Reporting Dan Leach
Follow Dan Leach on Twitter @dtmleach
With the 2013 NBA Draft just days away, the Pistons have a chance to draft a player that could get them back to contention. After going to six straight Eastern Conference Finals from 2003-2008, the Stones have endured some dead years, but are building a team that could have a very bright future.
The young nucleus of Greg Monroe, Andre Drummond, and Brandon Knight has given this team promise and now Joe Dumars must draft well in a year where there are several options. I believe making the right pick this year will be tremendously important in the Pistons ability to truly contend over the next several years.
3-C.J McCollum- Shooting Guard 6’3 197 lb Lehigh
McCollum might have played at a school that most NBA fans have never heard of in Lehigh, but the bottom line is this 6-3 SG can ball. He did break his left foot on January 5th, 2013, ending his season, but he leaves Lehigh as the all-time leading scorer of the Patriot League. McCollum is one of the best pure scorers in the draft and can rebound extremely well for a player his size. I do not think he has as big of an NBA upside as Trey Burke, but he is not that far off, and is a tremendous leader on and off the court.
2-Anthony Bennett- Power Forward 6’7 240 lb UNLV
If Bennett slid to eight, which is looking less and less likely, the Pistons could find themselves with another Andre Drummond-esque find. I personally believe Drummond should have gone a lot earlier in the 2012 draft and Bennett has that same type of raw skill that could allow him to dominate on both ends of floor. He can play both the 3 and 4 and has one of the best mid-range jumpers I have seen recently in the college game. He has tremendous instincts around the rim, which is something the Pistons have been lacking overall the past several seasons.
1-Trey Burke- Point Guard 6’1 187 lb Michigan
Burke might be a little undersized, but all this guy does is score. There is a decent chance Burke will still be on the board at eight and if so I think the Pistons would be remiss to not snatch him up. They would then be able to move Brandon Knight over to the 2-guard, which I think will be better for his development. They also would not have to resign an aging Jose Calderon, opening up more cap money. Burke might not light the NBA on fire as a rookie, but I am confident that Burke will be an All-Star caliber player in a very short period of time. As a local product, there is no doubt he would energize the often apathetic fan base, is a tremendous leader, and can help the Pistons get to the next level.