NBA Draft 2012: 5 Lottery Picks Who Could Help Detroit Pistons Instantly
Though the streak ended only four years ago, the Detroit Pistons are far from the days when they made the Eastern Conference Finals six years in a row as they are in last place in the Central Division.
Slowly, general manager Joe Dumars is giving the team a makeover. Of the starters from the six-year streak, Chauncey Billups, Rasheed Wallace and Rip Hamilton are gone. Ben Wallace will retire after this season and Tayshaun Prince has had an uncertain future with the team until he signed a contract extension before this season.
Rookie point guard Brandon Knight and second-year power forward/center Greg Monroe look to be the future of the team and with an almost certain lottery pick in this year’s draft, the immediate future of the organization may be brighter sooner rather than later.
The Pistons are in need of an effective scorer on the wing. Barnes, a 6’8” swingman out of the University of North Carolina, has averaged 17.7 points and 5.2 assists this season.
Starting small forward Tayshaun Prince is by no means a weak spot in the Detroit lineup, but Dumars may be inclined to move him if the right offer presents itself.
Backup small forward Austin Daye still does not look to be a starter in this league. At best he is a contributor off the bench, maybe a sixth man.
Barnes would give the Pistons a solid young core with Knight and Monroe
If Drummond makes the jump to the NBA after one year at UConn, he would fill a hole in the Pistons lineup of a true center.
Monroe is better playing power forward, but the Pistons are playing him as a center.
At 6’11” and 275 pounds, Drummond has a long wingspan and reach, allowing him to easily block shots. He also can run the floor well.
Pairing him with Monroe, who would slide to his natural power forward spot, could be overwhelming for defenses to match up with.
As mentioned, Monroe is more naturally a power forward, but the Pistons have been trying to develop him as a center.
Monroe looks to be a future star in the league, and adding a power forward would solidify their frontcourt.
Davis has almost averaged a double-double in his first year at the University of Kentucky, with 14.3 points and 9.8 boards per game.
Another threat in the post would open up space for Monroe
Sullinger may be the most NBA-ready power forward in this year’s draft.
Similar to Davis, his presence would give Monroe more room to operate in the paint.
A frontcourt consisting of Sullinger and Monroe could be a nightmare for defenses.
Sullinger’s numbers are similar to Davis’ too; he is averaging 17.2 points and 9.0 boards each game this season.
Another power forward, this draft may ensure Monroe as the team’s center for the foreseeable future.
Henson is a solid defender, and with the impending retirement of Ben Wallace at the end of the season, he could come in and be a strong presence at their end of the court.
Henson is averaging 3.1 blocks and 10.4 rebounds per game in his third year under coach Roy Williams at the University of North Carolina.
He is more than just a defender, though. He has scored 14.0 points per game this year, too.
Henson would not bring the offensive threat that Davis and Sullinger would, but he would bring more of a defensive presence to a team that ranks in the bottom half of the league in points allowed per game.