Last year, it was hard enough as a Detroit Pistons fan to debate players in the NBA Draft. And that was in a loaded class with a consensus No. 1 pick and the Pistons owning the first overall selection. This year, the draft order has not yet been solidified, but lightning rarely strikes twice.
The Pistons own the third-worst record in the NBA and will pick somewhere between 1-7 in the NBA Draft. I wanted our tireless staff at Detroit Bad Boys to dive into a level of draft analysis we hadn’t really done before, because now it’s all about putting a title contender around Cade Cunningham. The Pistons have a great opportunity to build something great — and we don’t want them to screw it up.
But that means more is required of us as passionate fans, analysts and talent evaluators. And so I hatched a plan for our staff — watch every single shot, assist, turnover, steal and rebound of the NBA Draft’s top players.
Anyone can watch highlights. It’s easy to jump into YouTube and find a breakdown of a player’s best game of the season. And there are plenty of (great) draft evaluators out there who look at the strengths and weaknesses of the draft’s top players. Aside from watching a prospect’s entire season, I couldn’t think of a better way to fully understand what a player brings to the table than to see everything they do when they have the ball in their hands.
This will provide a sense of consistency of shot mechanics. How they see the floor and whether they can be a primary facilitator, secondary creator or should simply dribble as pass as little as possible.
For players in conversation for the No. 1 overall pick, it will allow Pistons fans to have enough information to have an informed opinion. The questions at the top of the draft are numerous — Can Chet Holmgren be a primary part of a team’s offense? Can Paolo Banchero score and defend at a high enough level or is it all about volume? Is Jabari Smith Jr.’s offense game transcendent or is that sub-45% two-point percentage a giant red flag that hints at a player who won’t succeed in the NBA? Who can truly unlock the mystery of Jaden Ivey’s game and whether he’s a perfect complement to Cunningham?
And if the Pistons fall then who makes sense for them to target? Or if they somehow swing a deal for Jerami Grant that lands them back inside the lottery?
With so many important questions and so much on the line for your favorite basketball team, a deeper level of analysis was needed. And the DBB staff answered the call with enthusiasm and commitment.
We will bring you draft profiles of nearly all those players fans will be arguing over no matter where the Pistons fall in the lottery and will be publishing them between now and NBA Draft Lottery night on Tuesday.
For fear of burying some important info, I must confess that when I say we watched “ALL” of a player’s shots, assists, turnovers, rebounds and steals, it should come with an asterisk. We were not able to get our hands on literally everything. But we got darn close. Each player is based on hours of film review of the majority of their games in the most recent college season. We’ve certainly seen enough to give you great perspective on the players.
I’ll update this post with links to the story series as they are published. Come back to DBB often as we will be publishing regularly for the next 36 hours leading to the NBA Draft Lottery.