I admit I started looking at 2017 NBA Mock Drafts at least 2-3 weeks ago, but have started to dig in in earnest over the last week once it became clear the playoffs were finally out of reach. This time on DBB on 3 we asked our writers to give us early impressions on draft picks that look to be in our general draft pick area but also talked #1 pick and what it might take to get there.
1: Which player would you see as your pick in the 2017 Draft if we fall into the 10-13 range?
Justin Lambregtse: I would love to grab Malik Monk, but I'm not sure if he will fall to the 10-13 range. If not, whatever point guard happens to fall to that range.
Steve Hinson: With the Pistons' question marks at point guard, it seems that whichever one of the top five guys falls will be the Pistons' pick. Frank Ntilikina seems to be the most natural fit there, but each one of the other two who are most likely (De'Aaron Fox and Dennis Smith) also have some compelling traits. I'd be satisfied with any of them. I’d like to see some more of Zach Collins, but I really like Ike Anigbogu - he’s passed up Bam Adebayo as my favorite big man prospect in the draft.
Ryan Pravato (Prava88): I'd strongly consider Bridges or Ntilikina (call him 'small tank Frank'?). Bam Adebayo or TJ Leaf are looking like legit players and future starters. I'd stay away from Isaac - seems like a big risk there. Giles also scares me for obvious reasons. I've been saying for some time that Detroit needs to pick the best player available, even if they are a center or stretch four.
Lazarus Jackson: The player I keep coming back to is Justin Jackson, the wing from UNC. He offers a nice balance of "could contribute right away" and "still has room to grow," and is strong in an area the Pistons are weak in (perimeter shooting). I am, of course, biased, because aside from Miles Bridges (who went to my alma mater), Jackson is the lottery prospect I have visually watched the most of this season.
Jacob Kuyvenhoven: It's hard not to get too optimistic with who will be available at that range. DraftExpress has picks 10-13 as Frank Ntilikina, Miles Bridges, Justin Jackson and Jarrett Allen. I personally have Bridges as the best of that bunch, but I could also talk myself into Ntilikina as a potential long-term answer at point guard.
Kevin Sawyer: I think Miles Bridges makes a lot of sense. His rebounding numbers are solid and he was efficient from three on a lot of attempts. I don't think any of the quality PGs are going to fall, but I have a bad feeling De'Aaron Fox will after the luster of his Sweet 16 performance wears off. Considering he provides neither shooting nor exceptional point guard skills, he's the perfect replacement for Reggie Jackson.
Gabriel Frye-Behar: I'll add Jonathan Isaac to the list (he's the 9th pick on Draftexpress now). I'd be fine with any of: Isaac, Bridges and Ntilikina. I'll have to take a closer look, but I'm not a fan of how Monk projects to the NBA, and not crazy about Justin Jackson either.
Ken Wallace (revken): If we pick 10-13, I'd hope we can pick a guy like Frank Ntilikina or Malik Monk. If they are not available, I'd give both Miles Bridges and Justin Jackson a long look.
Jamie Delaney: I think our backcourt depth could use some much-needed help. I too would love to see Malik Monk fall a few more spots but that seems like a long shot at this point. My first two picks would be guys like Justin Jackson and Jayson Tatum, whom I believe will still be there at #10 because KANGS. Also, It might be a few spots too high, but give me some Luke Kennard 3 balls in a lineup with #TeamHenny and I'll be happy.
2: If there were a chance to convince a team to trade us the #1 pick who would you consider moving player-wise in order to get that done?
Justin Lambregtse: I would trade Andre Drummond for the number 1 pick mainly because that is the only player I could see giving us a chance at the number 1 pick. Plus, we will get cap room from moving his contract.
Steve Hinson: I’m not typically a fan of trading a known quantity for a lottery ticket, but this is a different situation. With the Pistons young core looking to have stalled in their development and a very good top of the draft, I'd be willing to move anyone for the top pick - yes, including Andre Drummond and yes, straight up.
Ryan Pravato (Prava88): Andre and then an addition of Ellenson, Harris or Morris would likely be needed to get a first overall pick in this type of draft.
Lazarus Jackson: I am a proponent of "Never trade big for small." With the best players in this draft all being guards and wings, I would not trade Andre Drummond for the No. 1 pick - but it's closer than it used to be, and Andre is the only piece I wouldn't move for the No. 1 pick. That said, the Pistons don't have the juice to make a trade for the No. 1 pick anyway, and anyone who tells you otherwise is either implicitly or explicitly lying to you.
Jacob Kuyvenhoven: The #1 pick is one of the most valuable assets in the league and I'm not sure people quite comprehend that. I would trade any player on the roster straight up for that pick without question, and would probably combine several of our best players for it if needed as well. But that pick is not getting traded. Kevin Love for the #1 pick was a fair trade, and Love was a top 10 player in the league at the time.
Kevin Sawyer: Anyone but Drummond, certainly, but that's a pipe dream. Drummond is too valuable to trade for any draft pick in a bubble, but if it's part of a real housecleaning I'd at least be intrigued... So long as the pick is Lonzo Ball
Gabriel Frye-Behar: Yep - would have to be Dre at the center of any trade for #1 pick. Would definitely consider it and would probably do it.
Ken Wallace (revken): I think we'd have to move Drummond to get the #1 pick. I'm not saying we should do that, but I can't see that anyone else we can offer is sufficient.
Jamie Delaney: Anyone besides Tobias Harris. Maybe even my first-born son?
3: If we did secure the # 1 pick in the draft who would you select?
Justin Lambregtse: If we get the number 1 pick it would be a no-brainer pick for me and that would be Markelle Fultz. He is one of my favorite draft prospects I have ever seen.
Steve Hinson: Markelle Fultz. He's not a perfect point guard prospect, but he's the best we've seen since Kyrie Irving. Fultz has the type of superstar potential that makes a top pick actually worth coveting. And the other logical candidate, Lonzo Ball, wouldn't likely work for a team with a traditionally slower pace like the Pistons.
Ryan Pravato (Prava88): Selecting at number one I'd go with Josh Jackson or De'Aaron Fox. Can't disagree with Fultz either. I'd be down with pretty much anyone besides Lonzo Ball / his dad.
Lazarus Jackson: Markelle Fultz is as close to a sure thing as you can get in the draft. Big enough to play either guard position, skilled ballhandler who can get into the lane and create his own shot, 40 percent shooter from three (in college, to be fair), and the wingspan and athleticism to be a difference-maker defensively. That's a no-brainer pick - and God help us all if he ends up in Boston, with that coaching staff and that collection of talent around him.
Jacob Kuyvenhoven: Markelle Fultz has almost everything I look for in a future All-Star (or even All-NBA) point guard. The lack of team success is a bit of a red flag, but not as big a red flag as all the other guys have. He is my clear #1 prospect going into the draft, and he plays arguably the Pistons' biggest position of need, so pretty easy choice.
Kevin Sawyer: See above. In the stats that most closely correlate to NBA success, Rebounds/Assists/2PFG%, Ball is good/great/video-game. And he has range and plays the position exceedingly well. Why is this a question?
Gabriel Frye-Behar: Lonzo Ball, in a heartbeat. Ball's only weakness as a prospect is he was a relatively low volume scorer for a major NBA prospect, which counterintuitively can be a red flag for PG prospects. But everything else in his game is elite and at a level most players will never touch. Fultz does not look like a sure thing IMO - I especially don't like the combo of 50% on 2pt FGA's and the 65% on FT's, makes me question his finishing ability and shooting stroke (for comparison, Kyrie was 57% on 2's and 90% on FT's in his freshman season).
Ken Wallace (revken): I think it's a toss-up between Markelle Fultz and Josh Jackson as the top pick.
Jamie Delaney: Markelle Fultz is an absolute no brainer, and would make the unload of Reggie, Stanley, my first born son, and future picks that much more palatable. Lonzo Ball, and by proxy Lavar, present too many headaches for teams not located in Los Angeles, New York, or Miami. You think a father who's branding all of his sons basketball futures is going to settle for them to build their career in places like Detroit, Minnesota or Sacramento? Nah fam.
What are your thoughts? Please play along, give us your answers to questions 1-3 in the comments below.