Detroit Pistons: Top 5 Draft Targets

Jay Wierenga@@JayWierengaCorrespondent IApril 3, 2012

Detroit Pistons: Top 5 Draft Targets

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    The Detroit Pistons are all but assured of a lottery pick in this year's NBA Draft.

    That is somewhat of a "good news, bad news" type of scenario.

    The bad news is that this season will end with another losing record, and another non-contending run through a dismal season.

    The good news is that the only real way for the Pistons to once again become a contender is going to be through the draft, and a lottery pick, if chosen correctly, can help the Pistons on their way.

    As it stands right now, the Pistons are likely to pick between the fifth and eighth spots.

    However, of course, they call it a lottery for a reason.

    There is always a chance that the Pistons could end up with a top three pick, or in the best-case scenario, the No. 1 overall pick.

    Here are the top five draft targets for the Detroit Pistons.

5. Cody Zeller, C, Indiana

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    Now some will be scared off by Zeller's slight frame, and some will be calling for Harrison Barnes here, but there are reasons why Zeller could be a nice fit in Detroit.

    First off, let's stop the Barnes chatter. He could become a big-time scorer, but he just hasn't shown the consistency or urgency to realize his potential.

    He could become Rudy Gay, but he also could become Marvin Williams.

    Zeller has a great motor, high IQ and is very athletic.

    He has quick hands, great length and puts himself into great positions on both sides of the ball.

    He still needs to bulk up, and there definitely is a chance that he could get pushed around for awhile. But if the Pistons are drafting in the middle of the lottery, Zeller would be a good pick.

4. Andre Drummond, PF-C, UConn

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    Drummond is by far the biggest question mark of this bunch.

    He is an elite athlete, has a huge frame and has loads of potential.

    That being said, his instincts aren't great, his technique in rebounding and defense needs a lot of work and right now, he relies way too much on his athleticism.

    Offensively, he is inconsistent at best, and gets most of his points on put-backs and busted plays.

    A lot of the blame should go to the fact that he didn't get consistent coaching this year with Jim Calhoun missing time with a bad back, and there is no reason to believe that he can't get better since he is still so young.

    He also can block shots, although he doesn't have the defensive IQ of Anthony Davis or the ability to impose his will on the boards like Thomas Robinson.

    But if he is truly committed to getting better, there is no reason to believe that he wouldn't be a good fit in Detroit.

3. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, SF, Kentucky

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    Michael Kidd-Gilchrist is the type of player that Pistons fans will love.

    He is smart, intense and a born leader.

    He also is an elite defender, and his NBA body is a good indicator that he will be one at the next level.

    He also has the right attitude to get better, and would pair well with the Pistons' young foundation.

    There are really only two questions surrounding MKG.

    One, is he a true small forward? Play-wise, he is an ideal three. But size-wise? We will see. I think he could still grow a little bit, and ideally I would like to see him at about 6'8". If he measures at 6'6" or lower, his draft stock could take a hit, as he is not an ideal fit at the two.

    Two, his offensive game still needs some development.

    He can score in a number of ways, but his outside shot still needs work.

    But he would be the ideal heir to Tayshaun Prince's position, and could become an instant leader on this team.

2. Thomas Robinson, PF, Kansas

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    There really is only one reason that Robinson does not make the top of the list, and that is the fact that he doesn't block shots with any kind of consistency.

    He also would ensure that Greg Monroe remains a center going forward, and there is some debate as to whether he would be better suited to that position or power forward.

    That being said, Robinson is one of the most aggressive post players I have seen in years.

    He attacks the rim on offense, and while his post game is still progressing, he shows the right attitude for becoming elite.

    Defensively, he shows good instincts and uses superb athleticism, strength and aggression to become one of the better post defenders in the game.

    But where Robinson really shines is in the rebounding game. He imposes his will on the game, preferring contact, and puts himself into the right position nearly every possession.

    Robinson likely has catapulted his draft stock to within the top five. If he measures at or near his listed height of 6'10" in the pre-draft workouts, he certainly will go top three.

1. Anthony Davis, PF-C, Kentucky

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    For the life of me, I have no clue why Davis refuses to eliminate that uni-brow, but if the Pistons were able to get lucky and draft him, I certainly would get used to it.

    Davis is likely to be the No. 1 overall pick, and with good reason.

    He is by far and away the best fit for the Pistons in this year's draft.

    The Pistons' biggest need right now is a big man that can compliment Greg Monroe.

    Monroe needs to be paired ideally with a shot-blocker that can rebound and take pressure off of him on the defensive end.

    Davis is the most pure shot-blocking talent I have seen since Ben Wallace in his prime.

    He stalks opponents, and always uses great spacing and anticipation to get into position to make a play.

    He is an elite rebounder on both sides of the court, and could be a more athletic version of Marcus Camby.

    Offensively, he is limited, but his high basketball IQ ensures that he will only get better, and his age belies that fact.

    If the Pistons are lucky enough to draft Davis, they will have one of the top duos of young big men in the league, and would be well on their way to re-establishing themselves as an Eastern Conference elite.