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2013 NBA Draft: Joe Dumars fills need with Kentavious Caldwell-Pope

Instead of relying on a few choice quotes picked out by the beat writers, I've transcribed Joe Dumars post-draft press conference.


The Detroit Pistons surprised everybody by passing Michigan point guard Trey Burke in favor of under-the-radar shooting guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope out of the University of Georgia. Below you can view the entire post-pick press conference with Joe Dumars or if you don't want to watch a 10-minute video you can read the transcript below. I've highlighted some key passages.

Also, there will be a live streaming press conference at 1 p.m. on

Unofficial rush transcript

Joe Dumars: The pick of KCP if you had the privilege of seeing our roster board, we are basically desolate at the wing positions. It was just a major focus of ours going into this draft that we had to upgrade the wing athletic shooting. We just don't have enough of it.

Just don't have enough wing, long athletes, and so that was going to be a priority for us. We felt like in this particular draft that the two-guard spot especially was pretty deep in terms of this draft. And so we knew that at 8 we knew that one of those two guards would be there and so we focused on that early on in the process.

We are very happy to be able to fill that spot with Kentavious. And one other thing I would say is the one thing we really liked about him in particular was that this is a kid who plays both sides of the ball. A fierce defender and a 3-point shooter and a guy who can get out and fill the lanes. We just didn't feel like we had enough of that.

In today's game, when you look around there are a lot of 6-6, 6-7 athletes out there that are playing multiple positions so that was the thinking and the thought process behind KCP.

Question ....

Dumars: Absolutely. We knew going into the draft that if McLemore didn't go off the board at five there was an excellent chance he was going to be there at 7 or 8. Just because all the info we got from New Orleans is that with Eric Gordon being on their roster they probably weren't going to take a two guard.

So we knew once five hit and, who did Phoenix take, Alex Len? Alex Len. Once they took Alex Len we are going to get one of those guys at eight.


No. No. It's really about building a team and trying to fill needs. To put a good product on the floor. Trey is an excellent player. Someone that I know extremely well and am extremely close to, but we had specific needs that we had to fill and the draft really doesn't come down to a popularity contest. It comes down to teams trying to fill their needs.

So that's what we did tonight. That's the decision we made tonight. We were going to fill our needs. We understood that if Trey was on the board this was going to be a question that was asked. But I've had a lot of conversations with Trey long before the draft about this night and what could possibly happen and about this scenario.


When you look at our board, Wojo, there is not a name up there where we say "two-guard." We have Khris Middleton and we have Kyle Singler . We've got Stuck and Brandon who are more combo guards. But just in terms of wing athletes we certainly just don't have enough and it was a position we knew we had to fill.

And when you look at the game today you see more of the wing, athletic shooters then anything else and you have to have that and it was time for us to address that.


Yeah. He had to carry a huge load with his program down in Georgia. One thing we liked about him is that he knew he couldn't take any nights off with his team. And so he brought it every night. There was not one night where he wasn't out there trying to get it. And so for us, we watched every single one of his games and he never took one night off in terms of how hard he went and trying to get it.

He's just got a really, really high motor. And he's trying to get it, Perry. He's trying to get it every night. And that just jumped out to us. This guy's not taking nights off. He's trying to get it every night.


He's a super high-character guy. By the way, he did come into town the other night, Vince. I know somebody reported he didn't but he did. Yeah, he came in town two nights ago, three nights ago. He flew in and we had dinner with him in Birmingham. We spent a lot of time with him, came up here to the practice facility, spent a long time with him. A high character guy for sure, Vince.


No. You know what, once he didn't go. We had to wait and see what happened at five. And so five was, you know, you go into every draft and there is a number ahead of you where you know the draft is going to turn.

So for us, we're sitting there, 1,2,3,4, Bennett goes one, and it's like, oh, OK, wow, Bennett went one. But for us the only thing that mattered was five. So if McLemore didn't go five we knew at that particular time that McLemore and KCP are going to be on the board.


Yeah, that's what I'm saying. We like KCP a lot, man. It's not like you're going to trade up three spots when you know both of them are on the board. So that's just how it played out. That's just how it played out.


We felt that he was the best player. And we also felt that he was a need as well. Sometimes it comes together like that. It's a little bit like Drummond last year. We had a definite need. We didn't have that kind of big and he was the best talent on the board. Sometimes it comes together like that.

This is the first time in a while that you can't say that someone just fell to us. It was a deep draft at the two-guard spot. I don't know what's happening now, what's going on with the draft right now but there is going to be several more two guards that are going to go off in the first round. Guys that are going to score.

It was that draft. It wasn't one of these monster drafts. But in that particular position you were going to get a good player.


No. He puts it on the floor some. But what we like offensively about him is that, we saw it before we went to the pre-draft camp - his speed on the floor. But once he went to the pre-draft camp and he was the fastest, he and uh, I think Shane Larkin, were the two fastest there. And we're not trying to be the Raiders and just draft speed but we like the fact that this is somebody who can really get out and run and that can also spread the floor.

And so when you got tow bigs like Greg and Andre you've got to be able to spread the floor. The fact that he can spread the floor and get out on the break is really appealing to us.


It means that Brandon will probably still play both, David. It just that we needed to get more wing athletes here. And I can take it a step further and say that when we go into free agency we're still going to try and address that because you have to have multiple wing athletes in today's NBA.

You're not just going to have little guards and bigs and win. A lot of times you look out on the court now and people go small and the biggest guy out there might be your 6-9 guy. Well the rest of those guys better be able to get out and switch and get out and, if you saw the Finals, a lot of times in the Finals you got a lot of 6-7, 6-8 athletes that are getting up and down the court that can play.

Looking at our roster, we simply didn't have enough of that. We didn't go into the night and we were going to address that going forward now.


I've never had any backlash (laughing). Woj, I mean, Woj, I mean come on, man. I mean, you know how it works. I'm not sitting here fretting about that. Really, Wojo, if it was that much of an issue for me I would have just made the popular selection and walked out here and everybody would say, OK, you drafted Trey Burke. But that's not what you do.

When we were talking about this I said, well, Donnie Walsh did the same thing with Reggie Miller and, uh, what's his name? Steve Alford.

So what I'm saying is that you don't just sit there and make the popular pick because that's a 24-hour rush and then after that you still have to put your roster together. You still have to put a team together. So if I was worried about that I wouldn't' have done it.