ESPN's Chad Ford has released his latest mock for the 2014 NBA Draft and in it he has the Detroit Pistons selecting Indiana Hoosiers big man Noah Vonleh with the eighth pick.
The Pistons managed to inadvertently tank themselves into the position of having an 82.4 percent chance of keeping their draft pick as opposed to losing it to the Charlotte Bobcats as part of the Ben Gordon trade.
Because I had operated under the assumption that the Pistons were likely to lose their pick for so long I'm even more behind the curve than usual regarding upcoming draft prospects. That's why it's good to note what NBA prognosticators are thinking.
Here is what Ford write's about Vonleh:
This Pistons are another team up in the air as far as management goes. It's unclear exactly what they are going to do now that Joe Dumars has left. Yes, the Pistons are strong up front, but I think Vonleh makes sense for three reasons. One,Greg Monroe is a restricted free agent, and given the Pistons' salary structure going forward, they might not want to pay him. Two, the Pistons really need a big man who can stretch the floor. Josh Smith thinks he's that guy, but his 26 percent shooting from 3-point range this season tells a different story. Lastly, Vonleh is, in my opinion, clearly the best player left on the board. You take him and figure things out later.
Picking the best player on the board is never a bad place to be, but if we thought the front court was crowded before then for the Pistons to select yet another big man means at least one of those big men probably can't return to the fold next season.
Vonleh is 6-foot-10, 240 pounds and I've heard comparisons of his game to that of Chris Bosh. He averaged 11.3 points and shot well from range in limited attempts. He also seems to be a quality rebounder and converted at a 71 percent clip from the free-throw line.
Players selected just before Vonleh in the mock were Julius Randle at No. 6 and Marcus Smart at No. 7. Players still on the board when Detroit was on the clock included Doug McDermott, Tyler Ennis, Nik Stauskas, Gary Harris and Zach LaVine.