When it comes to winning the lottery, it's said that you have a better chance of being struck by lightening than cashing in on a ticket. Tomorrow night is the NBA's annual Draft Lottery to determine the top three picks in the upcoming June 27th draft, and with a 3.6% chance of winning the no.1 pick, the Detroit Pistons' odds are slightly better than a lightening strike. Still, it's highly unlikely that the Pistons find themselves sitting any higher than the no.7 pick their 2012-13 season record has earned them. Whether random dumb-luck propels the Pistons into a top-three pick, or they remain at no.7, this weekend's NBA Draft Combine may have given away some answers as to who might be this year's first-round rookie in Detroit.
Last week, Pistons 101 reported on the combine interviews that were scheduled to happen between the prospective draft picks and the Detroit Pistons
. (read list here)
After the interviews were all said and done, The Detroit News
was able to get a word from Indiana Hoosiers shooting guard, and possible "favorite" of the Pistons, Victor Oladipo
Oladipo called the experience "one of the best interviews I've been on." The Pistons' front office sat in a room with Oladipo and the crew acted as if he wasn't there, speaking honestly and candidly about Oladipo's game, what they loved, liked and thought he needed to work on.
Oladipo said he knows the Pistons roster and feels the team is defensively oriented, the type he would fit in with perfectly.
It's good to hear that Oladipo responded positively to the Pistons reported criticisms of him during the interview. Like many of the players in this year's draft class, Oladipo does not appear to have "superstar" qualities and will likely need a lot of work. That means that whoever ends up being hired as the next Pistons head coach will have a good amount of coaching to do on Oladipo, or any other draft pick for that matter. Any time a young player is open to improving, that's a good sign for a team looking to get better.
More insight into the interview process came from North Texas forward Tony Mitchell, who was slotted as potential lottery pick last season before his stat line dropped in a lesser-known conference. Mitchell spoke with The Detroit News
about is meeting with the Pistons, and the forward wasn't as pleased as Oladipo was:
On the other side of the spectrum, North Texas forward Tony Mitchell called the Pistons "my toughest interview." Mitchell went from being at the top of the draft boards to turning in a mediocre sophomore campaign where, admittedly, he didn't bring full effort every night.
"They got after me, early," Mitchell said. "I respect Joe Dumars and all those guys. It was an informative interview. They asked questions constantly and I had to give answers. It was more than one guy."
The Pistons were likely looking at Mitchell for the first of two, second-round picks in the draft. Mitchell showed great promise during his freshman season, and was even slotted as a "player to watch" in Sports Illustrated college basketball
preview. If last season was a fluke season for Mitchell, and his freshman campaign was the truer representation of his ability, then he could turn into a potential second-round steal for the Pistons.
Of course, if the Pistons get lucky and win the draft lottery, then neither Oladipo nor Mitchell will be an option, as they'd likely be looking at Ben McLemore, Nerlens Noel, Anthony Bennett and Trey Burke (players slotted to go top-five in the draft). The NBA Draft Lottery takes place tomorrow night on ESPN, and Pistons fans should look for Andre Drummond representing the team at the lottery drawing.
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