The Detroit Pistons are fighting for a playoff spot, but if the team falls just short it will have a bevvy of wing prospects to choose from in the lower lottery, according to ESPN's NBA Draft lottery simulator which was released today.
The simulator has the Pistons selecting elite-scoring international prospect Mario Hezonja with the tenth pick in the NBA Draft. Assuming that Hezonja is off the board the Pistons would select Arizona small forward Stanley Johnson. Other wing prospects in the latter half of the lottery include Kelly Oubre of Kansas (selected just before Detroit) and Justise Winslow of Duke.
Of Hezonja, ESPN NBA draft guru Chad Ford writes:
A good athlete with a high basketball IQ and a ton of confidence, Hezonja can score from anywhere on the floor. Scouts have concerns about his selfishness and inconsistent effort on defense, but he is having a breakout year in Spain, putting him in the mix with Oubre, Johnson and Winslow for first wing off the board.
Of Johnson, Ford writes:
Johnson has an NBA body and plays with a toughness and motor that make him fun to watch. His jump shot has improved as a freshman, but his skill set -- especially his ballhandling -- is a bit behind his physical tools and he isn't an elite athlete. Still, you're not going to find a more aggressive player who's willing to take over a game.
If the Pistons were to get a little lottery luck, Ford currently has Jahlil Okafor as the consensus No. 1 pick of every team in the lottery (as best I could tell). I was never able to hit No. 2 but at No. 3 Ford has the Pistons selecting Ohio State point guard D'Angelo Russell ahead of the until recently more touted Emmanuel Mudiay.
At the bottom of the mock draft (where the Pistons might find themselves if they keep winning but don't make the playoffs), Ford has Kentucky sharpshooter Devin Booker and senior(!) point guard Jerian Grant out of Notre Dame.
Watch the Draft Express video scouting report on Mario Hezonja from June 2014 to find out more:
DraftExpress also did a preseason scouting video on Stanley Johnson and has some intriguing videos on individual matchups during the season. See the scouting report video: