For the majority of the year, I'm willfully ignorant of college basketball. I usually participate in a tournament pool with some friends, but even then my entire bracket is based on how teams are seeded. So with that in mind, I'm usually a step behind many of you when it comes to evaluating potential draft picks and what they'd bring to the table to Detroit's roster.
I know there are a handful of prospects who the Pistons can't afford to pass up regardless of position should they fall to No. 15, but assuming there aren't any huge bargains, I'm assuming the Pistons will go for a point guard. Ideally, that guy will be a backup his first few years, but in the (unlikely?) scenario that Chauncey Billups doesn't return, I'd like the team nab someone who could potentially start from Day 1. It'd be nice if this guy could play both spots in the backcourt, and I'd place a premium on getting to the hoop over long-distance range. Does this player exist? I have no idea.
One name I'm hearing more and more frequently (although it could just be due to the echo chamber effect of reporters repeating each other) is Rodney Stuckey. Some people say Stuckey has been telling people the Pistons have promised to draft him if he's available at No. 15, but his agent refutes the claim. From DraftExpress:
Stuckey's agent, Aaron Goodwin, told us in response that "This rumor was started and perpetuated by other agents, and all will see that Stuckey will continue to workout and definitely for teams with picks before the 15th. I’ve heard it from teams also, and I have told them this also. "
For one thing, the Pistons haven't worked out any players yet because of a new league rule which wouldn't allow teams to start working out players individually until June 5. It makes no sense to guarantee a player, when you haven't really had a chance to see, on an individual, one-on-one basis, your other options.
And while I think Stuckey is a decent player, I just don't see him being THAT kind of a talent to where you would be pressed to guarantee him a first-round spot.
Then again, this whole draft process will be different than previous ones for Detroit. Because of the new rule for working out players, the Pistons - like a lot of playoff teams - are a lot farther behind than they would like. Usually Detroit has had at least a dozen players in by now for workouts. In the past, they brought them in during the home playoff games.
The reason they didn't plan any workouts for this week was because they expected to be in the NBA Finals which, at this point, would have probably meant they were on the road for Games 1 and 2. Because of that, they didn't anticipate bringing guys in until sometime early week.
By the time their season ended, Detroit was left scrambling to try and arrange workouts, while most of the players they're interested in already had stuff lined up.
For what it's worth, Blakely thinks Stuckey could go to the Pistons if he has a good workout but otherwise expects him to go later in the first round. So what kind of player is Stuckey? He's a 6-5 "combo" guard, which is usually a nice way of saying he's primarly a two-guard but knows how to pass. He averaged a bit more than 24 points a game in two years with Eastern Washington. Never heard of Eastern Washington? According to a scout who spoke with Yahoo's Adrian Wojnarowski, that shouldn't be held against him:
Said one Eastern Conference scout: "If this kid was playing at Washington, instead of Eastern Washington, people (would be) talking about him as a top 10, maybe top seven or eight player, in this draft."
Stuckey is a fearless, tough guard with a great shooting touch. Out of high school, he would've gone to the Pac -10, but he didn't have the grades to become eligible as a freshman.
"And even with that, I love the fact that he became an academic all-conference student," the scout said. "That tells you something about his determination."
Okay, he has my attention. Other prospects I've been keeping an eye on include Mike Conley (not because I think he'll be available but just in case the Pistons trade up), Acie Law (whose been Ian's personal favorite for a while) and Javaris Critteron ... but like I said, all I know about them are the profiles I've read online. Can anyone fill me in? Are there any die-hard college basketball fans out there who have watched enough games to create their own opinion about what point guard the Pistons should target?