Obviously, the best thing to do when in the aftermath of the NBA Draft is to assign grades based on personal opinions. It's the only perfect science for immediate post-draft analysis. Following this train of thought, let's have a look at how some of the media, both locally and nationally, rated the Detroit Pistons draft. Bear in mind that some outlets only graded the first round, while other graded the whole draft.
They gave the pick of Ellenson at No. 18 an A. Here's the reasoning:
After the draft got topsy-turvy, the Pistons landed a terrific value pick. Able to score on the block, put it on the deck and hit an open jumper, Ellenson was No. 6 on my Big Board and is one of the most offensively skilled bigs in the class. The Pistons need shooters around Andre Drummond, and Ellenson—also a good rebounder—seems tailor-made for what Stan Van Gundy likes to do. This was a no-brainer choice.
They also graded Ellenson an A.
Ellenson had lottery potential, so the Pistons nabbing him with the 18th pick could turn out to be a steal. He's big and he's skilled from the outside — an ideal fit for today's NBA. A nice addition to a frontcourt with Andre Drummond, Marcus Morris and Tobias Harris.
Meanwhile, they rated the pick of Gbinije at No. 49 a B.
If you can look past Gbinije's age (24) and focus on his athleticism and passing ability, he certainly has the talent to add some value on the wing for Detroit. It might not be right away, but his versatility is enough to give him a roster spot.
Bleacher Report graded the entire draft class, and gave the Pistons an A.
Here's what was said about Ellenson:
The Detroit Pistons have to be thanking their lucky stars, because Henry Ellenson is a perfect fit for their roster. Ellenson should be similarly happy, because the Pistons are one of the organizations able to maximize his strengths and minimize his weaknesses.
Next to Andre Drummond, his lack of athletic ability shouldn't be too prominent. Detroit won't ask him to muscle up in the paint or protect the rim on a regular basis, leaving the heavy lifting to his stronger frontcourt counterpart.
More importantly, the Pistons want shooting from every position to space the court around Drummond.
Don't be fooled by the one-and-done power forward's 28.8 percent shooting from deep at Marquette. His ability at the free-throw stripe and shooting form both bode well for his development, and he should eventually extend his range beyond the NBA's three-point arc.
And Michael Gbinije:
Can Michael Gbinije shoot?
Of course he can! He was drafted by the Pistons!
Often operating as a positionless player at Syracuse, he showed off his dizzying array of skills with the Orange. He'll likely settle in as a small forward in the NBA, but he can handle the responsibilities of multiple positions and serve as a secondary ball-handler for Detroit.
That said, it will take him some time to adjust to defense in the Association after working in Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim's vaunted zone schemes for three long years once he transferred from Duke.
Fox Sports was perhaps less kind, yet still gave the Pistons draft a B+:
The Pistons had no real needs in this draft (their biggest priority is developing their young, exciting core), so more power to them for going out and getting two players who eventually could be contributors on their roster.
Ellenson specifically could be a big get, as a versatile big man (with nice offensive game) off the bench. Considering he was projected as a late lottery pick, Detroit could have done a lot worse at No. 18.
Sam Vecenie had this to say about the two draft picks.
First, his reasoning for grading Ellenson at a B:
Ellenson is a really solid pickup for Detroit due to his ability to play two positions. The Pistons could use a backup center, and Ellenson could play 5 behind Drummond in some lineups. Also, we know how much Stan Van Gundy likes floor-spacing big men, and Ellenson could provide some of that in lineups surrounding Drummond. The defense is a question though.
He seemed to like Gbinije though, grading it an A-:
Gbinije is older and a good shooter, so he might be able to contribute sooner rather than later. He'll fit right into Detroit's offense under Stan Van Gundy.
I think it was pretty clear that I was firmly in the Thon Maker camp, so when he surprisingly went off the board at No. 10, it threw all my plans into disarray. I had two guys I hoped the Pistons would avoid in Domantas Sabonis and Denzel Valentine, so I was praying they'd be gone by No. 18, and they were. During the mid teens, with the flurry of international confusion (Kangz gonna Kangz), I was exceptionally hopeful Baldwin would fall to No. 18, only to be dashed one spot earlier. Besides that, by the time we got to the Pistons pick, the only other guy I was really interested in was Timothe Luwawu (no idea where the Cabarrot part came from).
I like the Ellenson pick. It seems to be a combination of BPA and fit given the situation. His shooting stroke and free throw numbers suggest he can be a better shooter than the 28.8% mark he posted in college. As a face up big with a decent mid range game already, he's a theoretical fit next to Drummond in potential lineups. However, the crazy thing is that Ellenson was born in NINETEEN NINETY SEVEN. He's not ready to contribute. He'll probably get 10-15 mins a game behind Tobias Harris, Marcus Morris and whoever we sign in free agency to back up the 4 spot. He'll get a fair few DNP-CDs, as well as some D-League assignments. This was a pick for the future.
Gbinije, on the other hand, is 4.5 years older than Ellenson at 24, already older than most of the Pistons core. Once Caris LeVert went off the board at 20, my entire second round plans went to dust. The absolute tease of Demetrius Jackson nearly falling to 49 would have been too much if the Pistons had passed on him. I liked Kay Felder, and SVG said on radio that he was the next guy on the board (per Rod Beard on Twitter), but I understand not picking him.
Again, I quite like the Gbinije pick. Essentially, he's a second round version of Denzel Valentine. He's a big wing at 6'7" with point guard skills, but with the added benefit of being someone who can defend PG, SG and SF due to his size. He should be very mature compared to most rookies, and he is also a decent shooter, hitting 39 percent of his threes in his final year at Syracuse, and 46 percent of his shots overall. Gbinije can effectively serve as a backup point guard or swingman, and he brings the versatility Van Gundy likes in his wing players.
Overall Grade: A-
Grade Per Pick: Ellenson A, Gbinije B+
How did you rate our draft class as a whole? Vote in the poll and leave your opinions below.