The Detroit Pistons have faced a lot of scrutiny regarding their draft. They could have been enticed to bring in some of the players that have been circling around the rumor mill, yet they stuck with the pick and drafted Brandon Knight from Kentucky.
Although Knight seemed upset with his selection, it was mainly due to the fact that the only four teams he worked out for (Cleveland, Toronto, Sacramento, Utah) passed on him. This will only escalate his desire to become a great player in the NBA.
The Pistons also selected Kyle Singler from Duke University, who decided to stick around for his senior year. Singler can be used as a combo guard/forward and relies on his fundamentals opposed to athleticism. He is a role player who has been coached by one of the best in the business in Coach K.
Knight is a perfect addition to the team, and the Pistons are lucky that he was not picked earlier. Initially, a small forward like Jan Vesely or Kawhi Leonard were among players named who could fill out the Pistons roster. Another option was going big and trying to get Bismack Biyombo, but with two of those three already having been drafted, the Pistons took the best remaining player in the draft. Knight evolved as a player tremendously during his freshman year at Kentucky and, at the age of 19, he will only continue to progress at a high rate. He is a very smart, athletic and scoring combo guard.
As a point guard, the Pistons have a solid core to build around with Knight calling the plays, Austin Daye panning out to be a very good small forward, and Greg Monroe playing either the 4 or 5.
The question is: what's next?
With a new young prospect on the team, there are still many questions facing general manager Joe Dumars.
The first issue to resolve would be the coaching situation.
Lawrence Frank and Mike Woodson are speculated to be among the final two candidates, but many other talented names have also been brought into the discussion. The Pistons, pending Hamilton and Prince's expected departures, could have a very young squad and need a coach who can push the younger players in the right direction. Discipline therefore should be the main characteristic that Dumars looks for in a coach.
I believe that it would be a mistake to make Bill Laimbeer coach due to his lack of NBA coaching experience, regardless of his tough demeanor. Jeff Van Gundy is also a mistake because, although he emphasizes toughness, I personally cannot see the younger players buying into his method of coaching. In either Frank or Woodson's case, defense would be the main focus, and players would benefit significantly by adapting to their methods. Hiring a new coach may be the most crucial factor for the team’s future progress.
Free agency is other subject of consideration for a team who can add another big man to help Monroe. Many names on the free-agent board will be alluring to a team that has reduced its overall player salary from last season by $19 million dollars. Names such as Tyson Chandler, Nene and Samuel Dalembert are all available and capable of helping to bring the team back to prominence. Also, with Prince expected to be gone, look for Detroit to fill his void by acquiring a combo guard who should have experience and a voice in the locker room.
Overall, the Detroit Pistons fan base should be excited about the upcoming months, as drafting Brandon Knight was only step one. With a new coach coming in, it truly will be the start of a new era in Pistons basketball.
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