By Ashley Dunkak
CBS DETROIT – The Detroit Pistons could end up with a first-round pick after all.
The chance of that happening might be only as good as the chance that Lloyd had with Mary in the movie “Dumb and Dumber,” but new team president and head coach is saying there is a chance.
“[If] you’ve got a guy on your board that you rated 17 or 18, and he’s still on the board as you get down to 25, 26, 27, and somebody gives you an opportunity to buy in, you might do that,” Van Gundy said. “We’re not going to buy in just to have a pick, but if there’s a specific guy where we think, that guy’s up here, and this would be great value to get him at this point at this salary, we would certainly look into it. I think you want to go into draft night prepared for any eventuality.
“We’re not going out and actively, right now, seeking ways into the draft,” Van Gundy added, “but on draft night, if there was guys there, yeah, we might do it.”
While Van Gundy believes such a scenario is unlikely, he certainly will not rule it out, and the Pistons have done their due diligence on which teams are shopping their picks and which ones would be willing to listen to offers.
“There’s one team – I’m not going to give the team – but there’s one team who’s actually saying to people, ‘Give us your best deal for our pick,’ late in the first round, but it’s a bottom five pick in the first round … so there’s some of those things going on,” Van Gundy said. “We’re not going to get involved in those. Again, we’re not going to sit here today or tomorrow and say we want the 25th, 26th, 27th, 28th pick, not knowing who’s going to be there. Our scenario for that – and again, it’s unlikely – is there’s a guy we really, really like, and he slides down the board, and we’ve got a chance to buy in, and we do it on draft night.”
Van Gundy said he does not foresee the Pistons offering more than cash or maybe a future second-round pick if the team were to decide to try to get into the first round to target a specific player. Detroit knows which players it would make an effort to snag. New general manager Jeff Bower and the Pistons are obviously not slotted to have a first-round pick, but they have prepared as if they do.
“[Jeff] and his scouts have met at least twice a day over the last 10 days or so to really try to get it down,” Van Gundy said. “Even though we don’t pick until 38, they’ll actually create an entire draft board so that you’re ready if things come up where you can buy into the first round or something like that, if there’s a guy there, that we’re ready to go, and we know who those people are.”