As it stands right now, the Detroit Pistons have the #8 pick in the 2014 NBA Draft. That could all change tomorrow evening when the Draft Lottery determines the first 14 picks of the draft. There are three possible outcomes:
- The Pistons move into the top 3
- The Pistons stay at #8
- The Bobcats receive the #9 pick
The odds are better that we'll keep our pick rather than lose it to Charlotte. And if we keep it this year, then the Bobcats will have our pick next year. (Ok, that isn't exactly fact. There is the slight chance that the Pistons could still keep their pick next year, but I really don't want to think about that happening as it would require another crappy season.) But I'm not exactly sure I want this year's pick.
Sean has a great article about DraftExpress' Mock Draft saying we're going to select Doug McDermott with our #8 pick. His high usage rate combined with his insane shooting ability would make me not hate that pick. As has been evidenced by many drafts, nothing is guaranteed though. We didn't expect Greg or Andre to fall to us. I don't know many people who expected Anthony Bennett to be selected No. 1 overall last year either. For all we know, we could keep our #8 pick, some questions arise about Wiggins, Parker, Exum, etc. and one of them ends up slipping to us (or maybe not one of them, but someone we really need). And if we get especially luck and end up getting in the top 3, then we could have a potential superstar on our team.
But what if we instead didn't keep our pick? What if there was a way (I don't know if there is, just spitballing) to trade down while also completing the trade with Charlotte. If we get the #1 or #2 pick, then this article is pointless as I'd say we keep the pick. But if we are either #3 or #8, I wonder if we could trade that pick to Charlotte for their #24 pick and complete the previous trade where we owe them a first round pick.
I remember asking Keith Langlois last year if it was possible just to give them this year's pick and finish that trade. And from what I remember, he said that it is possible, but both sides would have to agree on it. Here's the reasons why I think Charlotte would accept my suggestion and why I think the Pistons might do it.
Charlotte made the playoffs this year for the first time in 4 years, second in 10 years. They have a young team and seem to be pulling things together. I believe they would absolutely love to add another young high draft pick to their team. Also, they wouldn't be giving up much except for a #24 pick. With SVG, and presumably with a top 8 pick, the Pistons will likely make the playoffs next year and depending on SVG's magic, might only be able to give them a late teens/early 20's pick. And honestly, I might even be willing to consider it without taking back the #24 pick.
As for the Pistons, they haven't made the playoffs in 5 years, have had 5 straight 30 or fewer win teams, and had no team cohesion last year. Adding a top 8 talent would always be ideal, but it's never guaranteed (here's looking at you Brandon). Based on a few mock drafts I've seen, K.J. McDaniels may be available around the 24th pick (I've heard his name around here a few times). Or maybe, instead of him, if Adreian Payne is still available, you draft him. (You could TRY the Josh Smith experiment with Payne who would be cheaper, better at the 3 ball - though college - and younger, and learned under Izzo, but I'm not saying it's ideal.) Regardless of who's selected, it's the expectation that they aren't going to be immediate help.
The Pistons have Andre Drummond, so starting Center is set. The Pistons, from what I've heard SVG say, would love to keep Monroe, so I'm going to assume the starting Power Forward is set. If Monroe is kept, our backup Center is also here (and his backup would be Jorts). As for backup Power Forward, as it currently stands, we'd have our pick of Josh Smith, Jonas Jerebko, Tony Mitchell, or even in spurts, Gigi Datome. Brandon Jennings may be serviceable on his contract and with the right tutelage. He appears to be bulking up this summer and hopefully SVG will put him in his place (and have better offensive and defensive schemes for him to run). For backup Point Guard, I'm ok with Siva (What about Will Bynum?) for now or maybe one of the late picks. I want to believe that KCP is our starting Shooting Guard of the future (provided we don't draft Wiggins who's a tweener between SG and SF). For backup Shooting Guard, I'm ok with Singler in spurts and maybe one of the picks. And as for Small Forward, I'm ok with Singler starting and being backed up by Datome or even (in big ball) Jerebko.
I would love to see what SVG can do with what we already have for just one year. I'm not trying to say anyone IAFI, but Frank, Cheeks and Loyer did not use most of the players right and had horrendous offensive and defensive schemes. I don't see the same issues with SVG. I think he could put this team in the playoffs with what we have now and maybe a key free agent acquisition.
My biggest reason for not keeping the #8 pick (or #3 pick) is for financial reasons. Going by this chart, the difference between the #8 and #24 picks financially is about $1.5 million (almost $3 million between #3 and #24). It may not sound like a lot, but it allows room for trades or MLE signings. Losing the pick all together also allows for a free roster spot without having to cut anyone. I'm also just not convinced that there are many picks (from #8 and beyond) that are going to provide us immediate need (not that it's expected) or that will eventually be better than what we currently have or could currently sign in free agency.
Now, I'm not opposed to keeping this year's pick. But with tomorrow being the Draft Lottery, I wanted to see if this would be a viable option to some and how you'd go about it. So, let's debate.