NBA Draft 2012: Analyzing the Top Mock Drafts for Detroit Pistons

Jay Wierenga@@JayWierengaCorrespondent IJune 4, 2012

NBA Draft 2012: Analyzing the Top Mock Drafts for Detroit Pistons

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    Detroit Pistons' fans appear to finally be awaking from yet another terrible season that has put most of them into hibernation mode.

    Sadly, the funnest time to be a Pistons fan these days is the NBA Draft, something that generally was an afterthought just five years ago.

    But I am a glass half full kind of guy, so let's focus on the positive.

    This draft might not be quite as deep as previously thought, but Detroit should have a decent array of players to choose from when they are on the clock at pick number nine on June 28.

    Obviously the big-time names will be gone, but the Pistons should still be able to help improve their team.

    And given the fact that this is the golden hour of mock drafts, let's take a look at what five of the more popular mock drafts are predicting.

ESPN: John Henson, PF, UNC

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    Per ESPN:

    Greg Monroe has been a revelation in the middle for the Pistons, but they really need to pair him alongside an athletic shot-blocker. Although John Henson is painfully thin, he rebounds, blocks shots and defends multiple positions. It wouldn't be a perfect solution in Detroit, but the Pistons don't have a lot of other options here.

    This is solid analysis by the folks at ESPN. The Pistons indeed need a big man with the ability to block shots to pair with Monroe.

    That being said, there are some red flags with Henson.

    First, he is a very lean guy. Sure, he has height, but there were times that he was pushed around in college by stronger big men, and he is going to be taking on a stronger guy every night.

    Can he put on more weight? Maybe, but we have been saying the same thing about Austin Daye for years now, and so far he seems as thin as he ever did.

    The Pistons got pushed around a lot down low last year, and Henson won't help there.

Hoopsworld: Tyler Zeller, C, UNC

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    Yannis Koutroupis put out his ninth mock, and in it has the Pistons taking Henson's teammate, Tyler Zeller.

    Zeller is an intriguing pick for Detroit.

    On the one hand, he has the size to be a legit center, which would push Monroe over to the 4 spot.

    Zeller loves to mix it up down low, he can rebound, and the Tar Heel has the makings of a decent post game. He is also athletic and can run the court very well.

    On the other hand, he isn't much of a shot-blocker, which would pretty much guarantee that the Pistons would have nobody on the roster that could protect the hoop.

    There certainly are worse players out there to draft, but I think Zeller shouldn't go quite this high.

Opposing Views: Terrence Jones, F, Kentucky

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    Per Opposing Views:

    Another thing we’ve been harping on since the midway point of the last college basketball season: John Calipari stifled Terrence Jones’ individual development for the good of Kentucky as a whole. If not for that, dude would be a top-5 prospect – no doubt about it. Between his offensive repertoire and his natural physical gifts, it’s tough to imagine him not having an immediate impact at the next level. It would probably be better for him if he landed with a slightly more stable franchise than the one that currently plays in Detroit, but he can't help that part of how this goes.

    That was Opposing Views' analysis on this pick, and I've gotta say this is a controversial pick.

    I have been open about my disdain for Jones' game.

    He doesn't always show up, he has maturity issues and if his number isn't called early on offense, his defense suffers tremendously. In fact, you could make an argument that Jones typifies why basketball players often get a bad rap.

    But let's play devil's advocate here.

    Jones is athletic, has range and can score in a number of ways.

    The Pistons still have Tayshaun Prince at the small forward spot, so they could ease Jones into the rotation slowly.

    He is perhaps the highest risk versus reward player that will still be on the board at No. 9.

    But here is my thinking. You have a core of players that are hard working, humble and dedicated. Do you really want to throw someone like Jones into the mix?

    That being said, team president Joe Dumars loves a good project, and Jones is probably his kind of player.

SB Nation: Andre Drummond, C, Connecticut

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    SB Nation from time to time puts out some quality work.

    In this case, however, I just don't see their logic.

    I'm eager to hear where Drummond's floor ends up. If he impresses Geoff Petrie with raw talent, it could be No. 5 at the Kings. If he has a less successful pre-draft run, it could be Detroit at No. 9 ... or worse. He's a big ol' mystery right now. I'm not sure Lawrence Frank (cue the Brook Lopez drop) is the right coach, or that Drummond is the right partner in crime for Greg Monroe. But remember that the Pistons desperately wanted Cousins in '10, despite the warts. A similar situation could be in place, and if Drummond drops, it could end up paying huge dividends for a not-bad Detroit team.

    There is absolutely no chance that Drummond falls to the Pistons at No. 9. Zero.

    Drummond could go as high as No. 3 if he blows scouts away with his workout, and he is the perfect workout player.

    The problem is that Drummond is just too appealing to pass up. He is huge, athletic and is somewhat unknown.

    There are definitely issues with him, but most basketball people that like him will point to the fact that his coach was out nearly the entire season, which they argue stunted Drummond's growth.

    I can't argue with that.

    But I do know that there is no way he slips out of the top seven, and the likely spot will be top five. Perry Jones III, F, Baylor

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    I am not overly familiar with Scott Howard-Cooper, but the work that I have read from him seems solid.

    But this pick is terrible for Detroit.

    If there is one player in this draft that I dislike more than Terrence Jones for Detroit, it is Perry Jones.

    Here was Howard-Cooper's take:

    A risk pick -- very skilled and unselfish but consistently left NBA teams frustrated after scouting missions because he does not play hard all the time.

    The Pistons have done a great job each of the last two years avoiding risk-picks and instead grabbing talented players that slid to them that were considered somewhat safe picks.

    Jones is about as close to an opposite of what most Detroit fans would like to see from their Pistons.

    He is soft, inconsistent and has poor instincts, especially on defense.

    He often vanishes for huge stretches and is at his best when he is playing on the perimeter.

    In fact, I have consistently stated that Jones tends to play like a shooting guard trapped inside of a power forward's body.

    He is a more athletic version of Charlie Villanueva, and we all know how well that turned out.

    I would much rather have Zeller, Henson or even Terrence Jones than Perry Jones III