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Draft Musings

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After a break from DBB, I'm back in the saddle. This off-season, though, I plan to reinforce my unsubstantiated assertions with references to unnamed sources. Let's muse.

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You know what's hard to find on ESPN.com? Basic information. Want to know what unnamed scout is saying about Tyreke Evans? ESPN is your resource. Want to know how the 1999 draft should have gone down? Once again, they've got it. Want to find out what time the draft starts? Have fun with that.

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Reading Pardeep's assessment of Ty Lawson, I initially thought we were all being a bit optimistic. I had simply assumed that he was in the lottery. Alas, it looks like Detroit will have the opportunity.

So, let me get this straight, we have a proven winner, an instant long range threat, and a player who can contribute right away. Oh, and he would be a perfect fit with our existing talent. Some have referred to Ty Lawson as the Danny Granger of this draft. That only happens if enough teams pass on him.

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Notice, I said "existing talent", not existing system. Our existing system favors efficient point guard play, great offensive rebounding, and lots of height in the front court. In other words, our success in this draft has as much to do with Michael Curry as it does with the talent we acquire.

If he is willing to go uptempo, that changes everything. If he wants to grind it out, Kwame style, we'll miss the playoffs, and he won't have a job at this time next year.

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To belabor that point a bit, this draft is notoriously weak, and notoriously rife with mediocre point guards and talented, but undersized big men. In other words, if someone could make use of undersized big men, they'd find themselves some real value in this draft.

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Speaking of ESPN.com, the Insider recently posted a fairly absurd piece, ostensibly ranking the best and worst GM's at drafting. Among the worst? Detroit's very own Jack McCloskey.

Alas, the system only ranks the last 20 years, even though it mentions McCloskey's seasons with Detroit, during which he drafted Isiah Thomas (2), Kelly Tripucka (12), Ricky Pierce (18), Tony Campbell (18), Spud Webb (87!), Joe Dumars (18), Dennis Rodman (27), John Salley (11).

At best, such an article proves that there is no correlation between the quality of the GM, and the quality of the draft picks. The best drafter of all time, by the ESPN standard? Isiah Thomas.

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I know the Second Round is difficult to project, but if it goes according to Chad Ford's plan, I'll be downright giddy.

DeMarre Carroll (projected 35th) had a great season with Missouri last year. Great scoring and rebounding numbers, and an improving outside range. Danny Green (projected 38th) seems to be Spellcheck with a bit more offensive potential. Sergio Llull (projected 49th) has a the coolest last name of anyone in the draft.

If the Pistons somehow snare Ty Lawson, and net Carroll and Green to boot, I think we will have added 3-5 wins via the draft alone.

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I'm not sure the potential Ben Gordon scenario changes anything, draft-wise. Picking up Gordon all but assures that Rip Hamilton moves elsewhere, so I don't think it should interfere with a talent-first draft mentality.

As it stands, the Pistons could use an upgrade at literally every position. Without Billups and Ben Wallace, the Pistons no longer have real stars, and therefore don't have "positional needs". The best bet is to increase the talent pool, by any means necessary.

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On a semi-related note, today marks the semi-official launch of Do North! Communications, my very own marketing, branding, and PR company. If you know of anyone in need of affordable and differentiating communications expertise, have them contact kevin at donorthcommunications dot com. I promise to be awesome.