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Pistons land Evan Mobley in The Athletic’s latest mock draft

Mobley would give the Pistons a star-caliber building block going forward

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NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-USC vs Gonzaga Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The end (of the regular season) is near.

However, that is just the start for the Detroit Pistons.

This season has served as a step toward better things—a hopefully brighter future for one of the NBA’s saddest franchises. Sam Vecenie of The Athletic released his latest mock draft on Thursday and, to be honest, Pistons fans would probably feel pretty good about the results.

While they currently sit with the second worst record in the league, Vecenie has Detroit picking third overall behind the Houston Rockets (probably) and the Minnesota Timberwolves (unlikely). This wouldn’t be the worst result, though.

Cade Cunningham, the dynamo from Oklahoma State, goes first to Houston, while Gonzaga’s star point guard Jalen Suggs goes second to the Timberwolves. That leaves Southern Cal’s Evan Mobley, a guy who some feel has a case to be the top pick, for the Pistons third.

I know people aren’t fans of taking a big man this high, but Mobley has a lot of Chris Bosh to him. He fits with the current crop of Pistons, and he provides interior scoring, interior defense and the potential to be another 3-point threat.

He’s a fit alongside Jerami Grant and/or Isaiah Stewart. This isn’t Onyeka Okongwu or James Wiseman. Mobley’s mobility and size combined with his skillset puts him on another level. He needs to put on weight, but that'll come.

The Pistons’ three second rounders are an interesting group in this mock. Terrence Shannon, Jr. at No. 39 gives Detroit an athletic wing with room to grow his game. He’s incredibly left-hand dominant, but that’s no different than Killian Hayes coming out. Shannon comes in with a blue-collar background after playing under Chris Beard at Texas Tech, which fits the Troy Weaver mold.

He’s very much one of those “well, if you teach him to shoot” type of guys.

Six picks later the Pistons pick up Daishen Nix. Though he’s got nice size for a point guard at 6-foot-5, Nix was a bit of a disappointment in his run with the G League Elite team this season. He’s a ground-bound guard without an outside shot. His feel for the game and passing ability is good, but he reminds me of Andre Miller.

Would that old-man game work in today’s NBA?

With their final pick, the Pistons land forward Trendon Watford at No. 53. The 6-foot-9 forward was a do-it-all guy for LSU this season. He’s a master of none but does a lot of things well. His shooting needs to improve, but he’s a nice scorer and rebounder with the size to defend both forward spots.

He’s very Jeff Green-y, and if that’s what you get this late, you’re happy.

Let us know your thoughts on this scenario in the comments!