Scott Schroeder of Ridiculous Upside has been hosting the SB Nation-wide Mock Draft and yesterday evening the Detroit Pistons were on the clock. It sort of snuck up on me like the socks guy in Mr. Deeds, so I was not able to properly prepare for this. I wanted to create a poll and let the readers help in this selection (wouldn't that be awesome if Joe Dumars did that?), but I had to go ahead and pick myself.
As you can see from the title I chose SF/PF Earl Clark of the University of Louisville. If you're interested in reading what I had to say about the draft pick you can head over to Scott's blog and read the write up there or you can simply read after the jump.
Also, since I wasn't able to get readers feedback before I selected, please take part in the poll and leave your opinions on who you would have drafted had it been your decision--I have included the others I considered. If a name you would have chosen is not there, leave it in the comments. You can leave all your reasons in the comments section, too.
Update: Astute reader detpistons3 brought up a good point. I should have had Earl Clark as an option in the poll. I figured a no vote was a vote in agreement with me for Earl Clark, or maybe I figured you would all disagree with the pick and choose someone else. Either way, if you think Earl Clark should be the Pistons first round selection, then don't vote, put it in the comments, and leave your thoughts. Thanks.
For the Pistons, in my opinion, it comes down to either a PG or overall talent at the No. 15 slot. If a PG like Eric Maynor fell to the Pistons it'd be tough to pass up on his potential to be a solid point guard a la Rajon Rondo in the NBA (Update: I puke a little in my mouth when I say Rondo, by the way). Right now, the Pistons have Rodney Stuckey, who Joe Dumars admitted may not be the point guard they thought he could be, and Will Bynum, who I think is a much better slasher than a guy who can distribute the rock. Therefore, drafting a PG might not be a terrible idea because it would give the Pistons more opportunities to play Stuckey and Bynum off the ball to use their scoring abilities more often.
However, if a guy like 6'10" Earl Clark falls to No. 15, I think the Pistons need to pounce on him. Clark already possesses solid NBA size at 225 lbs, pure athleticism, and his center-esque length makes him unlike any other SF in this year's draft class. He can defend four out of the five positions on the floor and can play both the small and power forward on offense. The biggest knock on Clark seems to be that his jumper is inconsistent and ugly; both things that can definitely be worked on. Besides, Tayshaun Prince's lefty "cock and pause" shot has never been pretty to watch either, in my opinion. If Clark works to improve his shot's consistency, he has a patent fadeaway that is nearly impossible to defend due to his great wingspan which could become a lethal weapon to compliment his ability to make quick moves to the basket.
In the real draft, I really don't think Clark falls to the Pistons as I actually think he'll wind up being a Top 10 pick (where he has been projected to go before in past mock drafts); I just could not pass up on him if the first 14 picks go as they have here today.