After solidifying their frontcourt when Andre Drummond fell to them at No. 9 in the first round, the Pistons beefed up their perimeter in the second round by taking Texas A&M’s Khris Middleton and Missouri’s Kim English.

Middleton, 6-foot-8½, is a junior out of Texas A&M who averaged 13.2 points and 5.0 rebounds last season. He’d put up a strong sophomore season, averaging 14.4 points and shooting 36 percent from the 3-point line, but struggled a little in the adjustment to a new coaching staff in his junior year and missing 12 games with a knee injury.

Andre Drummond, meet Greg Monroe and Brandon Knight. The three players the Pistons have plucked from the draft over the past three years have more in common than the NBA uniform they’ll wear next season. They also share this: Not one of them was supposed to be a Piston. And now they’re at the heart of the team’s future.

NBA teams began pointing to the 2012 draft as soon as the early-entry deadline for 2011 came and went with several prospects considered lottery locks deciding to return to college basketball. Harrison Barnes, Jared Sullinger, Thomas Robinson, John Henson, Tyler Zeller, Jeremy Lamb, Terrence Jones and Perry Jones III all would have been strong lottery candidates a year ago.

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