10. Detroit Pistons

We now come to the end of the lotter picks.  Detroit owns both
the 10th and 11th pick.  The 11th is Detroits own, the 10th is
Miami's from the John Sally trade.  Had Miami won one of the top
three picks, they would have kept the pick (sorry Rob :-)).  

The Pistons GM is:

    Rob Skrobola 

With the 10th pick they select:

    Alan Houston, SG, 6-6, Tennessee.

With the 11th pick they select:

    Acie Earl, C, 6-10, Iowa.

Team Needs/Situation:

Immediate needs summary:
        -Youth everywhere
        -A shot blocker
        -With Rodman gone, rebounding
        -An athletic scoring 3 man
        -A good young 3rd (for now) guard

The Pistons have been a team in need of rebuilding for a year. It 
finally seems that the management has realized that fact. They were
fortunate that at least one of their moves last year panned out,
in the person of Terry Mills. Everything else was stop-gap. At the
end of this season they are largely in the same position they were 
in at the end of last season, needing to get some young talent, and
remove some older players from the roster.

The difference is that this year, they have the means to do it. With
two high draft picks and a saleable Dennis Rodman, the Pistons have
the means to do a whole lot of rebuilding in a hurry. That is well,
because they need it.

The Pistons essentially need youth at any, and every position. The
most urgent need is for a big guy to block some shots, but again,
good young talent anywhere will be very helpful.


The Pistons don't really have a center. Bill Laimbeer can play the 
position, but his ability to put in extended minutes is not reliable.
Olden Polynice rebounds decently, and hustles, but his short arms
make him a sub-par shot blocker, and his offensive game is very limited.

Power Forward:
Mills has exhibited some fine low post scoring, and an accurate jump
shot out to 15-17 ft. His rebounding is sporadic. His defense tends to
lapse. Both of these may improve if he improves his conditioning. Mills
is the most promising front-court player on the team. He is the leading
shot-blocker on the team. With 49 in 78 games. Ouch.

Also, Dennis Rodman plays a lot of time here, but it is quite doubtful
that he will play in a Piston uniform again. He will be traded. Mark
Randall has gotten few minutes outside garbage time, and doesn't seem
to be a factor.

Small Forward: 
After coming to the Pistons, Alvin Robertson got many of the minutes
here. He is certainly out of position, but his strength allowed him
to do a reasonable job on opposing small forwards. It is unclear
what the Pistons plans for him are. Mark Aguirre and Dennis Rodman
got most of the other minutes at SF, and it seems neither will
be on the roster at the beginning of next year. Isaiah (Butch) Morris
received very few minutes, and experienced signifigant injury problems.
It seems the Pistons are unimpressed with his talents.


I'll address the guards together, since the Pistons starters both
play point and off-guard.

For now, the Pistons are in better shape at guard. Isiah and Joe Dumars
are still one of the better backcourts in the business. Robertson would
be a fine 3rd guard, but plays too often at small forward. Gerald Glass and
Melvin Newbern have provided some decent minutes as backup off-guards. 
Danny Young is mostly useless.

Isiah is still a very fine NBA guard. He can still take it to the basket, 
and his jumper is of the streaky variety. He has lost a step, and his
ability to do it all himself is often just not there. He would be a super
guard for a team with sufficient talent. Some say Thomas looks for
his shot too often, but with the lack of threats up front, it has
been rather necessary.

Joe Dumars is one of the finest outside scorers in the game. His defense is
excellent. Again, he would certainly be helped by some strong inside players,
especially a good shotblocker. Dumars is also easily capable of taking over
the point and running the show capably.

A good guard would not be wasted here. Isiah is over 30, and there are
minutes to be had. An athletic scoring guard, preferably a swingman,
would be very useful to the Pistons.

Our Selection:
                10. Allan Houston, Tennessee

Our Second Selection:
                11. Acie Earl, Iowa

Others considered:
On the Houston pick there were two others I seriously considered.
One was Chris Mills of Arizona, the other was Scott Burrell of 
Connecticut. I considered Houston to be a better scorer than either,
and overall a more polished player.

There were a number of very fine players available here. The person
I was most fascinated by was Luther Wright. He has more potential as
a lane clogger and overall strong big guy than anyone left. As I send 
this, I am fighting off the urge to change the Earl pick to Wright. :)
Also considered for that pick was Vin Baker, but I felt the Pistons need
someone who has more potential to play a real center position.

Earl was tough to pass up here.

Who they'll probably take:
Well, assuming that the picks before go as in the USENET draft, I am
fairly confident that the Pistons will take Allan Houston. He is very
likely the most talented player available. With the other pick, it
is hard to say. It seems sure that they need a big man, but they have
expressed a lot of interest in (gack) Bobby Hurley. Otherwise, I do
think they will take Earl if he is there.

Other moves:
Here is where things could get interesting. I'm sure that the Pistons
will be trying to trade Rodman for either a higher (5th-8th) pick or 
some young talent. They may try to package him with the 10th or 11th 
(or both) for a 4th or higher. Perhaps if Golden State is unable to
make a move for the 1 or 2, they will be interested.

Any of these moves would quite beneficial.

Draft Summary:

1.  Orlando
    GM:   Tom@Orlando 
    Pick: Chris Webber, PF, 6-10.  University of Michigan
2.  Philadelphia
    GM:   Dave Meeks 
    Pick: Shawn Bradley, C, 7-7. BYU
3.  Golden State
    GM's: Mike Moore 
          Terry Wong 
    Pick: Jamal Mashburn, SF, 6-8. Kentucky
4.  Dallas
    GM:   Curtis Hill  
    Pick: Anfernee Hardaway, SG, 6-7, Memphis State
5.  Minnesota
    GM's: Kevin Hansen 
          Toni Morgan 
    Pick: Calbert Cheaney, SF, 6-7. Indiana
6.  Washington
    GM's: The Crossjammer 
          Jim Nagle   
    Pick: J.R. Rider, SG, 6-5, UNLV
7.  Sacramento
    Pick: Rodney Rogers, PF, 6-7, Wake Forest
8.  Milwaukee       
    GM's: Brian Saunders 
          Morgan Edwards 
    Pick: Malcolm Mackey, PF, 6-11, Georgia Tech
9.  Denver
    GM's: John Exby 
          Rick Grubin 
    Pick: Ervin Johnson, PF, 6-11, New Orleans
10. Detroit
    GM:   Rob Skrobola 
    Pick: Alan Houston, SG, 6-6, Tennessee
11. Detroit
    GM:   Rob Skrobola 
    Pick: Acie Earl, C, 6-10, Iowa

Next up:

12. L.A. Lakers
    GM:   Ryan Van Roode 

Craig Simpson - Usenet Draft Commissioner