The Detroit Pistons fell back two spots in the NBA Draft Lottery on Tuesday. After spending months dreaming of the “Big 3” of Chet Holmgren, Jabari Smith, and Paolo Banchero, fans will have to shift their attention to other prospects and scenarios over the next month:
1. There will not be back to back top picks for the Detroit Pistons, who fell two spots to No. 5 on Tuesday night. What is your initial reaction?
Sean Corp: My reaction — everyone says in Troy Weaver we trust until the Pistons don’t have the No. 1 overall pick and a consensus player at the top of the draft. I choose to still believe because I think that the players will be available at No. 5 are at least the kinds of players who fit the Troy Weaver MO. Detroit has a chance to improve — even if that improvement doesn’t come in the form of Chet, Jabari or Paolo.
Laz Jackson: I wonder what Indiana will do with the 6th pick, if Point Guard/Real General Manager Damian Lillard forces a Jerami Grant trade for the 7th pick, and what on God’s green earth the Kings are going to do with the 4th pick. Troy Weaver knows what he’s doing; it’s these other dudes you have to worry about. Yea, it sucks, but I would rather get Cade last year and X guy this year than Jalen Suggs last year and Chet/Paolo/JSJ this year.
Brady Fredericksen: Sucks. But I tend to agree with Laz. Getting Cade makes it easier to swallow, but this feels like a detour on the return to relevance. The goal remains the same: Assemble a core that fits perfectly with Cade and, hopefully, his ascent puts this in drive.
Steve Pelletier: Detroit Vs. Everybody as always... shout out to Tony Beauchamp on Twitter who accurately predicted the pick!
2. Who do you like the most at No. 5? The least?
Sean Corp: My gut tells me this is a swing for Shaedon Sharpe, a two-way safe bet in Bennedict Mathurin or really betting on the offensive potential of Keegan Murray. It doesn’t blow your socks off, but there is upside and a lot that fits what the Pistons need in each player.
Laz Jackson: I probably like Keegan Murray the most, if only to hold him hostage from Indiana / Portland, (both of whom would seem to be interested in his potential instant impact) and facilitate the acquisition of a second top-7 pick. The least? I don’t know, like, taking Johnny Davis at No. 5 would be foundation-shaking.
Brady Fredericksen: I’ve got a group of four: Shaedon Sharpe, Jaden Ivey, Keegan Murray and, a little further back, Tari Eason. Sharpe feels like the home run swing, Ivey’s athleticism and explosiveness screams future star, Murray is an NBA-ready scorer, and Eason has a good combo of size, athleticism and defensive ability. On the other side, I want nothing to do with AJ Griffin.
Steve Pelletier: I remain THE Johnny Davis guy for reasons I will go into great detail soon. BUT I also think Shaedon Sharpe SHOULD be right there. IF he is athletic as he looks in the flashes of film that are out there, then Sharpe HAS TO be the pick. Gotta swing for the fences.
3. What impact do you feel falling out of the top three has on the Pistons’ offseason plans regarding free agency and Jeremi Grant?
Sean Corp: I still think Jerami Grant is gone, and the fact that the Blazers didn’t jump in the draft means there is a chance that No. 7 pick is still in play for a deal. And to answer a question with a question of my own, what are the odds the Pistons could somehow get 7, and package it with 5 to do something REALLY crazy? And what does that crazy look like in Troy Weaver’s world?
Laz Jackson: Without a chance at getting one of the top 3 big men, the path seems clear: Max Ayton, trade Jerami.
Brady Fredericksen: I’m very much #TeamAyton and think he can really lift this team while fitting the timeline, but I’m not sure what happens with Jerami Grant. Weaver loves him, we know that, and if they landed in the top three I would say he’s 100% gone — you don’t draft the PF of the Future only to re-sign the PF of the Present — but unless the pick is Murray or Eason, I’m not sure what’ll happen here.
Steve Pelletier: None. Troy loves the man and feel like their connection is legit that whatever conversations the two have had behind closed doors — whether that was to move Jerami or keep building in Detroit — the lottery outcome had nothing to do with it.