The Pistons have the seventh overall pick in this year’s draft, so they have a great opportunity to select from a wide array of talent; however, only one player makes sense—Cole Aldrich.
The Kansas center has been speculated to be among the favorites to be drafted by the Pistons, however, most people think that Detroit will go with Wake Forest small forward Al-Farouq Aminu.
The Pistons, unlike the Lions, do not have the luxury of drafting at any position knowing that whoever they draft will be better than who they have at that position. They already have small forwards in Tayshawn Prince and their last year’s first rounder, Austin Daye.
The Pistons have a gapping hole at center. The only two centers on the roster for the Pistons are Ben Wallace (who is a free agent) and Kwame Brown (the worst first overall pick ever).
Aldrich (6'11, 245lbs) is the type of NBA quality player that could provide height and shot blocking prowess to a team that is drastically undersized.
Aldrich’s last season with the Jayhawks didn’t go quite as planned (understatement). His points per game average dropped from 14.9 to 11.3 from his sophomore to junior year, and on top of that, the Jayhawks were knocked off in the sweet 16 in a tourney in which they were supposed to be the top seed.
But if you know at the kind of player Aldrich is, you would have to be crazy to think that last year will hinder his chances of being an NBA great. Despite a slight drop in scoring (which was probably due to the addition of fellow soon to be first round pick Xavier Henry), Aldrich still averaged nearly 10 rebounds, and more than three blocks a game.
His sophomore year he joined the few college basketball elites to put up a triple double in the NCAA Tournament (with 13 points, 20 boards, 10 blocked shots), being the first to do so since Dwayne Wade in 2002. He’s the first to do so with double digit blocks since Shaquille O’Neal in 1992. That’s good pretty good company if you ask me.
Furthermore, Aldrich racked up a national championship in 2008 and three Big 12 championships for Kansas.
What do you think he could do in the long term for the Pistons? Detroit should keep Aldrich in crimson and blue and draft him with their first round pick come June 24th.