Stage Presence

Monroe, Pistons good luck charm, to represent team at NBA draft lottery

Greg Monroe, the Pistons' lucky No. 7 in last year's draft, will represent his team onstage in the draft lottery.
Al Bello/NBAE/Getty Images
The Pistons consider themselves lucky to have landed Greg Monroe in last year’s lottery, so why not pack him off to this year’s lottery to represent the team in the May 17 drawing?

Monroe stamped himself as a pillar of the franchise during a rookie season that started with him on the bench and ended in a flurry of double-doubles. Monroe averaged 12.5 points and 9.3 rebounds over the season’s final 48 games, moving into the starting lineup and posting 21 double-doubles in that span.

The Pistons go into the lottery just as they did a season ago – situated in the No. 7 slot. They’ll have a 4.3 percent chance to get the No. 1 pick and a 15 percent chance to land a top-three pick. Last year, they wound up staying right where they were supposed to draft, picking Monroe seventh.

Pistons vice president Scott Perry represented the Pistons on stage at last year’s lottery, but he’ll happily turn over duties to Monroe this time around.

“Hopefully, he’ll bring us more luck,” Perry laughed. “But, actually, staying at seven ended up being very lucky for us last year. The fact we remained at seven in the lottery process and were able to draft a guy we believe is going to be one of the cornerstones for your team – now to have him go back there the following year, hopefully, his presence there will bring the same type of good fortune during this lottery.”

John Wall was the consensus No. 1 pick going into last May’s lottery and Washington, which went from the No. 4 draft position to the top, indeed selected Wall first. Then Philadelphia – which had tied with the Pistons at 27-55 but won the tiebreaker and subsequently drew into the No. 2 spot – picked Ohio State swingman Evan Turner, who had promising moments but a largely disappointing rookie season.

The 76ers are going into this draft looking for a quality big man. As promising as they played under Doug Collins in qualifying for the playoffs, the 76ers’ renaissance would be a lot farther down the tracks if they had taken Monroe with the No. 2 pick.

The Pistons were delighted to land him on draft night and delighted further to be surprised at how quickly Monroe assimilated after two years at Georgetown. The idea to send Monroe to New York to represent the Pistons came from Joe Dumars, Perry said.

“Joe just thought that Greg would be an outstanding representative for our organization,” he said. “What this young man has exhibited, both on and off the basketball floor, is what we believe the Detroit Pistons stand for. Here’s a young guy that has come in and played well and handled himself professionally, and he’s someone you feel real good about representing your organization.”

Monroe won’t be going to the lottery drawing alone. He’ll be taking a lucky charm with him and Pistons fans can make the call as to what that will be. Pistons.com will post a fan poll, starting Monday, with three candidates up for vote. Fans can also take part in a Facebook contest to predict the lottery outcome and the winner will win invitations to the NBA Draft party to be held at The Palace on June 23.