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2020 NBA Draft: Detroit Pistons Big Board from the DBB Staff

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The DBB Staff built its own Detroit Pistons NBA Draft Big Board

UCLA v USC Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images

There are a million mock drafts all over the place, and there are a few consistent names popping up at No. 7 for the Detroit Pistons — Patrick Williams, Killian Hayes and Tyrese Haliburton being the most common.

But what if the Pistons trade up? Trade down? Who SHOULD they draft wherever they land. That’s the promise of building a full first-round big board. We’ve done this previously through daily voting, but I wanted DBB to have a bit more skin in the game. Eight members of the staff built their own NBA Draft boards and we ranked each player into a consolidated Big Board that represents the DBB staff. We limited selections to ranking the 30 top players on The Athletic’s Big Board written by Sam Vecenie as it looked at the time of voting.

You can link back to this in a few years and see how brilliant we all were in retrospect. That doesn’t mean, however, that there was broad consensus from each writer about where each prospect should land.

To take Aleksej Pokusevski, as just one extreme example, ranked as high as No. 2 overall on one person’s board, and No. 28 on another. I’ll give regular readers one guess as to who had him ranked second.

You’ll find our official big board below, keeping in mind this was through the eyes of who made the most sense for the Detroit Pistons. Included is the highest and lowest spot each player ranked and thoughts on some key players in the NBA Draft.

Detroit Bad Boys Staff Official NBA Draft Big Board

No. 1 — LaMelo Ball

Highest — No. 1
Lowest — No. 3

“I’ve flip flopped several times on LaMelo. I was down on him recently because while he has an elite skill, he seemingly was destined to be a disaster on defense and with his shot. I’ve come back around, however, after doing a bit more digging and coming across several talent evaluators convinced he can not only be salvaged on the defensive end, but actually a good defender. While it’d be great if he could learn to shoot, you can still be effective if you can defend, rebound and are one of the handful of best passers in the NBA. It’s a difference-making opportunity the Pistons should be interested in gambling on. And, hey, maybe he learns to shoot! (I need a drink).” — No. 1, Sean Corp

No. 2 — Anthony Edwards

Highest — No. 1
Lowest — No. 7

“For me, the best-case scenario of Anthony Edwards is the type of alpha guard that comes once every 5-10 years. He’s got the athleticism and shooting ability to be a high-level scorer, and his athleticism provides at least a glimmer of hope that he could potentially reach that level on defense. He’s no sure thing, but I love what he can be.” — No. 1, Brady Fredericksen

“Whoever picks Edwards is banking on him being a lot closer to his ceiling (James Harden) than his floor, basement floor in this case (Dion Waiters).” — No. 1, Anonymous

Ratiopharm Ulm v AS Monaco - EuroCup Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images

No. 3 — Killian Hayes

Highest — No. 1
Lowest — No. 7

No. 4 — Patrick Williams

Highest — No. 4
Lowest — No. 10

“I think Patrick Williams has the size and defensive ability to play in the NBA from day 1. He has a lot to work on offensively, but the tools are there for him to be a solid two-way wing down the line. You can’t teach size and athleticism, which he has, and I trust Dwane Casey to develop the rest of his offensive skills.” — No. 4, Justin Lambregtse

No. 5 — Deni Avdija

Highest — No. 4
Lowest — No. 12

“He doesn’t do any one thing well enough in my eyes. He has solid size, but I’m not really sure what position he plays long term. He will probably be a pretty good role player long term, but I don’t really see any star potential out of him.” — No. 10, Justin Lambregtse

No. 6 — Onyeka Okongwu

Highest — No. 3
Lowest — No. 11

No. 7 — James Wiseman

Highest — No. 2
Lowest — No. 23

No. 8 — RJ Hampton

Highest — No. 3
Lowest — No. 11

“The more I think about #UPSIDE and the more I consider how far he’s progressed as a shooter before he’s even been drafted, the higher I have to drag R.J. Hampton up my board. R.J. has the positional size, the athleticism, and the work ethic to be successful at the NBA level; he just has to, you know, actually be better at basketball than he was for the New Zealand Breakers. “Zach LaVine who cares on defense” would be a hell of a player, and that’s what the Pistons can hope for with R.J.” — No. 6, Lazarus Jackson

No. 9 — Tyrese Haliburton

Highest — No. 4
Lowest — No. 22

No. 10 — Isaac Okoro

Highest — No. 5
Lowest — No. 14

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No. 11 — Obi Toppin

Highest — No. 6
Lowest — No. 26

“Obi Toppin is one of the most polarizing names in this year’s draft. He was an absolute beast at Dayton, on the offensive side of the floor, but he was a late bloomer, and supposedly will struggle (understatement?) on defense once he’s in the league. He’s a five star athlete, can jump with the best of them, and shot a respectable 39% from three. The man averaged 20 points on only 12.5 shots per game. This year’s class may be a mystery bag, but one thing that should be a given, is that Toppin will (at minimum) produce on offense at the next level. He’s well worth a top 10 selection.” — No. 6, David Fernandez

“For the life of me, I cannot figure out why I don’t like Obi Toppin. He’s a fierce competitor, an athletic forward with great size and length, and he’s capable of scoring from the rim to the 3-point line. But while some see Tobias Harris, I see a tweener — a player too big to be a small forward and not laterally mobile enough to be a high-level power forward.” No. 11, Brady Fredericksen

No. 12 — Devin Vassell

Highest — No. 6
Lowest — No. 14

“Owner of team selecting Vassell to the executive of that team: ‘So you’re absolutely certain that his terrible “new” shooting stroke in that video that circulated was a joke right?’ ”— No. 12, Anonymous

No. 13 — Kira Lewis Jr.

Highest — No. 8
Lowest — No. 15

No. 14 — Aleksej Pokusevski

Highest — No. 2
Lowest — No. 28

“Rare intersection of skills, length, instincts, and extremely young. Recent intel from the Twitter/Podcast industrial complex now has him listed at 7-2 in shoes and 215 pounds. I think he is one of the best prospects in this class, and I am still confused as to why that opinion is not the majority view.” — No. 2, ScottFL

No. 15 — Saddiq Bey

Highest — No. 12
Lowest — No. 17

No. 16 — Tyrese Maxey

Highest — No. 9
Lowest — No. 21

NCAA Basketball: Auburn at Vanderbilt Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

No. 17 — Aaron Nesmith

Highest — No. 10
Lowest — No. 24

“Nesmith is being championed as the best shooter in the draft, and that’s true! But I love his long-term potential because he’s not some lead-footed beanpole sieve on defense. He’s smart, and he’s strong, and he has the size to hold up in the NBA. If you can shoot 43% and be a passable defender in the NBA, you’re an automatic top-8 rotation player even on a championship caliber team. Yes, please.” — No. 10, Sean Corp

No. 18 — Cole Anthony

Highest — No. 16
Lowest — No. 19

“Going into last year’s NCAA season, one of the players I had my eyes on most closely was Cole Anthony. If you would have given me the choice to blindly select a guy prior to them playing a minute of college or overseas ball, it would have been Anthony. But he struggled throughout his freshman year at North Carolina. And one of the most concerning aspects of his performance, was that it came in waves. He was either REALLY BAD for a stretch of games, or looked like a top 5 pick. Unfortunately for him, and for my hopes of him being great in Detroit, his negative performances outweighed his positive performances.” — No. 18, David Fernandez

No. 19 — Precious Achiuwa

Highest — No. 18
Lowest — No. 23

No. 20 — Desmond Bane

Highest — No. 13
Lowest — No. 26

No. 21 — Jaden McDaniels

Highest — No. 20
Lowest — No. 25

No. 22 — Tyrell Terry

Highest — No. 17
Lowest — No. 29

No. 23 — Leandro Bolmaro

Highest — No. 14
Lowest — No. 27

No. 24 — Theo Maledon

Highest — No. 20
Lowest — No. 26

No. 25 — Malachi Flynn

Highest — No. 16
Lowest — No. 27

No. 26 — Jalen Smith

Highest — No. 21
Lowest — No. 27

Ohio State v Michigan State Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

No. 27 — Cassius Winston

Highest — No. 22
Lowest — No. 28

“I think people are discounting Cassius Winston because of his age. I think he is a really good point guard that will stick around the league as a back up, at the minimum, for 10+ years. He can shoot well, pass the ball well, and has a pretty good handle. He doesn’t have ideal size or athleticism to be a full time starter long term, but will be a very solid leader and knows the game. He would fit perfectly on a playoff team that is looking for somebody that will be able to contribute right away.” — No. 22, Justin Lambregtse

“Look, he’s not going to be a savior. He’s not going to be an All-Star. But Cassius Winston is going to be a Fred VanVleet-esque guard; maybe not as good scoring the ball, but better running a team and creating for others. If you put Winston in Detroit, he’s going to struggle with poor talent around him. But, if you surround him with a playoff-caliber talent, he’ll thrive.” — No. 22, Brady Fredericksen

“Cassius Winston isn’t necessarily high or low on my board, but appropriately ranked. He’s one of those tremendous college basketball players that you worry won’t translate to the NBA. His resume speaks for itself, Big 10 Player of the Year, All-American - the list goes on and on, but he’s undersized and unathletic, and that usually doesn’t translate to success at the NBA level. Worth a shot in the low 20s, early 30s? Certainly. And he may make a lot of General Managers regret not selecting him earlier, but there is a strong chance he’ll find himself on the back of a bench or out of the league if he’s unable to put all of his intangibles together.” — No. 27, David Fernandez

Cassius is a graduate of my high school (University of Detroit High) and of MSU. How can you not root for him to succeed in the NBA despite the concerns to the contrary? — No. 24, Anonymous

No. 28 — Josh Green

Highest — No. 19
Lowest — No. 29

No. 29 — Nico Mannion

Highest — No. 28
Lowest — No. 30

“Remember when people were telling me Nico Mannion was a sure-fire lottery pick that the Pistons would be lucky to have? Now he’s barely hanging on to dreams of getting drafted in the first round and getting (deserved!) Monte Morris comparisons. Is it too late for him to go back to school?” — No. 29, Lazarus Jackson

No. 30 — Udoka Azubuike

Highest — No. 27
Lowest — No. 30