The SBNation NBA family is conducting a mock draft with all site managers in the role of their team's GM. It's a fun chance for a no-holds trading action and high-upside selections without our jobs being on the line. The whole project was really fun, and you can go to Ridiculous Upside to see every pick (and all 1,400 trades).
When the No. 18 pick came up, Detroit Bad Boys had seen a lot of the top players fall off the board directly in front of them. From 10-17 Deyonta Davis, Timothe Luwawu, Jakob Poeltl, Skal Labissiere, Wade Baldwin, Henry Ellenson, Domantas Sabonis and Furkan Korkmaz all fell off the board.
That left us with two choices -- choose between our top two players in Cheick Diallo or Tyler Ulis or try and swing a trade. We went with the trade route because we felt like we got great value and also, hey, it's make believe and trades are fun.
The deal was a three-team trade where we sent out No. 18 and received pick Nos. 23, 39 and former Michigan Wolverine Trey Burke (ahem, TREY BURKE!). The Utah Jazz received Tyreke Evans and the New Orleans Pelicans received pick No. 18 (and selected Taurean Prince).
Stocking up on point guards might feel like a very Khan-y move, but it's no secret the Pistons want a better back up option than Steve Blake, especially after recently trading Spencer Dinwiddie to the Bulls.
By trading for hometown favorite Trey Burke and keeping a first round pick, this gives the Pistons the ability to have a small PG Death Match. No matter who rises to the top, these back up point guards will be better than what the Pistons had in 2015-2016. If Ulis is the pick at No. 18 (which we think he probably should be), then getting him at No. 23 with insurance is even better.
While we kept things pretty brief, we can expand a little bit in the friendly confines of our home site. Taking a flyer on Trey Burke is a low-risk move for a player who could reasonably be expected to perform adequately as the top reserve point guard on the team. He fell out of favor in Utah and probably won't be a starter, but even at his current production he's a decent backup.
Also, with Burke the team essentially controls its own destiny. In the era of crazy free agency we're about to hit that is important. Detroit will control his free agency and if they want him back he will be back. If they don't want him back they can cut him lose and move on.
As for Ulis, I've been driving the Tyler Ulis bandwagon for a while now, as I think he could end up being the top point guard in this draft (albeit in a weak point guard draft). He's hands down the best pick-and-roll player in college with a rare combination of ball-handling, penetrating, decision-making and shot-making.
He led the most elite offense in the country, had an insane assist-to-turnover ratio, was a quality shooter off the catch and off the dribble and can flat out find other players open shots by bending defenses to his will.
Essentially, he would be a top-3 pick if it wasn't for the fact that he's 5-foot-10 and 149 pounds. His lack of size means he'll likely always be a backup in the NBA and gives teams fears that all his prodigious skills won't translate when promoted to a league featuring bigger, stronger, faster players.
In this draft, I think overlooking Ulis' combination of skills and obvious talents would be a huge mistake, and if other teams are making that mistake, Detroit could use that to its gain.
What do you think, DBB? Did we do you proud?