Romeo Langford a popular pick for Pistons in updated NBA mock drafts
The Detroit Pistons are in need of help on the wing, and there appears to be a consensus as to who might best fill that need in the NBA draft.
Tuesday night's draft lottery spurred a boatload of new mock drafts Wednesday morning, with at least three projecting the Pistons to take Indiana forward Romeo Langford with the No. 15 pick.
The 6-foot-6 Langford spent one season at Indiana, where he averaged 16.5 points (on 45 percent shooting) and 5.4 rebounds per game, despite playing much of the season with a hand injury. He shot just 27 percent from 3-point range.
"If Langford had produced as an outside shooter during his freshman season, he'd likely be going much higher than this," Chris Stone of the Sporting News writes. "The 19-year-old is one of the few quality shot creators in the class, and he has the positional size to make that valuable. Defensively, he was better than expected this season.
"Detroit needs to add some depth on the wing, so Langford makes quite a bit of sense."
Stone's analysis was echoed by Jonathan Givony of ESPN, who writes Langford "displayed impressive glimpses of potential as shot creator operating out of the pick-and-roll.
"The Pistons have precious little ballhandling on their roster and could certainly roll the dice on a player with Langford's talent," writes Givony, ESPN's draft analyst.
Lanford's game isn't without holes, however, notes Jeremy Woo of Sports Illustrated.
"It’s been hard to find teams particularly enamored with Langford after the season he just had," Woo writes, "and though his body and athletic tools look the part, there are valid concerns about the holes in his skill set, particularly his ongoing jump shooting struggles. While Langford was mostly productive and played through a thumb injury, he struggles to create good shots off the dribble and lacks a degree of creativity to his game that will create problems against better defenders.
"The Pistons need help on the wing, and at this point in the draft, it’s easier to justify taking the plunge."
Kyle Boone of CBS Sports also has the Pistons selecting a wing, but it's not Langford. He has 6-9 KZ Okpala of Stanford heading to Detroit. Okpala spent two seasons at Stanford, averaging 16.8 points and 5.7 rebounds as a sophomore. He shot 46 percent from the floor, including 37 percent from 3-point range.
"Okpala fits the archetype of what an NBA wing should look like to a T," Boone writes, "he's long, lean and mobile, with an improving jumper to boot. Surrounded by better talent in the NBA, he has the athletic ability and upside to be a strong contributor in the NBA."
The NBA draft is June 20.