NBA Draft 2011: Kemba Walker and 10 Prospects the Pistons Should Be Scouting

Jay WierengaCorrespondent IApril 5, 2011

NBA Draft 2011: Kemba Walker and 10 Prospects the Pistons Should Be Scouting

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    The Detroit Pistons' season has been an absolute train wreck.

    The good news is that there are now only five games remaining in this ongoing purgatory of a season.

    And while there is still plenty of unrest that must be settled in Detroit, namely the ownership, general management, and coaching situations, it is never too early to start scouting players that the next regime could potentially use in the upcoming season.

    Obviously different coaches focus on different players, but talent is talent and you can never have enough.

    Most likely, Detroit will have the seventh worst record in the league when the season ends. While the draft lottery will add intrigue to the situation, the Pistons likely will have a pick in the middle of the lottery.

    Of course not all the draft eligible players have declared for the draft, but most can agree on which players have the most to gain by declaring.

    That being said, here are the 10 players that could be coming to Motown next season.

1. Kyrie Irving, PG, Duke

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    Pros

    Kyrie Irving is the most complete point guard in this year's draft. He has the quickness, passing ability and scoring touch to immediately step in and lead an NBA team. The Pistons have had a huge hole at point guard ever since they dealt Chauncey Billups two years ago.

    Irving has all the tools that the Pistons would want with their top pick in this year's draft.

    Cons

    First off, it is highly unlikely that Irving will fall to Detroit unless they win the lottery. As far as his game goes, the only knocks on him might be his durability, his inexperience and potentially his shooting. He technically only played about a third of his freshman year, so it is reasonable to question his ability to head to the next level.

    Outlook

    If Detroit wins the lottery, look for them to give Irving a hard look. That being said, it likely will not happen, but a Detroit fan can dream, can't he?

2. Derrick Williams, SF, Arizona

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    Pros

    Williams is a high-character player with strong leadership qualities and a knack for scoring. He is a solid rebounder, defender, and his post-up game is underrated. He could immediately step in and replace Tayshaun Prince and provide the type of quality character that Dumars would love to build around.

    Cons

    He, like Irving, will probably be off the board unless the Pistons win the lottery. That being said, he is kind of a tweener; not big enough to be a power forward, not necessarily athletic enough to match up against small forwards.

    Outlook

    Williams will see his draft stock continue to rise as we get closer to the draft and once teams have a chance to interview him.

3. Jared Sullinger

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    Pros

    Sullinger is tough, smart, and exceptionally strong. He has a very high basketball IQ, and he shows an above average ability to pass the ball and score with his back against the hoop. He is a strong rebounder and could pair with Greg Monroe to make a very strong and effective front court.

    Cons

    He lacks height and athleticism and is a below average shot blocker. He is listed as 6'9", but something tells me he is closer to 6'7", and the pre-draft workouts will show this.

    Outlook

    Most people believe Sullinger will stay at Ohio State, but I wouldn't buy it. He is a young kid that got caught up in the moment. When he realizes how weak this draft class is and how much he can earn by coming out, he will absolutely declare. He could fall to Detroit if his height comes into light, but his toughness will definitely make this a better team.

4. Brandon Knight, G, Kentucky

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    Pros

    Knight proved this season he could score on the highest stage of college basketball. He is a quick, explosive scorer that could also develop into a high-end defender. He can shoot the rock from anywhere and has better than average size for a point guard.

    Cons

    He is not the distributor that Irving is and for a team looking for a true point guard like Detroit is, Knight is a bit of a gamble. It is tough to tell what type of pro he will be, but he will never be a pass-first guard.

    Outlook

    Detroit has already taken a shot at shoot first combo guards at the point. However, what separates Knight from Rodney Stuckey is that Knight can shoot from deep and Stuckey never developed that part of his game. Knight's shooting ability could eventually turn him into a Billups-type, but that is a big "if." Detroit may have the option of drafting Knight, but will they take the plunge?

5. Enes Kanter, C, Kentucky

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    Pros

    Kanter is pretty much the only true center available in this year's draft. He has great size and strength, and apparently is very skilled offensively.

    Cons

    I say apparently because I have never seen him play. Kanter was committed to play for John Calipari and Kentucky, but he never had a chance to play. As a result, there are more questions than answers with Kanter.

    Outlook

    Pistons fans are right to be apprehensive about Kanter. Sure, he is from Turkey, nowhere near Serbia. But considering what is at stake, the Pistons don't want another Darko Milicic on their hands.

6. Harrison Barnes, SF, UNC

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    Pros

    Barnes is a scorer with great athleticism and a desire to take over games during crunch time. He started out his college career as the first pre-season All American freshman, a pressure that manifested itself early, but something he grew into. At the next level, he could very well be a Rudy Gay type, or maybe Richard Jefferson.

    Cons

    Barnes has a tendency to disappear for long stretches of games. I remember watching one of his games during the NCAA tournament and wondering if he was on the court.

    Outlook

    Barnes could either be a top pick, or someone that slips to the late lottery. He could easily be a star in this league, and someone that could make people forget about Prince. He also could turn out to be a dud, ala Jeff Green.

7. Perry Jones, F, Baylor

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    Pros

    Jones has elite athleticism, great size, and surprisingly good ball handling ability for a guy his size. He can score, block shots and is a solid passer; his ceiling is very high.

    Cons

    He was very inconsistent as a freshman. Sometimes he looked like a lottery pick, other times he looked like he was overrated. His team lacked a true point guard, which made their offense look disjointed and confused. As a result, Jones spent too much time on the perimeter acting like a guard.

    Outlook

    Some team is going to be so intrigued by his potential that they are going to make him a top-five pick. Detroit does not have the luxury of taking a chance on a risky gamble like Jones.

8. Jimmer Fredette, PG, Brigham Young

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    Pros

    Fredette set the college world on fire with high scoring games and his team's success. He is an underrated distributor, great shooter, and has a high basketball IQ. He has the ability to take a game over, and is a coach's dream at the next level. At the very least, Fredette would sell a lot of tickets.

    Cons

    He lacks elite athleticism, plays atrocious defense, and is not very big. Some argue that the same could be said of Steve Nash, but is a team like Detroit really willing to bet their future on that kind of long shot?

    Outlook

    Fredette is the flavor of the month in college basketball, but look for his draft stock to take a tumble as the pre-draft workouts get going. Sure, a point guard can get by as a below-average defender, but Fredette is so bad on that end of the court that he will make Luke Ridnour look like Dennis Rodman. Detroit should pass on Jimmer.

9. Kenneth Faried, F, Morehead State

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    Pros

    Simply put, Kenneth Faried is a beast. The man can rebound like few others in the history of the game. Furthermore, he has the athleticism to take over games without scoring, much like former Piston Dennis Rodman. The fans will love his hustle, and paired with Greg Monroe and Jonas Jerebko, the Pistons would have the makings of a very strong front court.

    Cons

    Faried is not a top-notch scorer, and is not a strong shooter. He played for a small school, so he may take time to develop. He also lacks size, which means Faried could be a tweener at the next level.

    Outlook

    Faried saw his draft stock fly during the tournament, taking over games and exhibiting the tools that will make him a fan favorite. Detroit would be wise to take a long look at Faried.

10. Kemba Walker, G, Connecticut Huskies

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    Pros

    Before the NCAA tournament began, I predicted that Walker would see his draft stock rise, leading the Pistons to reach and draft him in the lottery. Who knew he would see his draft stock rise this much!

    Walker had one of the all-time great tournaments, single-handedly leading his UConn team to the title. Walker is tough, strong-willed, and the consummate teammate. He can score at will, shoot from anywhere, and even is a good distributor.

    Cons

    There is still some question as to whether or not he is a true point guard. Some also question his listed size, saying instead that Walker is sub six feet and only about 160 lbs. Brandon Jennings name has been tossed around as a comparison, which could be either good or bad depending on your perspective.

    Outlook

    In my opinion, this is "the" pick for Detroit. Walker exhibits the same type of toughness, leadership and poise that brings to mind former NBA Finals MVPs Isiah Thomas and Billups. Walker would be the perfect player to bring in to help change the culture of failure and lackluster leadership in Detroit. If Walker is available when the Pistons draft, they must take him.