With the June 26th NBA Draft quickly approaching the Detroit Pistons will begin individual workouts soon. So far the list of players the Pistons have invited to workout has one major theme, all the players are very large humans.
The Pistons have invited Baylor bigs Isaiah Austin and Cory Jefferson, as well as Arizona State’s Jordan Bachynski and Stanford’s Dwight Powell. All of whom would be slated to play either power forward or center in the NBA. It’s clear that whether Greg Monroe is back with the team or not, the Pistons view depth down low as crucial. All the names above are second round prospects, and may not have an immediate impact, but could be rotational players that are always so important in long NBA seasons. Over the grind of an NBA season injuries happen, and depth is extremely important seeing as how quality big men are tough to come by.
The other main commonality these big men share is that second round to undrafted projection. It reveals that maybe the Pistons aren’t looking to trade up for a higher pick in the upcoming draft. The Pistons lost their lottery selection this year from a prior trade, and currently only own the 38th overall selection in the draft. Many teams like to bring in first round talents in case they slide, or if they wanted to jump up into the first round via trade, but it appears the Pistons are alright to stand pat. They will surely work out more guys, but for now it appears the Pistons are going to try to get a second round steal.
The most interesting prospect on the list is no doubt Baylor’s Isaiah Austin. Austin is a 20-year-old seven footer from Fresno, California. Austin has been blind in his right eye since middle school due to an injury that he sustained, but he hasn’t let it affect him. He was a McDonald’s All American before spending two years at Baylor, and led the Bears on an improbable run to the Sweet 16 this past college season. A freak athlete, Austin averaged over three blocks per game last season, and definitely has the length necessary to defend in the NBA. He can play around the hoop on offense, but also has a nice jumper for a seven footer. Austin knocked down 48 three-pointers in his career and shot 45% or higher in both of his collegiate seasons.
The Pistons are preparing themselves for life without Greg Monroe, or looking for quality depth behind their starters. Either way these are some quality prospects, and the Pistons should be able to snag a valuable player at number 38 overall in a loaded draft class.
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