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NBA Draft 2017: Nearly forgotten Pistons prospects still have major upside

They may be on the fringe of Pistons prospects, but these four guys have some intrigue.

NCAA Basketball Tournament - First Round - Troy v Duke Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

The 2017 NBA Draft is just about here and there’s some prospect odds and ends still worth tending to; I’ll get to them in a bit. If you’ve kept an eye on previous mini-profiles I’ve done here on DBB then you will be aware of most of the following names:

First, you have a few years away from impact Terrance Ferguson (here), then the Andre Drummond replacement Zach Collins (here), another modern day center candidate John Collins (here), sweet shooter and scorer Luke Kennard (here), Pistons’ pipe dream point guard Dennis Smith Jr. (here), diamond in the rough combo-guard Donovan Mitchell (here), smooth but slender wing scorer Justin Jackson (here) and the perfect player to draft if Detroit had a second round pick Sindarius Thornwell (here).

Odds and ends

There are surely other players up for grabs at the number 12 draft position which the Pistons currently hold. Frankly, I could list at least seven or eight guys that I haven’t profiled that the Pistons could conceivably draft. Just for brevity’s sake, I’m going to narrow it down to four.

Point guard Frank Ntilikina

Some would say this 18-year-old 6-foot-5 point guard called Frank is exotic. It may have nothing much to do with him being Belgian, instead it has everything to do with him being a pterodactyl actually. Frank has at least a 7’ wingspan. As for his ball skills, most say they seem pretty good or otherwise teams like the Knicks (pick eight) and Kings (pick 10) wouldn’t have real interest in him (insert joke here). It’s not certain how much interest Detroit has.

A few clips of Frank (number 22) being a good basketball player and a reasonable pterodactyl:

Forward OG Anunoby

The offensively limited 6’8 defensive savant doesn’t make a whole lot of sense for Detroit right now if you’re on the pro-offense train, but he’s going to be a consistent contributor in the league for a long time. His defense is all-pro caliber, and that should at least make Detroit hesitate in passing him over. Though there’s another strike for OG; it’s the fact he’ll still be out for some time after that ACL tear in his right knee in January.

Read this DraftExpress blurb on him and tell me which current Piston it reminds you of:

Anunoby is best suited playing a compact role offensively, be it operating as a spot-up shooter, a straight line driver in dribble handoffs/attacking closeouts, or as a rim-runner in transition. He can also find some offense cutting off the ball (especially as a lob-target) or crashing the offensive glass, and is capable and willing to make the simple extra pass along the perimeter or into the low post within a set offense.

You didn’t come here for defensive highlights so just offense it will be. Love these plays from OG (number three) — he shows his quickness and strength in the post.

Center Jarrett Allen

Last Thursday Jarrett Allen worked out for Detroit. While he is raw right now, having played just one season of college ball, he’s got potential to be an offensive threat and his 7’5.25 wingspan won’t hurt.

Allen’s feet are quick and there’s something positive in the works there with his footwork. If he works his behind off I’m confident Allen (number 32) can be a dynamic offensive player and not just a finisher close to the basket:

Forward Harry Giles

Giles would be quite a reach for Detroit at number 12, but what do they really have to lose at this point? And furthermore, Stan Van Gundy said this about preparing for the draft recently:

“I’m not looking at those guys as fulfilling a specific need or maybe position down the road.”


“Right now in the draft you want to get the best talent.”

JD King at Duke Basketball Report talks about Giles’ situation about as well as you can:

There’s going to come a point in this year’s draft when someone is going to sweat over Harry Giles.

He had two knee injuries in high school and a third, fairly routine procedure, to clean up after one of the previous ones.

At Duke he barely scratched his potential. He began to play in December and only averaged 3.9 ppg and 3.8 rpg and he did not recover his luxurious athleticism.

He got beat fairly often on defense and was clearly rusty for much of the season.

But we got glimpses.

A block here, a dunk there, an intuitive basketball play that took your breath away.


Still, people saw him in high school where he was compared to Chris Webber. When healthy, Giles is as good a forward as you could hope to find.

So after all the easy decisions are over, at some point, someone is going to have to decide: do you pass on a potential generational talent? Or do you believe his past injuries predict his future?

As you might already know, there’s lots of Harry Giles’ pre-Duke goodness on YouTube and the like, but this is all you get (from me) from Giles (number one) while actually at Duke:


There you have it. For better or for worse, let it stand here on DBB that certain mini-profiles and very mini mini-profiles have been published on potential Pistons draft targets. Now, Pistons fans, just watch as the franchise gets incredibly lucky with Lauri Markannen, Jonathan Issac or Malik Monk still on the board when pick number 12 comes around. Or watch Detroit do something and not have the pick at all. Or watch them draft Anzejs Pasecniks.

So, in other words, you definitely read it here first.