2011 Pistons Draft Central

Mock Draft
Kyrie Irving will go No. 1 to Cleveland and after that … well, it’s anyone’s guess. Keith Langlois takes a stab at it as Pistons.com concludes its draft series with a look at the top 33 picks – through the Pistons’ first pick of the second round.
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Trade-Down Options
If the Pistons aren’t convinced that what’s left at No. 8 will provide enough bang for the buck, they could be motivated to trade down. Who are some of the players that could then be on their radar screen?
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Long Shots
Over the past decade, the draft has produced maybe one solid NBA player a year for teams drafting 50 on down. The Pistons hope to beat those odds with their third pick in Thursday’s draft, No. 52.
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Point Possibilities
Point guard might not be the highest priority for the Pistons with the 33rd pick, but the door could swing open for one among a number of impressive candidates who figure to fall in that draft range.
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Restocking Options
With the possibility that Tayshaun Prince and Tracy McGrady could leave in free agency and Rip Hamilton via trade, the Pistons will be on the lookout for wing players – most likely with their pick at 33 in the second round.
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Big Possibilities
Even if the Pistons grab a big man with the No. 8 pick, don’t be surprised if they dip into that well again with their early second-round pick at 33.
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Intrigue Starts at No. 2
Last year’s draft didn’t really get interesting until Golden State picked Ekpe Udoh ahead of the Pistons, leaving Greg Monroe to them. This year? The intrigue all starts at No. 2, where Minnesota will trip the dominos that dictate what the draft board will look like when the Pistons pick at No. 8.
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Foundation Work
The 2011 NBA Finals offer a contrast in building a title contender. The Pistons aren’t likely to adopt the Miami model, which is why it was heartening to hear owner Tom Gores stress the importance of the draft.
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Draft Overdrive
With just a little more than three weeks left until the June 23 draft, there is still much information to cull before the Pistons will feel fully comfortable that they’re making the best-informed decision possible with their lottery pick.
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Perfect Partner
Greg Monroe’s versatility gives the Pistons the luxury of taking the best big man available to them in June’s draft, no matter that player’s strengths or weaknesses.
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Sign of Respect
It’s becoming more and more apparent that Turkish teen big man Enes Kanter won’t drop to the Pistons at No. 8, but the fact his agent has gone on record as saying he would make Kanter available for a Pistons interview is another sign of the broad respect Joe Dumars engenders in circles that matter.
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Eager and Ready
Some of the players who’ll draw strong consideration for the Pistons’ top pick – Tristan Thompson, Enes Kanter and Kenneth Faried among them – made impressive first impressions at day one of the Chicago NBA draft combine.
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Grain of Salt
Mock drafts are fun and great conversation starters, but they are not to be trusted in more certain draft years – and the 2011 NBA draft is anything but certain. Keith Langlois explains why whatever you read about this draft isn’t to be trusted until much closer to the June 23 draft.
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Pistons to Pick 8th
The lottery wasn’t kind to the Pistons, dropping them a spot to No. 8. But if there was ever a draft where it might not matter, this looks like the one.
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Potential #8 Picks
Brandon Knight
Langlois says: Kentucky freshman Brandon Knight hopes to follow Rose-Wall path.
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Enes Kanter
Kentucky (ineligible)
Langlois says: Kanter’s draft plight could parallel that of 2010’s Cousins.
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Kemba Walker
Langlois says: UConn star’s heart will be hard for NBA teams to overlook.
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Marcus Morris
Langlois says: Marcus Morris’ scoring versatility separates him from twin Markeiff.
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Tristan Thompson
Langlois says: Texas frosh Thompson could be right fit next to Monroe.
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Jonas Valanciunas
Langlois says: Contract, readiness questions put Valanciunas on Pistons radar
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Bismack Biyombo
Langlois says: Biyombo’s meteoric rise puts him on Pistons radar
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Jan Vesely
Czech Republic
Langlois says: Vesely’s rare size-athleticism combo makes him a candidate for Pistons
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Donatas Motiejunas
Langlois says: 7-footer Motiejunas comes with a high ceiling, but questions linger
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Local Media

  • Pistons ready to welcome second-round prospects
  • NBA mock drafts: Pistons taking Jonas Valanciunas
  • UCLA guard Malcolm Lee among Pistons’ prospects
  • Norris Cole, Kalin Lucas among players Detroit Pistons worked out this week