What experts say about Pistons' picks
Bradford Doolittle, ESPN: This is all about whether or not you think (Stanley) Johnson will turn out to be a better pro than (Justise) Winslow, who was still on the board when Detroit picked at No. 8. While everyone loves Johnson's intangibles, the knock on him is that he doesn't have that one standout skill that will shine at the NBA level.
Winslow also gets glowing reviews for his makeup, is a better athlete than Johnson and at the very least should stand out on the defensive end right off the bat. Of course, the same might be true of Johnson, who also has a slightly better statistical projection.
Detroit's pick of (Darrun) Hilliard at No. 38 was uninspired. He's not a great athlete and as a four-year player, would figure to have limited growth in his game. You'd like to see more of an upside pick there.
Chad Ford, ESPN: With the eighth pick the Detroit Pistons select Stanley Johnson. With Justise Winslow on the board. First big mistake of the night.
Marc J Spears, Yahoo.com: (Stanley Johnson) became a high school phenom and a college standout by overpowering smaller wings off the dribble and finishing with aplomb in transition. He will still be capable on defense and dangerous in transition in the NBA, but it will be interesting to see how he fares facing defenders of his size and strength. A knock-down jumper would certainly help, and perhaps with time Johnson will develop one.
Jonathan Wasserman, Bleacher Report: Stanley Johnson works for the Pistons both as arguably the top talent on the board and a perfect fit in the lineup. Detroit needed a wing, and at 6'6", 242 pounds, Johnson has two-way potential as a scorer and defender. He's a small forward who can generate offense from all three levels. And he led Arizona as a freshman to a No. 2 seed in the NCAA tournament.
Competitive, strong and athletic, chances are Johnson can start opening night for the Pistons. Duke's Justise Winslow would have been the bigger home run swing, but Johnson is as safe as any prospect outside the top four.
Darun Hilliard isn't an exciting pick, but his skill set holds NBA value. At 6'6", he's a three-point shooter and disciplined defender. The Pistons could ultimately use some shot-making ability on the wing.
Hilliard lacks playmaking ability, but in the right role, he'll have a chance to succeed as a role player.
Kurt Helin, Pro Basketball Talk: They needed a small forward in Detroit and they got a good one. He comes with an NBA body, but his offensive game is going to need some polish — particularly his jumper — to get to the NBA level or get a lot of minutes in a Stan Van Gundy offense. He also wasn't great finishing around the rim against length. He has the potential to be be an impressive NBA player, he's just a little bit of a project at the start.
Chris Mannix, Sports Illustrated: Stanley Johnson has the body of an NBA player. He's powerful, and he uses that strength on the defensive end well. He has elite defensive skills, skills that should get him in Stan Van Gundy's rotation sooner rather than later. What is he offensively? That remains to be seen.
Sam Venecie, CBSSports.com: This is a pretty prototypical Stan Van Gundy draft. The team got more athletic, more versatile, and got better from a shooting standpoint. Johnson will be an incredibly intriguing option with Ersan Ilyasova as a stretch-4 with Johnson as a traditional 3.
Having said that, it is worth mentioning that Justise Winslow was on the board here, and Winslow does most of the same things that Johnson does, just better. In the second round, Van Gundy picked a guy that makes sense in Hilliard, a killer shooter that you can trust to make shots and a solid defensive player who can play both wing positions.