and create a more efficient shot for himself or others. I like Parker a lot, but he still has some flaws, most of them mental or bad habits. In the latest loss by Duke Parker was far to complacent, he was settling for jumpers and not taking over, it seems to be a recurring theme. Parker needs to work on this. If he can gain confidence in taking his man off the dribble and realize when is the right time to take over he is a superstar, watch this video if you haven't seen him play much, you will be impressed:
Jabari Parker 2013 Scouting Video (via DraftExpress)
2. Dante Exum, PG/SG: This guy is a mystery, a silky smooth 6'6" ball handler, he has a 6'9" wingspan, he has the ball on a string, and he is unbelievably quick. So what's not to like? The kid can't shoot a jumper, his shot mechanics are awful, he is way too thin and can get bullied around, and the kid can only finish with his right hand (The anti-Brandon Jennings). Now I like this kid more than most people but even I realize that he is a risk. If you can fix his jumper, help him bulk up, and make him a better finisher with both hands he is an All-NBA Player. Watching the kid play is like poetry, I think at his floor he is still a borderline All-Star due to his potential as an up tempo floor general and as a great defender. But if you haven't watched him play you need to, it is a treat. I honestly don't know who to compare him to:
Dante Exum Highlights vs. Team USA at Nike Hoop Summit - 4/21/13 (via NBAGamer07)
3. James Young, SG/SF: Think of Young as a hybrid between Jeremy Lamb and Nick Young. He has the potential to be a very good defender and spot-up shooter, but he also is very long and athletic and looks to create his own shot. Young is not a special player, he is very good though. Him and KCP on the perimeter together could form a duo of great spot-up shooters and defenders. Most teams probably don't view him as a mid-lottery pick but he would be a great fit for our team. Plus he is a lefty so we can keep that thing going. One of his best traits is creating space for his jump shot which KCP and Josh Smith can't do, this would be a very welcome sight.
4. Rodney Hood, SF: I'll admit I haven't watched Hood as closely as Parker, I know he is having a great season and is a deadly catch and shoot man. He is not a great ball handler and not a great defender. He is a fringy athlete, he is not a great athlete but it's not like he runs like Steve Novak. I would like a more all-around talent with such a high pick, but a solid defender, and a lights out shooter can be used on any team. My concern is that he and KCP playing on the perimeter together we won't really have a player in our starting lineup that can efficiently create his own shot, this is what really makes me think that James Young is a better fit along with the fact that Young is a better defender. In Duke's latest loss to Clemson Hood did his thing, he knocked down a ton of shots at hit them at an efficient rate. He played pretty poorly defensively, he got 1 rebound all game, he didn't get any assists. Overall it was not an impressive showing. Hood may be nothing more than a spot-up shooter. Check back for updates on his play. Take a look at Hood, of course he was getting to rim in this game because he was playing East Carolina:
Rodney Hood 2013.11.19 vs East Carolina - 30 Pts. (via Dawk Ins)
5. Marcus Smart, PG/SG: Smart is a strange player, he is a very good passer and floor general, he is a beast, a problem for every point guard in the league. Smart weighs 226 lbs. and can't be stopped by smaller guards, he is a bully. His jumper looks good but he is not a good shooter, he can get his shot up but doesn't often find a great shot. He wants to be a leader and shows a lot of effort defensively, but he is a risk taker, he often wants to get the steal. Smart doesn't take care of the ball as well as I would like him too, and at times he can become a ball hog. He is certainly a great player but just the other day Smart was playing in a close game and dunked the ball and slapped the backboard getting a technical foul. His team lost by only 3 points. The fact that Smart can't shoot, can be a ball hog, is a risk taker on defense, and makes bad plays like that makes me not think he fits the Pistons. Take a look at Smart, on the right team he's going to be great:
Being that the Pistons would have to draft in the top 8 to keep the pick, the Pistons would without a doubt be able to get at least James Young is they get a top 8 draft pick. These are the five players that I think would be good fits for the Pistons. What are your thoughts on the draft?