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College, NBA, NBA Draft / Apr 17, 2013 / 5:00 pm

Tracking This Year’s NBA Draft Class: The 5 Best Fits For Detroit

Marcus Smart

Each Wednesday, we’ll be assessing how the top prospects of the 2013 NBA Draft are faring in college and overseas. Stick with us each week for assorted thoughts, including the biggest risers and fallers, the standouts, the sleepers and what we know and don’t know about the next NBA Draft class…

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The NBA season ends tonight and just like nearly every NBA executive, I’m at the Nike Hoops Summit in Portland. There is an array of talent here, including potential first-round picks in this upcoming draft. Let’s dive back into the team previews with the Detroit Pistons.

Here is the NBA Draft Fast Five.

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ONE: What Do We Know About The Detroit Pistons?
Over the past four years, the Pistons have selected in the top 15 four times, including three top-10 picks in Greg Monroe (No. 7), Brandon Knight (No. 8) and Andre Drummond (No. 9). Those three are undoubtedly the team’s core moving forward, but poor decisions in free agency have prevented this team from building for the future.

Next season, the Pistons are committed only to Rodney Stuckey ($8.5 million), Charlie Villanueva (player option for $8.58 million), Jonas Jerebko ($4.5 million), Viacheslav Kravtsov ($1.5 million), Kyle Singler ($1.045 million), Kim English ($788K) and Khris Middleton ($762K) outside of the three core players.

As a team, they have been in the bottom third of the league in offensive production and in the bottom half of the league in defensive efficiency. For a team like that, best player available all the way. No time to be picky.

TWO: What Do They Need?
If the season ended today (it does), the Pistons would be slotted with the seventh-best odds in the lottery, tied with the Washington Wizards. In that spot, they will likely miss out on some of the top prospects that fit their immediate needs, but again, talent is the most important factor.

Adding another perimeter player that can play both ends, or at least get the ball in the hoop, would be beneficial for the Pistons long-term because of their offensive woes. Knight was drafted to be the team’s point guard of the future, but if a pure point guard falls to them in the lottery, it could help stimulate the offense.

THREE: Stock Falling
Not many prospects this year have decided to stay in school, but with Marcus Smart returning to Oklahoma State, a surefire top-five pick is off the board. Smart feels he has the opportunity to compete with next year’s top prospects and become a great basketball player in the process. He is wired a little differently and values winning, the college experience, and improving as a player. Those intangibles led to his decision to return. His stock is not “falling” because he no longer has stock, at least this year, but there is little doubt that he will next year.

FOUR: Stock Rising
With the return of Smart and the declaration of Michael Carter-Williams, there is no other player that benefits more greatly because of that decision. MCW was falling after his late season performances from being a top-10 type prospect to a late lottery pick. He is going to get the looks that Smart was as the draft’s best big, dynamic point guard.

Keep reading to see which five players are the best fits in the draft for Detroit…

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