Chad Ford is ESPN's resident NBA expert, and reporting on the NBA draft is his bread and butter. So when he makes a draft prediction, I tend to listen.
He recently wrote an article on his NBA Draft Blog that listed potential outcomes for each of the first 10 picks. For each team he presented predictions and analysis regarding which players fit best.
Here's what he had to say about the Detroit Pistons:
I don't know what the Pistons are going to do at No. 9. If the draft goes to form, there isn't a perfect fit for what they need. We've had UNC's John Henson there the past few weeks because he's long and blocks shots, but no one's a perfect fit.
That confidence-crushing assessment might make Pistons fans climb in a hole for the next few months. For a team knee-deep in the rebuilding process, the draft outlook is not sunny.
The Pistons do need a perfect fit if they hope to build on their improved second half of the year. Certainly, Henson has some upside, and many people believe he would complement Greg Monroe nicely.
It seems like the Pistons would be settling by taking him, though. He's no game-changer, and his size is a big concern for me, too.
At 6'10" and 210 lbs, how much power can he actually bring to the power forward position? His strengths are defense and rebounds, but I don't see him excelling at the next level in either category unless he significantly bulks up.
A key phrase in Ford's statement was "If the draft goes to form..." If that happens, then maybe Henson will be the best player available. But how often does a draft go as predicted? Beyond Anthony Davis going No. 1, there are no sure things.
Here are five players who have not yet been linked to Detroit but who, with draft twists and turns, could be surprise picks on draft day.