NBA Pre-Draft Analysis: Detroit Pistons

Jeremy SmithContributor IJune 20, 2010

AUBURN HILLS, MI - APRIL 26:  (L-R) Arron Afflalo #28, Tayshaun Prince #22 and Walter Herrmann #5 of the Detroit Pistons sit on the bench in Game Four of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals against the Cleveland Cavaliers during the 2009 NBA Playoffs at the Palace of Auburn Hills on April 26, 2009 in Auburn Hills, Michigan.  The Cavaliers won 99-78.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
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This roster made so much sense just a few years ago. And now, who knows? The decline started with the swap of Chauncey Billups for Allen Iverson. Then it was just downhill from there. Now the Pistons are strapped with the New-York-Knick-like contracts of Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva, who could scarcely have been more disappointing in their first season in Detroit. So what will the encore performance be this off season? The first indicators of that will come at pick No. 7.

A lot of signs right now point to the Pistons taking Al-Farouq Aminu out of Wake Forest. While Aminu is listed as a small forward, Joe Dumars apparently believes Aminu can play the four spot. But, with all of the capable bodies at the four spot in this draft, I can't really justify reaching on a project guy if I am Dumars. The Aminu pick makes sense if Detroit were to trade Tayshaun Prince. But Dumars is reportedly against the notion of trading the small forward. That creates a bit of a conundrum for the Pistons. 

Moving forward, the Pistons will have Rodney Stuckey. And, like it or not, they will have Gordon and Villanueva as no one is going to want those contracts. And Dumars seems to have tipped his hand that Prince will continue to be a part of this organization. That leaves Detroit in dire need of a big man with only two real options for acquiring one. They could A) draft a big at No. 7 or B) hope to find someone who will swap a serviceable big man for Rip Hamilton. Either way, I am of the belief that Hamilton has played his last game as a Piston. 

Given the landscape of the NBA right now - which could change almost entirely over the next month - it seems like Dumars' best bet is grabbing himself a big man in the draft; and not just a guy he thinks can play like a big man, but a guy who actually is a big man. And since Detroit really needs more than one big man, it is not out of the realm of possibility that Dumars will draft one post player and trade for another. 

I think Detroit should take North Carolina's Ed Davis here. It is no secret that Detroit covets Derrick Favors and DeMarcus Cousins. But the Pistons are in a long line of teams that have that very same feeling. And, since all indications are that Favors and Cousins will both be off the board by the time the Pistons pick, Detroit should turn its attention to the next best thing. Greg Monroe could also be an option if he were to slip. But since I think he'll be off the board to Golden State at No. 6, Davis seems like the best available option.

Yet, somehow, I can't picture Davis in a Detroit uniform. Maybe that is because Dumars has shown a penchant for the head scratching moves of late. So I still look for Detroit to take Aminu here even though I don't like the pick given the current makeup of the roster. Now, if Dumars were to find a return nice enough to persuade him to part with Prince, the Aminu selection would suddenly make a lot more sense. But, again, sense is not something that this roster has made over the last couple of seasons. So why should now be any different?