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NBA draft Pistons prospect breakdown: Frank Kaminsky

There was serious interest a while ago for the sweet shooting center. Is it still there?

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

A little while ago, people were clamouring around the message boards for the Pistons to take Frank Kaminsky with the 8th overall pick. However, due to the rise of prospects like Kristaps Porzingis, Justise Winslow, Mario Hezonja, Stanley Johnson and Devin Booker, Frank the Tank (or Moose if you prefer, which I don't) has slipped down the projection board. He's gotten to a point where some think he could go as low as 17th, although there's late diversionary smoke from New York that they're seriously considering him at number 4. Please.

Physical Stats

Kaminsky was the tallest player measured at the combine, both with and without shoes. He stands an impressive 6'11.75" barefoot, and 7'0.75" with shoes. However, that's about where the athletic positives end for Kaminsky. He has the classic case of alligator arm syndrome, meaning his wingspan is shorter than his height. However, that's usually when the player's wingspan is shorter than their in-shoes height. Kaminsky's is shorter than his barefoot height. His arms measure in at 6'11", greatly limiting his defensive potential due to his standing reach only being 9'1.5", which is low for a center of that height. For comparison, Willie Cauley-Stein has a standing reach of 9'3" and Montrezl Harrell has a standing reach of 9'1", despite being nearly 5 inches shorter. Also, Kaminsky isn't the strongest man around at 231 pounds, so he'll have trouble holding position in the post.

Style of Play

The team that drafts Frank Kaminsky will do so knowing that 95% of his positive production will be on the offensive end of the floor. Quite simply, he doesn't have the skill set of the average seven footer, using an array of deft post moves and a clean jump shot to antagonize his matchup, although unfortunately his ability to defend the same being done to him will be limited. Kaminsky has a smooth stroke, as shown by his 42% mark from downtown in his senior season. However, his career 37% mark from downtown indicates that this is something he has added to his game over his college career, as his downtown percentage gradually improved every year. Frank attributed his smooth shot to the fact that he used to be a guard before outgrowing the position.

Frank is also a decent rebounder, although this could be due to the fact that he was simply taller than most during his college career. He pulled down just under 10 boards per 40 minutes his senior season, but may have difficulty rebounding at the next level due to his slight, gangling frame. He does have a defensive rebound rate of 20.5% for his Wisconsin career, perhaps indicating a good fundamental base for boxing out, but a lot of guys will simply overpower him.

Kaminsky, like Dekker, contributes most of his win shares on the offensive end, supplying a mammoth 6.9 OWS his senior season at Wisconsin. He also contributed 2.9 DWS, more than guys like Stanley Johnson and Justise Winslow, but we can attribute this to the fact that he was a very good shot blocker at the collegiate level, squashing 1.5 shots per game his senior season. Again, he'll likely have trouble maintaining his block rates at the next level, as guys are longer and more athletic than at the college level. I'd expect him to mainly function as a power forward or small ball center in his early NBA years.


Due to the presence of guys like Ersan Ilyasova and Anthony Tolliver on the roster, Kaminsky would likely find playing time hard to come by early on. His best fit is likely a playoff team with space on their roster for a backup power forward who can just come in and hit shots. He might not be best for Detroit's developmental timeline, due to the fact that he's already 22, older than guys like KCP and Andre Drummond and with a perhaps lower ceiling than other prospects in the draft.