By: Matt Dery
We are just a little over a week away from the NBA Draft and the Pistons do not have a clear cut choice at # 9 just yet. As Joe Dumars has stated in the past, Detroit may alter its course of action based on who falls to 9. Last season the team had its eye on a big, only to snag point guard Brandon Knight with the 8th overall selection. He was too good to pass up and also was a good fit here. Next week, the Pistons may have that same opportunity because after Anthony Davis at #1, this draft is turning into a guessing game. If Detroit does go with a post player at #9, they have a workout coming up Monday that should clear up the situation for them a little bit. As Chad Ford of ESPN.com reported, John Henson, Meyers Leonard, Jared Sullinger, Perry Jones, Terrence Jones, and Tyler Zeller will reportedly all be in Auburn Hills for a workout on June 25.
I think that the safe pick is certainly Zeller. The North Carolina big man is a jack-of-all trades and master of none. He has a great motor, but is not a great leaper and certainly the Pistons need athleticism in the worst way. Henson fits the bill as the shot-blocking artist that they desperately need, but, reports say he has struggled in some of the team workouts and his body may not be “NBA ready”. I really like the fact that this kid can protect the rim and with help from Arnie Kander, I believe Henson can be an asset. I am not a big fan of Leonard. I hear all of the scouts and experts say that the 7-1 Leonard has tremendous upside and athleticism, but I just don’t see it. I remember watching the entire Illinois/Michigan game at Crisler back in February and coming away shaking my head. Leonard should have dominated the smallish Wolverines and instead, he scored 5 pts and got to the free throw line twice all day. I know he is only 20 and moves pretty well for a 7 footer, but I think the Pistons can do better. Sullinger is a big name, but is that what Detroit needs?
He is a bit undersized, admits that he is not a guy that will play above the rim at all and now reports say he has a bad back. Certainly the kid is a winner, but if he was so good, wouldn’t he have run away easily with the Big Ten player of the year award? He lost out to MSU’s Draymond Green, whom many feel is a late first round pick.
There are questions with all of these guys, but, it is certainly imperative that Dumars answers them and is creative. If this workout Monday does not wow him, I would not be surprised if there is strong consideration to trying to trade up or trade down and acquire more.