ESPN has released the 2.0 version of its NBA mock draft, and with the 13th pick, the Detroit Pistons are tabbed to select Damian Jones out of Vanderbilt. The Sixers picked Ben Simmons first overall with Skal Labissiere, Brandon Ingram and Dragan Bender going to the Lakers, Pelicans and Celtics (via Nets), respectively.
Jones, a junior, is viewed as quality big-man depth for the top-heavy Detroit Pistons. Jones doesn't necessarily fit the profile of the kind of player president Stan Van Gundy has added to the pistons to fit around stars Andre Drummond and Reggie Jackson -- he doesn't have an offensive game and is instead an energy, rebounding, shot-blocking force.
Instead of a complement to Drummond, then, Jones, with a 7-foot-2 wingspan, is viewed as more of a mini-Drummond who could spell him for stretches on the floor.
Chad Ford (ESPN Insider) writes:
The Pistons have one superstar in Andre Drummond but are still trying to figure out the right pieces to put around him. Reggie Jackson is off to a strong start and the Pistons are bullish on the futures of Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Stanley Johnson. None of them looks like a star right now, though, and at this point in the draft there aren't any real stars to be had.
Still, Jones would add depth behind Drummond at center and Ilyasova at power forward. There's not a lot of skill to Jones' game, but he's athletic and can finish above the rim.
Considering age and skillset, color me not-too-impressed with this supposed move from Detroit (granted, it's early, it's one guy's opinion not based on anyone connected to the team, I know nothing about college basketball, etc.).
Other players that might interest Detroit (based on my arbitrary estimation) and where they fell:
Henry Ellenson (No. 7 to Portland), Furkan Korkmaz (No. 9 to Minnesota), Caris LeVert (No. 16 to Utah), Timothe Luwawu (No. 17 to Memphis), Wade Baldwin IV (No. 19 to Chicago).
Also, take note. Remember how much you were probably excited to read about a Pistons mock draft at this time almost exactly a year ago (pre-dating the Josh Smith release), and think about how much you probably don't care that much right now. This team is competitive and we have better things to think about than six-month premature mock drafts. Rejoice.