The Detroit Pistons must wait until the NBA draft lottery on Tuesday, May 20 to find out what draft pick -- if any (gulp!) -- they'll have in the NBA draft on June 6. Representing the Pistons at ABC's Time Square Studio in New York for the event will be third-year forward Kyle Singler.
As PistonPowered points out, Singler's presence instead of Kentavious Caldwell-Pope will break a recent tradition of sending the previous year's lottery pick. Ever since Joe Dumars represented the Pistons in 2010, Greg Monroe repped the Pistons in 2011, followed by Brandon Knight in 2012 and and Andre Drummond last year.
Update: Regarding why KCP isn't representing the Pistons this year, I received confirmation from the team that the whole "last year's pick representing the team" trend was never a planned tradition but simply how it worked out with players' schedules in the past. So any conspiracy theories about why he's not representing the Pistons this year (and if that implies anything about his future with the team) can be put to rest.
In an interview with the Ashland Mail Tribune in his home state of Oregon, Singler accidentally revealed he doesn't really know how the lottery works (emphasis mine):
"I would say I'm a fairly lucky guy," he said. "I don't want to tell what my lucky charm is but I've had lucky moments. Do I think we'll get the No. 1 pick, I doubt it, but I would like to see us move up from what we are expected to get (No. 8). If we at least move up one spot, I feel deep down that I've done my job. But if we move back, it's not my fault and I'll point the finger somewhere else."
The Pistons can't move up one spot: they're either picking eighth, third, second or first overall. If any of the six teams behind the Pistons move into one of the top three spots, the Pistons will be bumped back and subsequently lose their top-8 protected first-round pick to the Charlotte Hornets thanks to the Ben Gordon trade two summers ago. Here are the odds for each slot the Pistons could get:
|Draft Pick||Percent Chance|
In other words, the Pistons have a 10 percent chance of moving up, a 72.4 percent chance of staying put and a 17.6 percent chance of losing it altogether. If the Pistons keep their pick this year, the pick is only top-1 protected next summer.
Singler's presence will be a tad ironic considering one of the Pistons' top priorities in this year's draft should be to improve at the small forward position. But Singler, who turned 26 last week, has already exceeded expectations since arriving in the NBA, playing all 82 games while averaging 28.2 minutes in his first two years. He sounds up to the challenge to continue fighting for a spot next year.
"It's tough competition, to keep your job is very tough and you always have to be on your toes and put your best foot forward to perform and do well," he said. "There's always pressure in that aspect, but you've got to learn how to deal with it."
Singler was also asked about the effect losing more games in his first two years in the NBA than he did his entire high school and college career combined has had. "It hasn't hit me like a ton of bricks but it's chipped away at me," he said.
"It does leave an edge inside of you. No one likes to lose as many games as the Detroit Pistons have lost but, at the same time, it's something I haven't dwelled on because if you do you'll get down or depressed and that's no good. I've always tried to see the positive in each season and my family has been a great support system for me."
Now your thoughts.