The Detroit Pistons are going to have a lot of money to spend on new players in the upcoming free agency period, but they once again are “blessed” with a lottery pick, that might land them Cody Zeller out of Indiana.
Zeller began the 2012-2013 season as a potential number one pick, but wasn’t as impressive as some expected. He finished his sophomore season averaging 16.5 points and 8 rebounds per game. Despite leading the Hoosiers to the Big Ten title, their early exit in the NCAA tournament, losing to Syracuse, hurt the draft stock of certain players, especially Zeller, dropping to around a mid-round pick.
But then came the NBA draft-combine in Chicago, and Zeller blew everyone away, turning from overrated into underrated all of a sudden, with some comparing him to Chris Bosh or LaMarcus Aldridge when they entered the league, as very thin college centers who can become very effective scorers in the NBA as power forwards. Suddenly, a lot of people are talking about Zeller as a top 10 pick again.
The Detroit Pistons, on paper, shouldn’t be looking at him. They have Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond in the frontcourt, and if you think a team needs to be drafting based on need, a defensive-minded perimeter player or a guard of any kind that can be paired up with Brandon Knight is what the Pistons should take. Yet Joe Dumars isn’t willing to put a label and predict their next pick just yet.
Our preference is to look at the perimeter with this particular pick. But by no means are we locked into that where that’s all we’re going to take, no matter what. If those guys that we rate in the top seven or eight are gone off the board, you can rest assured we’re going to take the best big that’s left.
The Pistons, with the 8th pick, might have to settle for the best player available, and not the position they need. According to their roster, they are probably looking at either Victor Oladipo or Otto Porter, but both should be gone before their name comes up. In that case, Zeller, who no one thinks will be available past the 13th pick, might be their best bet at that point.