On a night where the impossible happened, the Detroit Pistons couldn’t get the percentages to work out in their favor. Lightning struck when the Cleveland Cavaliers jumped the field, and acquired the top pick for the third time in four years, leaving the Pistons without a first round pick.
When the Cavs grabbed the first pick it pushed the Pistons back to ninth overall, and sent their pick to the Charlotte Hornets. The pick was top eight protected for the Pistons, but will now complete a 2012 trade involving Ben Gordon. The Cavs had just a 1.7% chance of getting the first overall selection, but luck was on their side, and they will now have their pick of a talented draft class.
So unless the Pistons do some dealing they will be without a first round pick in one of the best draft classes in some time. A tough blow for new head man Stan Van Gundy who surely was looking to start building the team his way through the draft.
The Pistons will instead look to the second round for help as they hold the 38th overall selection. While the big names may be gone, there will still be plenty of talent on the board when the Pistons go on the clock. Guys like Paul Millsap, Monta Ellis, and Manu Ginobili were all recently drafted in the second round. Skilled players will be available, the Pistons will just have to dig a little deeper to find them.
The one positive of the night is that this Joe Dumars nightmare trade is now behind the Pistons, and they won’t have it looming over their heads for years to come. And while good players are found in the draft, the NBA is a league where you can definitely build through free agency. Van Gundy’s job certainly just got a little bit harder, but the luck of the Pistons can only go up from here.
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