Kaminsky visits Pistons: 'I can play alongside anyone'
Auburn Hills — The Pistons sent more signals Saturday that they might be willing to trade away the eighth pick in Thursday's NBA draft when they worked out big men Frank Kaminsky of Wisconsin and Myles Turner of Texas.
Then again, perhaps Stan Van Gundy and his staff don't want to leave any stone unturned. Both Kaminsky and Turner will be available at No. 8. And the Pistons appear to be set at power forward after obtaining from Milwaukee "Stretch Four" Ersan Ilyasova, who Van Gundy said would start the 2015-16 season for the Pistons.
If Van Gundy is interested in adding more depth at power forward, he can turn to either Kaminsky, the college basketball player of the year, or Turner. Both have similar games. They can hit perimeter shots and dip inside for buckets. Kaminsky's major weakness is perimeter defense. And Turner must show more fluidity when he runs.
Both are 6-foot-11 and projected to go anywhere from 11th to 16th. They are competing for a better draft slot.
The Pistons are expected to select a small forward if they keep the eighth pick. There is also a chance they'll trade up with the New York Knicks, who are looking to deal the fourth pick. If that happens it gives the Pistons a solid shot at Duke forward Justise Winslow or shooting guard Mario Hezonja of Croatia.
Regardless, whomever the Pistons select will be a premier perimeter shooter.
If the Pistons select Kaminsky or Turner it would put them in the market to sign a free agent small forward — perhaps former Piston Arron Afflalo. That becomes a dicey proposition because this has not been a big destination for free agents.
The Pistons' last three major signings — Josh Smith, Charlie Villanueva and Ben Gordon — were all flops and were not highly coveted around the league. But Afflalo, who is not a premier free agent, might be interested.
The smart money is that they'll select Stanley Johnson from Arizona or perhaps shooter Devin Booker from Kentucky. But Kaminsky believes he'd complement the Pistons well.
"I feel like I can play pretty much alongside anyone," Kaminsky said. "Just fit in the system and try to find my way. I would do the same here. I am willing to do anything given to me. I will accept anything given to me and do the best I can."
The Pistons centerpiece is Andre Drummond who is working on his inside game this summer. Both Kaminsky and Turner could draw defenses from him as inside-and-out players.
"He is still a young player," Turner said of Drummond. "I will be willing to learn under him. He's been in the league two or three years now, pick his brain a little bit from that position. I can shoot outside; shoot inside in addition to play around the basket. I can pull the defenses away from him and whenever he needs a blow I can come in there."
Michigan State guard Travis Trice also worked out for the Pistons. He might not make an NBA team right away but is a tireless worker who studies situations and learns from them. He also competes and pushes more talented players.
He is likely to be in summer camp because he is a coach's dream. He is a coach's son and benefited from playing under Spartans coach Tom Izzo.
"Only the strong survive at Michigan State," Trice said. "Coach Izzo is one of the toughest coaches in the country but the thing is if you are mentally tough enough he is going to make you a man."