|We are now to the non-lottery teams. The first playoff team in the draft is the Detroit Pistons and GM Robbie Bolton who selects:|
Detroit Pistons 2000 Mock Draft Report
I) Draft History
The Pistons have done a solid job in the 1990's of drafting players who have been either starters or part of an NBA rotation at one point in their careers. Unfortunately, Ratliff, Houston, Wells, and Pollard are playing elsewhere. The Pistons did not have a first round pick last year. It went to Atlanta in the trade for Christian Laettner. Trading their second round pick, Melvin Levett, to the Lakers for Derek Harper appeared to be a great move, but fate was not on the Pistons side, as Harper refused to play for them and instead chose to retire.
II) Team Needs
Point Guard, Power Forward, & Center
The Pistons need a steady guard who can penetrate and distribute the ball well. It would be preferred if he was above 6'1", could defend the best PG's in the game, and knock down the open shot. A post-player is another huge priority. They need someone who can rebound block-shots, and at least cause opposing to players to think twice about getting easy buckets in the lane.
The Pistons certainly had no problem scoring points this year with Hill and Stackhouse being the highest scoring duo in the league. However, their biggest problems were the soft interior defense, no true offensive post-players, and poor play at the point.
Lindsey Hunter, John Crotty, Jermaine Jackson
In all fairness to Hunter, who plays tough defense and has a great 3-pt. Shooting percentage, he is not a point guard. He a shooter, not a distributor; would be great in a 3-guard role offense or coming off the bench as a 6th man. John Crotty did a good job running the offense. While not spectacular, he provided stability. Jermaine Jackson was on the IL the most of the season.
Jerry Stackhouse, Michael Curry
Jerry Stackhouse had a huge year, making his first all-star appearance. He talked a little, but backed it up in the Miami series with Hill out. He was very outspoken after the season about what personnel changes the front office needs to make to field a competitive team next year. Stack is definitely the best player under contract. Curry is a great role player, not so much for his skills on the court, but more for his character, leadership, and off-court demeanor. He is the only player that Grant Hill had ever insisted upon being signed as a free agent. That certainly says something about what kind of chemistry he brings to the team.
Grant Hill, Judd Bucheler
Grant Hill is the best small forward in the game. He has only gotten better every year that he has been in the league. Him and Stackhouse have formed a great 1-2 punch this season. Bucheler has had somewhat of a let down after last year. He fell out of the rotation completely towards the end of the season.
Jerome Williams, Terry Mills, Christian Laettner, Loy Vaught
This has been a disaster for the Pistons this past season. Laettner has not produced the way he was expected to after the sign and trade deal with Atlanta. It was thought that he would bring a "Bill Lambeer-like" toughness back to the team and provide some heart. He certainly has done the opposite with his lack of effort on defense and just seems to be going through the motions. To say that Vaught has not lived up to expectations would be n understatement. (I often think what state the Pistons would be in right now had they signed Clifford Robinson - Alvin Gentry's choice, instead of Vaught - VP Rick Sund's choice). Terry Mills was brought back to Detroit because of his outside shooting. However, because of the lack of quality big men, Mills (and Laettner some, too) had to play out of position at center. Williams had another productive season. His rebounding prowess and energy often serves as a catalyst for the team. Towards the end of the season and during the play-offs, he was somewhat critical of the coaching staff.
Mikki Moore, Eric Montross
Moore did not get off the IL until Don Reid was released after the trading deadline. He showed flashes of potential with his Ratliff-like hot-blocking abilities. He could develop into a quality big man. Montross is a solid back-up center. Nothing special, except for his size. He is a big body who can play physical with the league's bigger centers. A quality back up center.
PLAYERS UNDER CONRACT
Laettner, Williams, Vaught, Hunter, Curry, Montross, Stackhouse
Bucheler, Hill, Crotty, Jackson, Moore, Mills
* The Pistons must re-sign Grant Hill. Will probably attempt to keep Moore, Mills, and Crotty, assuming the price is reasonable.
IV) My Selection
Crawford reminds many of a younger, slightly smaller Penny Hardaway. When he first declared (this year), he was projected as a low-first rounder at best, but his stock soared after his performance at the Chicago camp. The lowest he will go now will be to Philadelphia at No. 20. He could even go higher than this with Chicago and Orlando taking hard looks at him. Crawford has a lot of potential and is a very versatile player who could play the 3 if a team went small. With the uncertainty about what will happen to the Pistons in free agency (Will Hill stay or go? Jalen Rose to Detroit? Etc.), Crawford seemed like a very flexible player who could play more than just the point and is a hot enough commodity right now that he could work well in a trade if the Pistons try to swing a draft day deal.
V) Other Players Considered
Should be a good point guard one day, but seems to have the Stephon Marbury syndrome. (He does not realize he's supposed to share the ball with the other guys with the same shirts on). I think he will develop one day. He is a much better prospect than say a Chauncey Billups or Antonio Daniels ever was. Positionally, he is not tall enough to be an NBA 2-guard.
Questions about whether he'll be able to be a true post player in the NBA. Some think he will have to learn to play the 3. He is a strong player who may have to turn himself into a role player and be content not getting many set plays. Could be a Kurt Thomas/Charles Oakley-type player.
How much does he weigh? Is he from Greece or Turkey? Will he be able to get out of his contract and play in the NBA in the near future? There are simply too many questions about this guy for me to take him here. If I was drafting for a deep team with no immediate needs, had multiple picks or was drafting in the bottom half of the round, I would take a chance on him.
Love his size, toughness, leadership, and maturity. May not be quick enough for an NBA point, but that was the knock on Andre Miller, too. The shot is a huge question mark and ultimately what led me away from him. Pepe Sanchez and Doug Gottlieb are great points with limited offensive skills and they will be lucky to be drafted. Cleaves could go anywhere from no. 10-25.
Raw and strong rebounder. Cannot do much of anything offensively outside or five feet. Should have stayed in school. Could have came out a year or two from now and been a lottery pick. If I was gonna go this route with this selection, Harvey probably would have been my second choice after Thomas, due to his inexperience and lack of an offensive game.
The Pistons never really like taking players straight out of high school because it's tough to gage how long it will take them to adjust, if they will be able to adjust, etc. Some say he could be the next Kobe. Well, he could be the next Korleone Young.
VI) Who Team Will Probably Take
I see the Pistons strongly leaning towards Mateen Cleaves. He's one of the few players the Pistons have had in for private workout and interview. There will be some media backlash if they do not take Cleaves or Morris Peterson. But unless they know that Hill is heading to greener pastures or have plans to trade Stack, I think that pick just doesn't make sense there. They do have some interest in Barkley and Kenyon Dooling, but it looks like the Mavericks will gobble the latter up with pick No. 12 and Joe Dumars is said to think highly of Cleaves and I don't see them considering Barkley here, unless for some reason both Cleaves and Dooling are gone. The Pistons are very intrigued with Crawford. They've seen him at Chicago and interviewed him there. They also want to bring him in for a private workout. They are bringing Etan Thomas in for a workout before the draft. I have heard they like Jason Collier because of his size, but he is not exactly an inside presence. This could be the second coming of Jon Koncak. Jerome Moiso is considered by most to be the next best power forward after the big 3 (Fizer, Swift, and Martin). He is a wiry, shot-blocking big man in the Theo Ratliff mold. He is still young and could yet develop the body of an NBA center.
VII) Other Off-Season Moves Team Should Make
Team must Re-sign Grant Hill. Team must Re-sign Grant Hill. Team must Re-sign Grant Hill. Everything else is secondary right now. Jalen Rose wants to come back home to D-town. This should be priority no. 2, after Hill. This is the first year of the Joe Dumar's regime. Supposedly, there is no one under contract that is untouchable. This includes Stackhouse, Hunter, and Williams, who have the most trade value. They also need to do whatever is necessary to dump Laettner and Vaught. It would not surprise me in the least if Joe D. makes some draft day deals or does some things to really shake up the current roster. They must not sign Maurice Taylor; he doesn't play defense and can't rebound. The Pistons already have enough of those powers forwards. As afterthoughts, Crotty, Moore, Mills should all be brought back if they can get them for close to the minimum.
|Craig Simpson - Usenet Draft Commissioner|
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