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NBA media gives solid marks for Luke Kennard pick

NBA pundits respond to the selection of the Duke shooting guard with our 12th pick of the NBA Draft with mostly nodding heads.

NBA: Draft Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

I’m not going to give my opinion of the drafting of Luke Kennard, but it has been interesting hearing what people that have less skin in the game think.

SBNation: B

Luke Kennard might be the best shooter in the draft. It’s all part of Stan Van Gundy’s plan to turn the Pistons into the 2009 Orlando Magic.


The Pistons wanted a shooter, and Kennard is in a small group of players who can stake a claim to being the best shooter in the draft. He also has terrific toughness, a high basketball IQ and the ability to play some point guard in a pinch. I think he was selected a little high, but if the Pistons were drafting for need, it was a good pick in that sense.

Sports Illustrated: B+

The Pistons were hoping someone would fall to No. 12 from the top group of prospects, but will be happy to bring in Kennard, who elevated his stock over the past month and is one of the draft’s top three-point shooters. Detroit needed floor-spacers, and gets a tough, intelligent player who should be solid, if not spectacular. Based on what was available, Kennard was a strong choice.

CBS Sports: A

Smart player, smart pick. A great shooter but not just shooter - he's a scorer. Fits need.

Sporting News: A-

The Pistons were among the worst shooting teams in the NBA last season, so it makes sense for them to add one of the best shooters in the draft in Kennard. He'll also help with their ball-handling/point guard issues, as he'll be able to occasionally slide over and run some offense. An excellent fit here.

Fox Sports: C+

Kennard should make Coach Stan Van Gundy happy on the offensive end, where the Duke wing can shoot threes with the best of them. His defense is a huge red flag, however, and Van Gundy already has told reporters Kennard has to improve on that end to earn minutes.

All in all, this is a solid enough pick that's just a bit of a reach. C+

The Pistons took the Duke shooting guard with their lone pick, and in the wake of Kentavious Caldwell-Pope’s potential in free agency, Kennard could see a lot of playing time from day one. He’s a talented shot creator and shooter, and the Pistons are surely hoping that his contributions on offense far outweigh his shortcomings on defense. His 38.5 inch vertical is probably a bit misleading as he's really not the most athletic player in a basketball setting. In fairness to Detroit, they were likely drafting 12th in an 11 prospect draft.

Bleacher Report: A-

The Detroit Pistons love them some shooters, regardless of whether they continue to pursue head coach Stan Van Gundy's patented four-out, one-in stratagems. If they keep trying to surround Andre Drummond with floor-spacing threats, they'll need players capable of taking and making threes. And even if they don't, shooting never hurts in today's NBA.

Enter Luke Kennard.

The former Duke standout is a solid athlete, even if he doesn't possess the hops that typically go hand-in-hand with lottery wings. His 6'5" wingspan won't help him on the defensive end, either. But so long as he drills triples, the other aspects of his game—smart positional defense and a knack for secondary playmaking are chief among them—won't matter much.

During his sophomore season for the Blue Devils, Kennard took 5.4 treys per game and connected on 43.8 percent of them. Those are elite numbers, and undergoing slight regression as he adjusts to the NBA's three-point arc will still leave him operating as one of the best shooters Detroit has rostered in quite some time.


What grade would you give the pick?