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2016 NBA Draft: Chad Ford acting as Pistons GM picks Thon Maker

We might not always see eye to eye with ESPN's Ford here at DBB, but this one's interesting.

Roberto Serra/Iguana Press/Getty Images

After Chad Ford  panned the Pistons pick of Stanley Johnson last year, many of us were less than pleased with the ESPN writer. So it was with more than a fair bit of cynicism that I checked out his latest Mock Draft, this one where he picks as if he were each teams GM and decides which player each team should take. (Sorry, ESPN Insider only)

Here are his rules:

1. At each slot, I make a pick in the best interest of only the team with the pick. I won't pass on a player at No. 4 just because I like the team fit better at No. 5.

2. No trades unless they're already completed.

3. Team needs are taken into account, but value can and often will supersede need. If there's clearly a best player available on the board, I won't pass on him just to fill a need.

4. I'm not reporting or predicting who will go where. This is my opinion about what should happen -- not what will happen.

After picking many of the expected guys (Ben Simmons #1, Brandon Ingram #2), he pretty much surprised the hell out of me by picking Thon Maker, the "mystery man" at #18 for the Detroit Pistons:

Detroit Pistons

Needs: PF, backup PG

No. 18: Thon Maker, PF/C, Australia

The Pistons traded for Tobias Harris at the trade deadline to be the team's stretch-4. Marcus Morris is there, too, so that gives them the luxury to swing for the fences with Maker.

They have time to develop him, and if he hits in a couple of years, they just landed the perfect frontcourt mate to Andre Drummond.

Taking calculated risks at this point in the draft is what really good teams do.

Pretty solid logic from Mr. Ford, I hate to admit. It does indeed make sense in many ways for the Pistons to take a calculated risk at #18, and in some senses not go for the solid singles (as Stan has advocated in recent off season moves) but instead swing for the fences.

What do you all think? Does this pick make sense, can you get behind Ford on this one?