When Anthony Bennett was selected first overall in the NBA Draft by The Cleveland Cavilers, It seemed that this would be an awkward drafted for the ages. It was, as many shocking picks (Cody Zeller 4th overall to the Charlotte Bobcats, Tim Hardaway in the first round to the New York Knicks). Personally, Pistons101 saw Dumars welcoming combo guard Ben McLemore to the Pistons. Sacramento stole the pick (twice in one night…will elaborate later), so Dumars went with what he felt was the next best thing: SEC Player of the year Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. Many Piston fans were irate with the non selection of Michigan star (and College player of the year) Trey Burke, but surprisingly Joe Dumars got this one right…well more right than was expected.
Caldwell-Pope averaged 18.5 points his sophomore year at Georgia, as well as 7.1 rebounds which goes well with his 6-6 frame. He is a shooter, which will help open the lanes up for Greg Monroe as the Pistons struggled mightily to find someone with a consistent outside shot. Kyle Singler was thought to have helped with that, but he has yet to recapture his Duke glory. KCP can fill it up with the best of them, as he scored in double figures every game this season, hitting his high point mark in his final college game vs. LSU with 32 points. He has improved on getting to the line, averaging about 5.5 attempts from the stripe per game. He shot 43% from the field, with a 37% clip from three. While Detroit needed a shooter, even one as prolific as KCP, there is a glaring downside. Aside from rebounding, all he does is shoot….and shoot a lot. 75% of his shots from his sophomore year were jump shots, and 52% of his shots came from beyond the three point line. There are times where it seems like he hoists every shot from behind the arc (see his 3-14 3pt mark vs. Southern Miss). That's scary and can be detrimental to a team’s run if someone keeps hoisting threes. It’s great when they are on fire, but once they go dry, if no one else is hot, they will fall behind (see, Henderson, Marshall and Ole Miss). The one thing Dumars liked about KCP, as reported by the Detroit Pistons is “He brought it every night and never took a night off. Very high motor.” In all honesty, that’s the kind of player Detroit needs, minus all the treybombs.
Detroitwasn’t done with their draft night either, as they had a chance to snag another hometown guard early with Detroit Mercy’s Ray McCallum still available. Once again, however, Sacramento nabbed the Detroit native one pick before the Pistons could select again. Detroit opted for another route instead, snagged one of the bigger draft steals of the night in North Texas’ Tony Mitchell at 37th overall, who was seen as a mid to late first round talent. Mitchell, a 6-9 forward is explosive. A total freak athlete at the wing position, some thing Detroit needs: explosiveness and wing depth. He is a match-up nightmare bullying most small forwards in college and totally undressing most power forwards. He has a nice face up game as well, and could contribute immediately. His problem? Sometimes he would fade in big games….in the Sun Belt Conference. He repressed slightly, dropping in points, rebounds, assists and blocks. North Texas also finished 12-20 after his promising freshman season where he averaged a double-double (14 and 10). He also showed a tendency to fall in love with his shooting stroke, as he had a game against Southeast Louisiana where he finished 1-9, and 0-3 from beyond the arc. In another game, he finished 3-10 and 1-6 from beyond the three point line (against Western Kentucky). If his motor is right, Mitchell can overtake Singler/Khris Middleton midway through the season as our starting small forward.
With their last pick in the 2013 NBA Draft, The Pistons selected Louisville PG Peyton Siva, who in his last year with Rick Pitino and the Cardinals, cut down the nets over Trey Burke and the Michigan Wolverines. Siva feels like he has been around forever, because he’s been a four year contributor. He is a terrific passer, and runs a team really well. While most of the focus was on Kevin Ware’s gruesome leg injury, people probably failed to realize it was Peyton Siva who helped lead the team with his emotion, similar to another college star point guard, Greivis Vasquez. While emotion in a sport is an awesome thing to carry with, the downside to it is, when a player gets down on himself, his player drops, and the team suffers. Peyton Siva is one of those players where if he gets down on himself, he has the capacity to take his entire team out of the game. He is a small point guard (6-1, 180), and has been shown to be pushed around and posted up in college, but he makes up for his size with explosive leaping ability and athleticism. Siva is a long shot to make the team with as many point guards as the Pistons have already, but you never know, Manu Ginobli was taken 57th as well, and he’s on his way to the Hall of Fame when his career is over.
Draft Grades: KCP C+, Mitchell B-, Siva C
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