It looks like Luke Kennard and Donovan Mitchell aren’t the only players linked to the Pistons’ No. 12 pick in Thursday’s NBA draft.
While shooting remains arguably the Pistons’ biggest need, Sports Illustrated as Detroit going big in Thursday’s draft, selecting 7-footer Zach Collins out of Gonzaga, according to its latest mock draft unveiled Tuesday.
But, make no mistake, Collins can shoot it, too.
“Teams are intrigued by Collins’s potential to space the floor and his impressive defensive displays last season,” Jeremy Woo of Sports Illusrated writes. “The Pistons need shooting, but Collins would be good value here, and a solid piece no matter what direction they go. Detroit’s been involved in trade rumors dating back to February and could certainly be active.”
As a freshman, Collins averaged 10 points, 5.9 rebounds and almost two blocks per game for the Bulldogs, while also shooting 47.6 percent (10 for 21) from 3-point range.
Kennard has been a popular choice for the Pistons in mock draft, with ESPN’s Chad Ford pegging the Duke sharpshooter for the Pistons in his mock. Likewise, Rod Beard of The Detroit News also had the Pistons taking Kennard in his first and second mock drafts.
Sports Illustrated has the Heat taking Kennard at No. 14.
Former Michigan star D.J. Wilson, who opted for the draft after two seasons in Ann Arbor, is slated by Sports Illusrated to be picked by Oklahoma City at No. 21.
“OKC is one of several teams in the 20s rumored to be high on Wilson,” Woo writes. “His shooting range, size and defensive versatility hold obvious appeal as the Thunder continue to search for the right pieces to support Russell Westbrook.”
Other notables in Sports Illustrated’s mock draft include Detroit native and former Kansas standout Josh Jackson going to the Sacramento Kings at No. 5; former Utah standout Kyle Kuzma, a former Burton Bentley star, going to the Lakers at No. 28; Xavier poing guard Edmond Sumner, a Detroit Country Day product, going to the Utah Jazz at No. 42 (second round); and Iowa State point gaurd Monte Morris, a Flint Beecher product and former Mr. Basketball in Michigan, going to the Philadelphia 76ers at No. 50.