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NBA Draft set up nicely for Pistons to find an impact player

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Detroit could find immediate contributor at position of greatest need in the draft this year.

Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

With the Detroit Pistons being officially eliminated from the playoffs, it's time to turn to that other fun part of being a fan of a bad team -- looking toward the upcoming NBA Draft.

The draft is always a crapshoot, but it's nice when your draft position aligns nicely with the talent on hand and the biggest holes on your roster. The Pistons barring some lottery luck, are pretty locked into the seventh or eighth spot, find themselves in that position this year.

That area of the draft nicely with when some of the top small forwards will be coming off the board, which is the position of greatest need in Detroit.

The Pistons could, of course, use contributors at any position, but there is a giant gaping wound at small forward that requires emergency surgery. The spot is currently being manned by Caron Butler and Tayshaun Prince, and it's unclear whether either will even suit up in the NBA next year. Luckily, seven is where the names like the offensively gifted Mario Hezonja, Stanley Johnson, the strong and athletic Arizona product, or the young and intriguing Kelly Oubre of Kansas will be called.

Of course, if the Pistons do land in the top three, they would happily take Karl-Anthony Towns, who would complement Andre Drummond perfectly, 20-and-10 big man Jahlil Okafor, 7-foot shooter Kristaps Porzingis, develop one of the young point guards or take defensive powerhouse small forward Justise Winslow.

If Detroit thinks it needs a stretch big instead to replace a possibly departing Greg Monroe then they'd be in the perfect position at seven, eight or nine to take a shot at Wisconsin big man Frank Kaminsky and reignite the "two centers" debate all over again.

The Pistons are poised to have a small war chest to address needs in free agency, and assuming the pick-and-roll duo of Reggie Jackson and Andre Drummond are locked in at point guard and center, respectively. It's obvious what the team needs to surround those players with -- at least two and maybe three long-range threats on the perimeter.

Stan Van Gundy only got middling results from the shooting guard position, but he seems to like the growth potential of Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Jodie Meeks is finally rediscovering the 3-point shot that largely abandoned him this year. In his past 20 games, he is shooting 40 percent from 3.

At power forward, Greg Monroe has shown to be a great partner with Andre Drummond, though that might have been truer with a more reliable 3-point threat at point guard than Reggie Jackson. Assuming Moose leaves (sniff), the Pistons need an impact big man, preferably with range, and a small forward who hopefully can be a rotation player right away and succeed at the perimeter.

This draft seems rich in just those type of players. Get excited.