Five wings who could be in Pistons’ wheelhouse, plus five ‘detour’ candidates
Wing looks to be the deepest position in the NBA Draft and it also happens to be the Detroit Pistons’ biggest need. Here are some potential targets at No. 15:
►Nassir Little, North Carolina: He might be one of the best two-way wings in the draft, but other teams like him too, so he may not be there at 15. He’s 6-4½ with a 7-1¼ wingspan, and he’s a little undersized (6-foot-6) for the Pistons’ needs, but he would be a quality pick.
►Cameron Johnson, North Carolina: He checks a lot of boxes: He’s 6-9 and shoots 46 percent from beyond the arc. At age 23, he’s more mature and could step in immediately with his spot-up and catch-and-shoot proficiency.
►Romeo Langford, Indiana: He had a thumb injury that limited his production in his only season at Indiana but he’s an adept scorer. He posted 16.5 points but only shot 27 percent from 3, which is a big question mark — and one of the Pistons’ biggest needs.
►Kevin Porter Jr., USC: His stock is falling in some mock drafts because of questions about his maturity and work ethic. He might be the most talented all-around scorer of the wing crop, but the Pistons might not want to deal with the red flags.
►Keldon Johnson, Kentucky: He’s a very good athletic talent who excelled in his one season with the Wildcats. Averaging 13.5 points and 5.9 rebounds, he showed his versatility, along with 38 percent on 3-pointers.
The picks between 10 and 20 in the first round could go in almost any order. If a better overall player drops to 15, the Pistons could take a detour from their primary needs and select the best player available. Here are five to watch in that category:
►Rui Hachimura, Gonzaga: He’s a good overall talent and was projected to go in the top 10 during the college season. Hachimura has good size and can play both forward spots, which makes him more valuable as a potential sparkplug in the Pistons’ reserve group.
►Brandon Clarke, Gonzaga: Like Hachimura, he has versatility in the frontcourt, but brings a better defensive presence that the Pistons could use immediately. He’s less likely to drop to 15, but if he’s there, he could be the pick.
►PJ Washington, Kentucky: The Pistons don’t have another big man like him and the versatility could let him be a power forward or a small-ball center, to play alongside Thon Maker in the second unit. He likely won’t drop to 15, but if he does, it’s a steal.
►Bol Bol, Oregon: There are so many unknowns about Bol, who played only a handful of games in his one year in college before suffering a season-ending injury. He’s about 210 pounds and standing over 7 feet, that’s a real concern.
►Goga Bitadze, Georgia (International): Bitadze is an intriguing prospect who has outside range and versatility that could fit well as the backup center to Andre Drummond. They would be better served waiting until the second round for that spot, though.