Pistons Mailbag - Thursday, May 26, 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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Tiba (Detroit): Am I the only one not content with taking the best available big man at No. 8? With this draft being so weak, I’d rather gamble on a high-reward player, regardless of position. Example: I’d take Alec Burks over Tristan Thompson.
Langlois: I’m not sure there is anything approaching unanimity of agreement that Burks has a higher ceiling than Thompson, Tiba. As a scorer, sure. As an impact player? If Thompson becomes a double-digit rebounder and a first-rate defensive force, that’s pretty good return on investment. If Tristan Thompson becomes Ben Wallace and Alec Burks becomes Michael Redd, which one would you take?
Michael (Los Angeles): I don’t get why Joe Dumars only wants to draft a big man in the first round. If Tayshaun Prince leaves as a free agent, we need a starting small forward as much as we need a power forward. I don’t think Daye is ready for the starting role and Jerebko might have to play as much power forward. Please ask him not to write off the chance to draft players like Vesely or Leonard.
Langlois: I interpreted his comments on the night of the lottery as an acknowledgment of the strength of the draft and the fact the Pistons got the No. 8 pick. By most accounts, the value in that range will be in big men. I’ve written frequently that small forward is likely to be an area the Pistons will hope to address in the draft, perhaps with their pick at 33. It’s possible Leonard works his way into the discussion at 8. I’m not sure they would view Vesely, who reportedly doesn’t yet have a consistent jump shot, as a small forward. – though I certainly believe Vesely is a player they will strongly consider with their pick if he’s still available. He can probably hold his own defensively at small forward, but he’s a long and athletic 6-foot-11 – I think most teams ultimately project him as a power forward.
Travis (Detroit): Chris Singleton looks like a very impressive prospect. Do you think Joe Dumars would consider him at No. 8? He’d replace Prince so Jerebko could play power forward.
Langlois: If the Pistons target Singleton, Travis, then I would expect they would at least explore the possibility of trading down a few spots to see if they can pick up another asset in the process. Eight is probably higher than Singleton should be expected to go, though he’s the type of athlete that could generate a lot of buzz and see his stock – or his perceived stock, at least – rise enough in the coming weeks that other teams will start to wonder what they’ve missed and go back to check out his Florida State tapes again. Singleton can be breathtaking – the production just didn’t match those breathtaking moments in college. But he wouldn’t be the first to blossom a little later and blow up as an NBA player.
Anthony (Edwardsburg, Mich.): It seems likely the Pistons will go with a frontcourt player in the first round, but what about the second? They might not be impact players, but Jon Leuer and JaJuan Johnson are two of my favorite Big Ten guys who could be solid backups for Monroe. Or, if they wanted to go with a wing player who does a little bit of everything, they could take a look at Chandler Parsons of Florida. What are your thoughts?
Langlois: You’ve touched on three guys who we’ll discuss in the 15-part draft series we’re putting together now for Pistons.com. Johnson and Leuer are players we’ll explore as options for the pick at 33, though Leuer has perhaps pushed himself into the late first round with his showing at the Chicago draft combine. Parsons is a possibility for the pick at 52, though I wouldn’t rule out him rising out of range of that pick, as well, over the next month. Parsons has great size and versatility and seems like a guy who’s going to stick around in the NBA for a lot of years as a role player. I could see some scouts comparing Parsons to Kyle Singler or Gerald Honeycutt, other rangy wings in this draft projected to go much higher, and believing Parsons could have a similar chance to succeed.
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