Pistons Mailbag - Thursday, May 19, 2011 - Page 3
Pistons.com editor Keith Langlois answers your questions about the Pistons and NBA. Click here to submit your questions - please include your name, email address and city/state on the form. Return to the Mailbag homepage.
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Ryan (Ypsilanti, Mich.): Do you think Donatas Motiejunas will be on the board at No. 8 and, if he is, should the Pistons strongly consider him?
Langlois: Motiejunas is more likely than not to be available to the Pistons at No. 8, though opinions could be swayed between now and then. Motiejunas will have the chance to wow scouts in Treviso in June. He’ll be one of the players we profile in our 15-part draft series that starts Monday on Pistons.com. But Motiejunas, by all accounts, projects as a “stretch four” in the NBA – he’s a highly skilled, face-up shooter. That’s something every team would love to have, of course – and if he turns out to be Dirk Nowitzki, then he’ll be the best player in the draft – but the Pistons have two players, Charlie Villanueva and Austin Daye, who give them what Motiejunas offers. So while I wouldn’t rule him out as a possibility, I tend to think there will be other candidates that better fit their roster needs to take them in another direction.
Marvin (Richmond, Va.): Do you think with the prospect of a lockout looming that more deals might be made around and during the draft under the belief that when the lockout ends, there won’t be a lot of time to conduct business before the season starts?
Langlois: Great question, Marvin, and I’ve asked around about that myself, but there doesn’t seem to be much of a sense for how the threat of a July 1 lockout will affect business leading up to that date. My best guess is it won’t have a significant impact. Teams have known this date was coming for a long time and have been shaping their strategy accordingly. Some, I suspect, have already been able to get deals done to better position them from a cap standpoint. I sense that will be harder to do now than it was at the trade deadline, when there is more of a balance between buyers and sellers – the buyers being teams looking to make a playoff push or add one more weapon to combat a certain likely playoff rival. That doesn’t exist right now, meaning far more sellers than buyers in the marketplace.
Bosco (Swansea, Wales): I think Tristan Thompson and Bismack Biyombo are very similar players. Both are explosive, athletic and talented shot-blockers. Biyombo’s age is a concern. Thompson’s measurements, on the other hand, don’t look too impressive. But Thompson doesn’t look 6-foot-8 to me – he looks taller. He was supposedly 6-foot-8 when he was 16 – surely he’s grown in the last four years.
Langlois: As I wrote earlier, Bosco, I’ve heard more than one scout say they think he’ll measure taller than 6-foot-8 in Chicago. You’re right that the analyses of Thompson and Biyombo describe two very similar players. And maybe it will turn out that they have very similar NBA careers. But history rarely works that way. Five years from now, my guess is one will have clearly established himself as the better player. Any team that takes one over the other will agonize over making sure they take that guy, not the other one.
Erik (Sterling Heights, Mich.): The first Yahoo! mock draft has the Pistons taking Enes Kanter with the No. 8 pick. What do you think the odds of Kanter falling to the Pistons are?
Langlois: Not great, Erik. I say that mostly because I’ve heard and read a number of opinions that he’s the best big guy in the draft, and history tells us that anyone who fits that description doesn’t get past the first few picks. Now, I understand Kanter has significant question marks because of his inactivity the past few years. But he has five weeks to change minds – and he only needs to change the mind of one of the teams picking ahead of the Pistons. Just doesn’t seem very likely that a talented big man won’t be able to do that.
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