The Detroit Pistons faced a “worst-case scenario” when they fell to the fifth spot in the NBA Draft despite having the league’s worst record. Not only did that mean they missed out on the Victor Wembanyama sweepstakes, it meant that they could effectively say goodbye to any chance at Scoot Henderson or Brandon Miller.
A new rumor (I stress, a rumor) from HoopsHype indicates that the Orlando Magic might be open to packing their two picks — No. 6 and No. 11 — in an attempt to move into the top-5 in the draft. The presumption being that they have their eyes set on a certain player, and the further presumption is that player might be Amen Thompson.
“Orlando also met with Thompson at the combine, and there have been whispers about the Magic trying to move up in the draft,” according to Michael Scotto. “There’s a belief around the league that Orlando is open to moving the No. 6 and No. 11 picks if the Magic can move into the 3-5 range.”
If the aforementioned trio of Wemby, Scoot and Miller go in some order within the top three, that means that everything would hinge on what Houston is looking to do at No. 4. They could take Amen for themselves, they could take his brother Ausar who some teams have as the superior Thompson twin, or they could take powerful forward Cam Whitmore out of Villanova.
In a scenario where the Rockets take Whitmore or Ausuar, that presents quite a choice for the Pistons and the Magic. Would Orlando really trade two lottery picks to move up one spot? Would Detroit really pass up on a player who might have the second best upside in the draft in Amen and be willing to fall back for an extra asset?
This is not the strongest draft, but it does seem to have a certain amount of strength and parity in that 3-12 range. While there are plenty of arguments to be had about how the board should fall and who belongs in what tier, is there a truly huge gulf between Amen’s upside and players such as Jarace Walker, Taylor Hendricks, Anthony Black, Gradey Dick, Cason Wallace and Jordan Hawkins?
If the Pistons could trade a chance at Amen in order to come away with Jarace Walker or Taylor Hendricks and Gradey Dick or Anthony Black or Leonard Miller or Bilal Coulibaly? The Pistons would certainly have to seriously consider the prospect.
Detroit also has pick No. 31 where they could get a high-level prospect at the top of the second round or use it to facilitate a deal.
What do you think, Pistons fans? Take the high-risk, high-reward player in Amen Thompson or get two swings at two potential high-level contributors?