- The Detroit Pistons have a major workout in Detroit on Monday as the team tries to figure out who should be the No. 9 pick in the draft. The Pistons are clearly looking for a big at No. 9 and have brought in all the guys who might be available to them at that spot. Illinois' Meyers Leonard, North Carolina's Tyler Zeller, North Carolina's John Henson, Ohio State's Jared Sullinger, Baylor's Perry Jones and Kentucky's Terrence Jones are among those scheduled to go head-to-head in that workout.
Right now, sources say Leonard and Henson are the two leading candidates in the group. Sullinger has slid on the Pistons' draft board since the team saw his draft combine physical. Mississippi State's Arnett Moultrie is also in the running for the No. 9 pick; however, he's more of a long shot. He worked out earlier with the Pistons.
The winner of the workout could very well be the ninth pick if UConn big man Andre Drummond doesn't fall to Detroit.
The Pistons are hoping Drummond does fall, and there are scenarios where they could get their wish. Right now it doesn't look like Drummond has a home inside the top five. Sources say he's struggled in workouts and hasn't gotten strong feedback from teams. The Blazers are a real possibility at six. However, the team is also considering Weber State's Damian Lillard and Syracuse's Dion Waiters at six.No other player in this draft has divided opinions the way Drummond has.
The Warriors are another potential destination for Drummond. However, he hasn't worked out there, and Warriors owner Joe Lacob has been pushing for the team to draft players with great motors. Drummond, unfortunately, lacks that.
If the Blazers and Warriors pass on Drummond, there's a really good chance he slides past the Raptors and gets to Detroit.
Even after all that, there's no guarantee that the Pistons would draft him. They too have questions about his maturity and toughness. UConn head coach Jim Calhoun's comment to Andy Katz on Thursday that "three or four years down the road you'll see Andre's incredible potential" scares them to death.
Three to four years of development time is an eternity for an NBA lottery pick. After several years of mediocrity, the Pistons really want to make a push for the playoffs now.
For Sullinger fans this isn't good news, however, the fact that it is only after their organizations examined his physical, I think it means they have valid concerns.
Another thing to note within the same article is that Ford writes that the Rockets have already turned down one team's offer of a top-10 pick for their two mid-first-round selections. Earlier, I noted that perhaps the Pistons could try and trade the No. 9 to the Rockets. There is no saying whether or not the rebuffed team was Detroit but it does let us know that the Rockets are more interested in a top-5 pick.