Wherever Pistons draft, help awaits

Terry Foster
The Detroit News

As the NBA draft draws nearer, there are a number of ways the Pistons can go at No. 8.

■ They can trade up.

■ They can stand pat.

■ They can trade down.

Each scenario can improve the Pistons.

Pistons general manager Jeff Bower said this week the team is likely to stand pat because the price of moving up is prohibitive. But there's always a chance. ...

Trading up

There are willing trade partners in the Knicks, who own the fourth pick, and the Magic, which is at five. Both are casually seeking offers.

If the teams swap first-round picks and the Pistons are willing to give up a pick next season, they could have their choice of Duke small forward Justise Winslow or Croatian shooter Mario Hezonja.

Winslow adds scoring at small forward in addition to better defense. And at 6-foot-6, he is the more traditional scoring small forward teams like.

But there is intrigue with Hezonja. He isn't just a shooter — he can get into the paint and attack, and plays with a swagger. The downside is he is a 6-7 shooting guard, so he might have to play small forward or the Pistons would have to go with three guards.

Stand pat

If the Pistons stick at No. 8, they could end up with 19-year-old Stanley Johnson, a 6-6 small forward out of Arizona with unlimited potential. He's strong, athletic and can shoot 3-pointers. Johnson also could play behind a free agent the Pistons sign this summer and be ready to start in 2016-17.

There's also Devin Booker, a shooter from Duke. He's also 19, which gives the Pistons more time to develop him for the future.

Trading down

The Pistons could select Wisconsin small forward Sam Dekker at No. 8. Or they could trade down and still snag Dekker and another pick or veteran that could help.

If the Pistons trade down and miss on Dekker, they could go for a stretch four like Kentucky's Trey Lyles (6-11), Wisconsin's Frank Kaminsky (6-11) or Texas' Myles Turner (6-9). A pick like that would make the Pistons get bigger and more athletic.

Slam dunks

Several players made their final pitch to the Pistons without workouts Tuesday:

Kentucky's Aaron Harrison, a 6-5 shooting guard, was the biggest name, but he might go undrafted. He did, however, show a sense of humor when asked what he wanted to show teams off the court.

"That I am just a boring guy," he said. "There is not much to me. Just that I am a good kid and I want to play basketball."

The other players in town: Wichita State 6-2 guard Tekele Cotton, Lithuanian 6-10 forward/center Arturas Gudaitis, Eastern Washington 6-4 guard Tyler Harvey, Iowa 6-10 center Gabe Olaseni and Polish 6-5 guard Mateusz Ponitka.