National analysts give Pistons high marks for Sekou Doumbouya

The Detroit News

National analysts gave the Detroit Pistons mostly favorable reviews for their selection of forward Sekou Doumbouya with the No. 15 pick in the first round of the NBA Draft on Thursday night.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver poses for photographs with Sekou Doumbouya.

ESPN’s Jonathan Givony: It will be intriguing to see how Doumbouya is utilized in Detroit with Blake Griffin under contract, as there might not be too many minutes available for Doumbouya early on at his natural position of power forward. As the youngest player in this draft class – Doumbouya won't turn 19 until late December – the Pistons can afford to be patient with his development. And they likely view his selection as an upside play, as Doumbouya easily could have been considered a top-10 prospect in this draft. Coach Dwane Casey will like the athleticism and multi-positional defensive versatility Doumbouya offers and will likely find ways to get him on the court, eventually, as his skill level evolves.

Chris Stone, Sporting News: This is a nice value for the Pistons here just outside the lottery. Doumbouya combines positional size with plus-athleticism. There's a foundation of something interesting here. The dream is that he turns into some version of Pascal Siakam. … The 18-year-old is still a risk. There's a chance he never develops into a valuable player for his first franchise, even if he ultimately pans out. There's also a reasonable chance he just never turns into an NBA player. The talent value Detroit gets here is a plus, but it's important to understand the risks involved, especially for a team seemingly concerned with consistently making the playoffs. Grade: B-minus

Gary Parrish and Kyle Boone, CBS Sports: Doumbouya has a top-10 skill set, and he is 18 with so much potential. He's a great talent defensively but also growing into it as an offensive player. This is a play for the 2021-22 season. Grade: A

Jeremy Woo, Sports Illustrated: Doumbouya took a tumble here, but he does have legitimate lottery upside if he puts it all together. Given where Detroit is as an organization, taking a big swing makes a lot of sense. There are concerns about his maturity level, but he’s still very young and has plenty of time to grow into a legitimate impact-caliber forward. This could end up going either way, but in concept, it’s a strong choice. Grade: A-minus