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DBB on 3: The 2017 NBA Draft

It’s been quite the week leading up to the NBA Draft. Let’s see what our writers think is still in store.

Quite the hive of activity the NBA has been this week leading up to the 2017 NBA Draft: draft pick swaps, player/pick trade combos, and rumors of more action to come. Oh and there’s the Draft itself too. Yeah that thing.

We asked our writers their opinions on who the Pistons should pick with their number 12 spot and also if they see any possibility of the rumors of Detroit trading its pick for a veteran player coming true. Enjoy.

1. Which player - one that realistically should be available at number 12 - would you want the Pistons to draft and why?

Ben Quagliata: First and foremost, I’m still on the Luke Kennard train. I think his offensive versatility is exactly what this stumbling offense needs, and with a (hopefully) healthy Reggie back to 2015-16 form, he can be a deadly option both on catch and shoot and secondary action. I have also really grown to like Donovan Mitchell the last week or so, especially after his workout and interview in Detroit. He isn’t the shooter Kennard is, but he’s uber athletic with a monster wingspan, and he wants to defend, a trait that’s rare nowadays.

Kevin Sawyer: John Collins. Are we really disregarding the fact he absolutely killed it last season because of measurements? If we pass him up in favor of great outside shooting, I can live with it, but he's a top five talent and you don't pass that up at the 12.

Steve Hinson: Zach Collins seems to be hanging out at the 10-13 range in most mocks and if he's there, that's a no-brainer. This guy had absurd production at Gonzaga. 23 points per 40 minutes on 72 percent true shooting percentage, 13 rebounds, and 4 blocks - plus his skillset is very well suited to the next level. The only minus on him was being turnover prone, which isn't out of line for a freshman with a 25 percent usage percentage. Collins has star potential.

Justin Lambregtse: I want either Kennard or Mitchell equally, but I will go with Kennard because he is the best shooter and he Pistons need shooting.

Jacob Kuyvenhoven: I'll predict that the pick will be a wing because of the Pistons' glut of big men and no good point guard prospects likely available. In that case I'd much rather take someone with ridiculous defensive tools and develop them (like Donovan Mitchell or OG Anunoby) than reach for a higher-level scorer or shooter. I don't expect whoever we draft at 12 to be an integral part of the rotation regardless of how 'ready' they are, so may as well grab someone who could become an elite role player if their shot comes along.

Ryan Pravato: At first I really felt that sharpshooter Kennard was the one for Detroit, and while I wouldn't begrudge him on our dear team, I do think that either Zach Collins or Donovan Mitchell offer the most upside at 12. Also, I have nightmares about the uber-athletic Terrance Ferguson becoming an outstanding player and in those dreams I feel shameful he slipped so far. If I had any courage I'd say Ferguson. So, I'll go ahead with Zach Collins. He'll have 100 percent of the fan-base saying why are we wasting our time with Drummond.

Sean Corp: I'm a Zach Collins guy. His game should translate extremely well to the next level, and he looks like he will be a plus player on both ends of the floor with defensive versatility to boot. Can't ask for more than that at No. 12. Score inside and out, rebound, protect the rim, defend in space, guard multiple positions. I don't see another prospect that checks all of those boxes.

Lazarus Jackson: I remain the lone Justin Jackson voice in the darkness, enamored with his shooting ability and potential defensive application in the future. In this draft, at this spot, I prefer a high floor kind of player, and Jackson fits that need perfectly.

Kenneth Wallace: Zach Collins should realistically be available at number 12, and if he is I think we should pick him. He shows a lot of promise as a possible All-Star caliber scorer and defender. While our roster is loaded with bigs, I think he can be our third center in 2017-18. Passing on a guy with his potential simply because he doesn't meet our greatest immediate need would be a mistake.

Gabriel Frye-Behar: Zach Collins. His numbers are eye-popping. There's a solid chance he ends up one of the very best players from this draft, and his versatile offensive game, and his solid defensive stats (4 blocks per 40!) would allow the Pistons a lot of flexibility going forward.

2. Which player - one that realistically shouldn't be available at number 12 but might fall - would you want the Pistons to draft and why?

Ben Quagliata: It would be De’Aaron Fox, but seeing as him “falling” would be the sixth pick, I’ll go in a similar vein and say Dennis Smith Jr. He has, I feel, the best star potential in the draft outside of the top 2-3, and if he’s there at number 12 (highly unlikely), he should be the pick without hesitation. Athletic freak, decent shooter, although picking him would indicate a shake up in the rotation, probably with a Reggie trade of some sort.

Kevin Sawyer: I could see an extreme scenario where the Lakers pass on Lonzo Ball and he tumbles past a few dullard GMs, but he isn't getting past the Mavericks. Jonathan Isaac is really interesting to me. He could absolutely be a bust (especially at the four) but he put up some great rebounding numbers for a guy who hung out on the perimeter, which suggests he is one of 4-5 players in this draft with star potential. Otherwise, drafting Zach Collins could be a nice win now move (in spite of his age). Either way, it means the Pistons have to embrace a bigger lineup, which they should do anyway.

Steve Hinson: There's been a Kentucky one-and-done shooting guard each of the past two years for the draft, Devin Booker and Jamal Murray. Both are off to nice starts for their NBA careers. Malik Monk has looked better than either in his one season at Kentucky. He's not far off the Pistons' range and if for whatever reason he manages to fall to the 12 pick, the Pistons would be in line for the most dangerous scorer in the draft other than Markelle Fultz.

Justin Lambregtse: Malik Monk. He is my favorite player in this draft besides Markelle Fultz. He can shoot and I like guys that can shoot.

Jacob Kuyvenhoven: It starts and ends with Dennis Smith Jr. for me. I think he's much closer to the number three prospect in the draft than the number nine prospect as he is currently rated by DraftExpress. His season was disappointing but doesn't change that he has pretty much everything you need to be an All-NBA level point guard, and his shooting and explosive first step would make him a dark horse for Rookie of the Year if a team gave him the reigns. The Pistons' biggest need is either an upgrade over Reggie Jackson or Reggie Jackson to return to health, so if a point guard prospect of this caliber is available you run the pick to the podium.

Ryan Pravato: Dennis Smith Jr. He just may turn out to be one of those big time players. Let's hope those in front of Detroit aren't that infatuated with him.

Sean Corp: Two names come to mind, though I don't think either will really be available. Dennis Smith Jr. as the point guard that everyone is pining for, and Lauri Markkanen who might be the most lethal offensive big man in this draft.

Lazarus Jackson: Zach Collins. He'd spend his first years stuck behind Andre and Boban or battling Jon Leuer and Henry Ellenson for minutes out-of-position (he's a center, IMO), but the combination of youth and talent is hard to deny from him.

Kenneth Wallace: Dennis Smith could conceivably fall to number 12. If he does, I think his potential to be our PG of the future is too great to let him slide any further.

Gabriel Frye-Behar: Zach Collins. I think he's a really, really good prospect. I guess if I had to say someone else, Jonathan Isaac. Isaac is an excellent prospect in his own right, possibly a little more versatile defensively, with still solid offensive stats. SVG gets either of them and I'll be a happy camper.

3. What percentage chance do you give of the number 12 pick being traded for a veteran player? If the trade did go through what player would make it worthwhile?

Ben Quagliata: I give it a 20-30 percent chance of being traded, because I don’t think SVG is completely sold on this team being a long term contender (I wouldn’t be anyway). I doubt SVG would want to mortgage the future for some mirage that isn’t happening. That being said, SVG is notorious with young players and playing time, so he may want a more experienced option. I don’t know any names off the top of my head though in that decent-starter range that I could suggest.

Kevin Sawyer: If we include the possibility of also swapping picks, about 6.54 percent. If there is a league average player or better who can over shoot 38 percent from three, I'm down, but I'm not sure we'd get that much. There should be value at the 12, and the chance to sign a player to a four year, $10 million contract has a lot of value, so I'd be inclined to hold.

Steve Hinson: Slim, let's say 15 percent. Last year when the Pistons moved their pick for Donatas Motiejunas at the trade deadline before changing their minds, there was a clear gap. This year the team doesn't have that same glaring hole in their rotation. The only way the pick gets moved in my opinion is to upgrade a current rotation player, which certainly wouldn’t be the worst idea either.

Justin Lambregtse: I don't really see the pick getting traded unless it is for a Paul George deal. That would be extremely risky due to him likely being a rental, but I would be for it anyways.

Jacob Kuyvenhoven: 5 or 10 percent maybe? The Pistons are over the cap so they'd need to attach salary to the 12th pick to really get anyone, and I can't say there's any obvious trade candidates on the team except centers, who are exceptionally hard to trade in the current NBA landscape. Maybe another team looking to get rid of a center would trade their center for Boban and the 12th pick?

Ryan Pravato: 1 percent. I've mentioned before on DBB that I see at least a couple of these projected mid to late first round guys being studs, so it's up to the brain power in Detroit's front office to draft one of those guys, and while that's not exactly a piece of cake, I don't see this team being any good any time soon. I'd rather see a young player here than an overpaid guy that likely won't move the needle much anyway.

Sean Corp: If it's truly just trading a pick for a veteran than I hope and pray that the number is zero percent. If Detroit trades a lottery pick I'd rather it be for something that doesn't nibble around the edges of the roster. Trading a pick needs to accompany trading something like Tobias, Andre or Reggie and seriously altering the direction of the franchise. That being said, I'd put that at 0.5 percent.

Lazarus Jackson: Maybe 15 percent? I struggle with the question of what kind of reasonable veteran return you could find for the pick by itself, but if you start adding pieces, like Reggie Jackson or Tobias Harris, then the level of possible return increases dramatically.

Kenneth Wallace: I think there is about a 20 percent chance of us trading number 12. A worthwhile acquisition would be a wing who can shoot the three - a guy like Denver's Will Barton, who averaged 13.7 points per game, 3.4 assists per game, and shot 37 percent from three.

Gabriel Frye-Behar: Trading the pick for just a decent NBA vet doesn't make a lot of sense to me, as it doesn't deal with any of the Pistons core issues and just adds another expense. If it's part of a larger package to reshape the team, I'm very much interested. Particularly if it (very improbably, but I can dream!) somehow leads to Jimmy Butler. I think he's still severely underrated, and is the one guy who might be available who could radically improve the Pistons chance of competing for a championship.


What do you all think?

Please feel free to copy/paste the questions and let fly with your answers below.

1. Which player - one that realistically should be available at number 12 - would you want the Pistons to draft and why?

2. Which player - one that realistically shouldn't be available at number 12 but might fall - would you want the Pistons to draft and why?

3. What percentage chance do you give of the number 12 pick being traded for a veteran player? If the trade did go through what player would make it worthwhile?