Detroit Pistons fall into the NBA Draft lottery, take pick number 5


Detroit Pistons fans were disappointed with the results of the NBA lottery Tuesday night in Chicago.

Pistons General Manager Troy Weaver on the other hand? not much.

Detroit, for the second time in franchise history, has fallen to exactly two places in the lottery and finished fifth in the 2022 NBA draft, which is scheduled for June 23.

And while there was talk of the “Big Three” on their own at the top of the draft, with many Pistons fans hoping for a relegation, Weaver certainly doesn’t see it that way. Strikers Jabari Smith (Auburn), Paulo Panchero (Duke) and Chet Holmgren (Gonzaga) are all gearing up to battle for the first-choice, with goalkeeper Jaden Ivey (Bordeaux) close by.

“I don’t consider it the ‘Big Three,'” Weaver said. ‘I think there are great players along the board. Height – Everyone wants to add height and volume. We will choose our best player. Length, volume, speed, it doesn’t really matter. We will choose the best player in the Pistons team. We are very comfortable with the players along the board in the lottery.”

The other example of Detroit falling two places came in 2020, when Detroit dropped to seventh and picked Killian Hayes.

There is no consensus on the No. 1 pick in this year’s draft – unlike last season, when the Pistons snatched Cady Cunningham with the top pick – but Weaver said he doesn’t see this year’s talent as much reduced – from last year.

“I love this draft as much as I do last year’s draft,” Weaver said. “It can be discussed, but I’m satisfied with the players who are selected in the first half of the lottery.”

“I think it stacks up very well against last year’s picks.”

There’s still plenty of pre-exploration to do — including the NBA Combine, which started Monday and runs through Sunday — but Weaver said “there is no disappointment about where we choose” and that he would be comfortable choosing it today, if he had to. .

“We can pick No. 5,” Weaver said. “Now. We want to keep processing, but if we had to pick today, yeah, I feel comfortable we could pick someone we’d be happy with, sure.”

The Orlando Magic team won the first-place pick for the fourth time in franchise history. The Oklahoma City Thunder will pick second, the Houston Rockets third and the Sacramento Kings fourth.

The Pistons, Rockets, and Magic all had an equal chance of winning the lottery with a 14% and a 52.14% chance of being picked in the top four. Detroit had a 14.84% chance of landing in fifth place; Their most likely pick was No. 6 with 26%, so one could argue that the Pistons exceeded expectations.

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When it comes to how he approaches the No. 5 pick, Weaver said he plans to include his current roster in his decision.

“Sure, we’ll choose the man who fits our organization best,” Weaver said. “He will have the same qualities as these other guys. You keep in mind Cady and the rest of the guys, especially since these guys have a lot of similarities.”

In getting the right to pick Cunningham out of Oklahoma with last year’s No. 1 pick, the Pistons seem to be rushing to rebuild it. Cunningham, the 6-foot-6 goalkeeper, started in all 64 of his games this past season and averaged 17.4 points, 5.5 rebounds and 5.6 assists.

He finished third in the NBA Rookie of the Year voting behind Scotty Barnes of Toronto, who won the award after being drafted to fourth, and Evan Mobley of Cleveland, who the Cavaliers earned with the No. 3 pick.

While Cunningham’s first-place pick was certainly successful, Weaver didn’t need any lottery luck to add talent in his first draft as the Pistons GM. Isaiah Stewart (pick #16) and Bey’s friend (pick 19) both created the All-Rookie team after being picked out of the lottery in 2020.

Cunningham has not yet been named to the All-Rookie Team for the 2021-22 season, but one can assume based on the Rookie of the Year vote that he will be on that list when it is announced.

“There’s a certain culture here,” Weaver said. “Hard work, selflessness. Coach (Dwayne) Casey’s coaching staff did just that.” “We’re confident because the last two drafts, we’ve had three All-Rookie players, so we’re very comfortable with our culture here and what our coaches have been able to do with these young players.”

The lottery made the four best picks in this year’s draft, with the remaining lottery teams picking places 5-14 in reverse order of the 2021-22 record.

The Pistons finished third with the worst record (23-59), behind Houston and Orlando, which means they have the ability to pick up to No. 7 if all teams outside the top four win.

The Kings were the only team to make that leap, with an 8.52% chance of heading into the night.

Ben Wallace represented the Pistons in the 2021 draft. This year, another member of the “Goin’ to Work” era represented them in Richard “Rip” Hamilton, who had his famous mask on stage at the lottery.

With this year’s sweepstakes approaching, the Pistons advanced in 15 sweepstakes attempts only once, when they vaulted Houston from second place last year. Detroit has moved down the lottery in six of those years and has remained in place ahead of the lottery on eight of those occasions.

The Pistons on Tuesday faced their biggest drop in the lottery of 2020, when the Chicago Bulls (from seventh) and the Charlotte Hornets (from eighth) advanced to the top four.

lottery results

1. Orlando Magic

2. Oklahoma City Thunder

3. Houston Rockets

4. Sacramento Kings

5. Detroit Pistons

6. Indiana Pacers

7. Portland Trail Blazers

8. New Orleans Pelicans (via Los Angeles Lakers)

9. San Antonio Spurs

10. Washington Wizards

11. New York Knicks

12. Oklahoma City Thunder (via Los Angeles Clippers)

13. Charlotte Hornets

14. Cleveland Cavaliers

Nolan Bianchi is a freelance writer.

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