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NBA Draft: Why the Pistons should trade up to No. 1 and draft LaMelo Ball

NBA Draft is Nov. 18

FILE - In this Nov. 17, 2019, file photo, LaMelo Ball of the Illawarra Hawks carries the ball up during their game against the Sydney Kings in the Australian Basketball League in Sydney.  LaMelo Ball's bone bruise on his left foot is expected to keep him out of the Illawarra Hawks lineup for the remainder of the National Basketball League season in Australia. The 18-year-old American, who joined Illawarra as part of the NBL's Next Stars program, is expected to be a first-round pick in this year's NBA draft.(AP Photo/Rick Rycroft, File)
FILE - In this Nov. 17, 2019, file photo, LaMelo Ball of the Illawarra Hawks carries the ball up during their game against the Sydney Kings in the Australian Basketball League in Sydney. LaMelo Ball's bone bruise on his left foot is expected to keep him out of the Illawarra Hawks lineup for the remainder of the National Basketball League season in Australia. The 18-year-old American, who joined Illawarra as part of the NBL's Next Stars program, is expected to be a first-round pick in this year's NBA draft.(AP Photo/Rick Rycroft, File) (Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

The Detroit Pistons have a very important decision to make in the upcoming NBA Draft.

With the No. 7 pick, after sliding in the NBA Draft Lottery earlier this year, the Pistons are looking for a playmaker to add to a rebuilding franchise. There are many options.

The Pistons hired Troy Weaver as general manager this offseason, a big splash, to join with Ed Stefanski, Arn Tellem and Dwane Casey. The Pistons have moved on from staples of the franchise in recent years, including Andre Drummond and Reggie Jackson.

The Pistons roster is young and the franchise needs a spark -- that’s why they should trade up to get the No. 1 overall pick. And they should draft point guard LeMelo Ball. (They are reportedly interested in doing so)

Pistons need a point guard

The Detroit Pistons need a point guard to build their future around. It’s not going to be Derrick Rose. Reggie Jackson is long gone.

The massive void at point guard is a huge concern with a young roster. LeMelo Ball, 18, is the highest ceiling prospect in the NBA Draft.

Ball, who played in Australia’s National Basketball League (NBL) last year, averaged 17 points and 7 assists in about 30 minutes per game. He’s a great ball handler, passer and scorer. He’s also tall for a point guard, at 6′7″, and can rebound the ball like a forward.

An exciting young point guard can do wonders for a young team. Look at Memphis with Ja Morant.

Pistons can’t depend on free agency -- or draft lottery

Detroit is not a free agent destination. The best bet for the Pistons is to swing hard in the NBA Draft. The free agent class is lackluster this year, and the team won’t be competing for a championship this season anyway.

Additionally, the Pistons can’t depend on getting a good draft pick in any year. Despite having the best odds at a top-five pick in several years, the Pistons fell back two spots in the draft.

We know the Pistons draft record over the last 10 years. It’s not great. Although the Pistons have a new front office in place, a mid-level lottery pick is no, well, slam dunk.

Detroit fans just need this

When is the last time a Detroit sports team really put it all out there and swung for the fences? I can’t remember a time.

Fans are always hoping their teams do something bold, get us excited to watch a game. This would be the swing fans are asking for.

If it doesn’t work out -- fine. But at least the Pistons can say they tried. Let’s just hope we don’t draft a Henry Ellenson at No. 7.


The NBA Draft is Wednesday, Nov. 18. Here’s what experts are predicting for the Pistons, assuming they keep the No. 7 pick:

The Ringer: Tyrese Haliburton, PG, Iowa State: “The Pistons have interest in playmakers in this year’s class, according to multiple league sources, and they’ll have plenty of choices. Haliburton has been tied to Detroit, and he’d bring a veteran-style presence to the team.”

NBC Sports: Onyeka Okongwu, C, USC: “Detroit should be in tear down mode and Okongwu is a nice reset piece. He plays hard on both ends of the floor and might even be able to piggyback the team to a couple of extra wins like he did at USC. The road back to relevance could be long for Detroit, but making smart moves for players with some fight is a good start. They should also shop Blake Griffin and the rest of their veterans with the hopes of starting over.”

CBS Sports predicts the Pistons trade up to No. 1 and draft Ball: “The Timberwolves reportedly want to trade down, and the Pistons reportedly want to trade up with a close eye on Ball, so this makes sense. The deal could look something like No. 1 and James Johnson for No. 7, Detroit’s 2022 first-round pick (maybe with protections) and Tony Snell. That way the Wolves get a win-now piece and a future asset, while the Pistons get a potential franchise player to commence the rebuild without losing their pick in next year’s loaded 2021 draft class.”


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