The Detroit Pistons had a fifth-place finish in the Central division in the 2014-15 season under new head coach Stan Van Gundy, but a mid season acquisition of former Oklahoma City Thunder guard Reggie Jackson and a high draft pick have all arrows pointing upwards for the franchise.
In 27 games for the Pistons, Jackson averaged 17.6 points per game, 9.2 assists and 4.7 rebounds as the go-to guy. Along with Jackson, Brandon Jennings will be returning from an Achilles tendon injury that sidelined him in January, and his presence with Jackson should create a really dynamic backcourt with a ton of scoring potential.
With Greg Monroe’s all-but-certain eventual departure, the Pistons traded for Ersan Ilyasova to combine with Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Andre Drummond in rounding out the starting five. With the guards and center positions taken care of, the Pistons are probably looking to secure a forward. They’re lacking a traditional swingman forward, which they will try to select with the No. 8 overall pick of the NBA Draft.
On June 25, Pistons fans can get to the Barclays Center to see the Draft in person with Hipmunk.com to book Brooklyn flights. With a top-10 selection, watching the Pistons add an important piece to help them return to the playoffs is the perfect reason for an NBA Draft getaway, completed by booking Brooklyn area hotels through Hipmunk as well. NBA Draft tickets have an average price of $94.91, with a get-in price of $38, according to TiqIQ.com.
The Pistons have a few different directions they can go in, mostly by waiting to see who will be available. Below are a few of the most popular projections concerning who might land in Detroit.
Devin Booker | Kentucky | Guard | Freshman | 6’6”, 206 lbs.
As the workouts proceed, Booker’s stock rises. College basketball’s most lethal shooter last season made 41.1 percent of his three-point attempts and front offices are having trouble containing their excitement over his shooting stroke. It’s simple, clean, and smooth—all the positive adjectives Booker himself would like to hear. Booker is the youngest player in the draft, which is just another added bonus to an amazing shooting package. If Booker is still around at No. 8, it’ll be hard for the Pistons to pass up.
Justise Winslow | Duke | Forward | Freshman | 6’6”, 225 lbs.
Stanley Johnson | Arizona | Forward | Freshman | 6’7”, 245 lbs.
These two players are the more traditional swingman forwards that the Pistons are looking to acquire. Johnson was once projected to be a top-five pick and will have an immediate impact on an NBA team defensively. At 6’7”, 245 pounds, Johnson’s athleticism will have him dealing with the best and brightest scorers the league has to offer. His offensive game has his stock slightly stumbling, as the projections of him being a consistent offensive threat needs some powerful convincing.
Winslow is the more-NBA ready player between the two, but just doesn’t have the physical gifts that Johnson possesses. At the same time, Winslow was a large reason for Duke’s National Championship run, and also has a year of coaching from Hall-of-Famer Mike Krzyzewski, which is always beneficial for any player embarking on their NBA career.