The Detroit Pistons traded for Khyri Thomas, a defensive wing from Creighton, who should add to their depth on the wing.
Thomas, 22, is a 6-foot-4 shooting guard with a 6-10 wingspan and scouts out as a 3-and-D prospect. He was a terror on defense in the Big East, winning two consecutive Big East defensive player of the year awards. He’s also a career 40 percent 3-point shooter with over 300 career attempts in college.
The Pistons reportedly will send two future second-round picks to the Sixers, who drafted Thomas No. 38 overall. The Pistons also drafted Bruce Brown with their own pick at No. 42 overall.
Thomas has many admirers in the basketball community — both college and pros.
My steal of the draft? Khyri Thomas of Creighton. Doesn't seem like he's grabbing the attention he deserves. A 2x BIG EAST DPOY (6'3" with a 6'10" wingspan - can guard just about any player on the floor), who shot 64% from the floor and 41.1% from three.— Cayleigh Griffin (@cayleighgriffin) June 21, 2018
*whispers* khyri thomas is better than landry shamet— Sam Vecenie (@Sam_Vecenie) June 22, 2018
Indeed, he had a true shooting percentage of 65.0 percent during his junior season and a career 60.7 true shooting percentage during his college career. That is because he was able to not just hit his 3-pointers but also dominate at the rim. he shot 63.9 percent on two-pointers last season. He also had a stellar 2.9 percent steal percentage. That is two areas where the Pistons have been woefully inadequate for .... the past 10 years?
But there is a reason that Thomas was available into the second round. One, he’s already 22 years old and, therefore, one of the older players in the draft. He’s also a bit of a tweener. He doesn’t really create for others and his only OK ballhandling skills.
The Pistons might think he could play point guard off the bench, but more likely he’ll be a defensive-minded reserve guard who can serve as a secondary ball handler and can lock down an opposing team’s point guard or shooting guard.
ESPN’s Jonathan Givony calls Thomas “one of the better defenders in college basketball, capable of guarding three positions with his near 6-11 wingspan. He has exactly the type of grit and unselfishness the NBA covets in role players.”
We already know that Casey loves willing defenders, and that he isn’t afraid to play a young guy. Perhaps he sees a little Corey Joseph, who Casey coached for two season in Toronto, in Thomas?
Here’s a look at Khyri Thomas, the first Piston drafted tonight. pic.twitter.com/Im6Psks2Wl— Duncan Smith (@DuncanSmithNBA) June 22, 2018