May 17, 2011 will be the day that decides the Pistons draft future and it happens to be the day when the NBA lottery takes place. Drafts can shape teams for years, they can transform a franchise into a winner. Just ask the Bulls.
I know the Pistons only have a 4.3% chance of winning the lottery but if the unlikely does happen, then there will be cause to celebrate in Detroit. The first pick will be Kyrie Irving or Derrick Williams. The question is: If Detroit lucks out and gets the first pick, then which one should they take? Kyrie Irving or Derrick Williams?
Putting another big body down low is certainly a need, but so is a point guard. So which position is more of a need? The Pistons had the tallest and slowest lineup this past year in the NBA, so lets look at the PG position for the Pistons.
The Pistons two current point guards are Rodney Stuckey and Will Bynum. Both are solid players and even though Bynum is listed as the number one point guard, Stuckey played the most minutes and is considered by most as the point guard. The problem is both guys are back ups, they are not top tier point guards. Neither one is a great scorer or passer of the ball. I strongly believe you need a top tier point guard in this league to be a title contender. Yes I know there are exceptions, like the Lakers and the Heat, but they also have two of the greatest players to ever play the game in Kobe and LeBron. Try to imagine Chris Paul in Miami or LA…pretty scary.
Lets take a look at Stuckey’s numbers from this year. He ranked 23rd amongst point guards in assists, with 5.2 per game. He was tied for 29th amongst point guards with an assist to turnover ration of 2.33. Take a look at the top ten point guards in the NBA last year in assists: Steve Nash (PHX), Rajon Rando (BOS), Deron Williams (NJN), Chris Paul (NO), Jose Calderon (TOR), Raymond Felton (DEN), John Wall (WAS), Jason Kidd (DAL), Russell Westbrook (OKC) and Derrick Rose (CHI).
That is quite a list. The only three who have a worse assist to turnover ratio than Stuckey are Wall, Rose and Westbrook. Wall is a rookie and Westbrook and Rose have an unmatched ability around the rim. Rose also scored 25 points per game and is averaging 37.5 points in the playoffs. So it is safe to say they are exceptions.
I am not saying having a good assist to turnover ratio means you will have a great team, obviously, but I believe there are some good examples of how a very good point guard can influence a team. Deron Williams (Ranked 11th in AST/TO ratio) was traded from Utah to New Jersey, the Jazz finished the season 8-17. Another example is the trade between Denver and New York. This one is not as evident, but if you look at it you can see the change in teams. Denver acquired Raymond Felton and sent Billups to the Knicks as part of the “Carmelo Trade.”
Felton ranked 6th among point guards in assists and 13th in assist to turnover ratio. Not bad, but not great. Billups was tied for 20th among assists and was 35th in assists to turnover ratio (Billups has been in a steady decline since his great 2005-06 season). That is quite a difference and it was evident in the two teams performances. Denver’s record after the trade: 18-7. New Yorks record after the trade: 14-14. The Knicks were a couple games above .500, so they didn’t change too much, but the Nuggets improved a great deal.
Some might argue Stuckey didn’t get enough playing time, as he regularly came off the bench late in the season. That is fair, but if you gave every point guard a full 48 minutes of playing time per game, Stuckey would rank 31st in assists. He just is not good enough to take a team to the playoffs, let alone go deep into the playoffs.
My point is simple, a new point guard is needed and Stuckey needs to back him up. I feel very confident in the Pistons big men. Monroe should develop into a very good player; Wilcox and Wallace give us strength as well. Another big man is not the biggest need for this team.
This is all assuming we get the first pick, of course if we get the second pick, we should sprint up to the podium before Stern gets there to tell everyone we want Derrick Williams! The guy is a talent.
We could start picking apart the entire draft if the Pistons land the fourth pick or the sixth pick. I simply do not have time to do this. The 7th pick seems to be the consensus for us, so a big man seems to be on the way, as I do not rate Kemba Walker or Brandon Knight. Although I would prefer Knight as he has tremendous upside with his speed and quickness. He simply is not ready for the NBA.
Maybe lightning will strike and we will land the top pick, but a 4.3% chance, I certainly will not be holding my breath.
About the Author
Written by Colton Turnquist
I have been an avid sports fan my entire life and even pursued a professional sports career in golf. I played professionally for three and half years trying to make it on the PGA Tour, but never broke through. I want to stay involved with sports and what better way than writing about them!