Four players who the Pistons should consider drafting in the first round


Tillman rises for a jumpshot/ Photo Credit: MSU Athletic Communications

Manit Patel, General Assigment Reporter

The Detroit Pistons, with their new general manager, Troy Weaver, have a decision to make tonight. In a draft where nothing is certain, and there is no clear cut number one overall pick like Zion Williamson last year or DeAndre Ayton the year before, the Pistons have to ensure that this year’s pick is a good one. That being said, here are three draft choices, as well as a sleeper prospect, that would make sense for the Pistons.

1. Lamelo Ball

Ball is easily the most polarizing player in this draft. His name and lineage alone make him a popular prospect.
He is a 6-foot-7 point guard who weighs in at 185 pounds. While he can score, his major asset is his playmaking and the ability to distribute the ball with ease.

Ball has been rumored and linked to the Pistons for a while, as they were one of only four teams to watch him work out. In his career prior to the NBA, Ball played for Chino Hills High School (Chino Hills, Calif.), Prienai of the LKL (Lithuanian Basketball League), SPIRE Academy in Ohio, and the Illawarra Hawks of the NBL.

In 12 games with Illawawa, Ball averaged 17 points, 7.4 rebounds and 6.8 assists per game. 

2. Killian Hayes

Killian Hayes is another intriguing prospect for the Pistons. Hayes has not played a second of basketball in America due to being raised in Europe, and that lack of experience could cause teams to be very cautious when taking him. He was named the MVP of the 2017 FIBA U16 European Championship, where he played against players like Nico Mannion and Deni Avidja. 

Hayes has played for Cholet (a professional French basketball team) as part of their junior team and eventually debuted for their senior team at age 16. In 2019, he moved to Germany to play for Ratiopharm Ulm, a professional German basketball team.

Hayes averaged 12.8 points a game, as well as 6.2 assists during his time with Ratiopharm Ulm. 

3. Obi Toppin

Obi Toppin could be a fit for Detroit because he is one of the most similar prospects to Pistons’ star Blake Griffin. They both entered the draft with athleticism that was off the charts, and Toppin would benefit immensely from learning under Griffin.

He has the drive and motor to play well; Toppin just needs to be drafted into the right situation. He played two years in college at Dayton where he averaged 20 points a game in 2019-20. The Flyers went 29-2 and were considered to be a leading final four contender before the NCAA tournament was cancelled. 

4. Sleeper: Issac Okoro

Issac Okoro is another athletic wing who could be one of the best players in the draft. He is also one of the best defenders, wing or interior, in the draft. Okoro has a good ceiling as a scorer and is immensely gifted at both ends of the floor. He was a heavily recruited player out of college, with teams like Florida, Florida State, Oregon, and Texas all interested in him.

Okoro ultimately ended up committing to Auburn and playing a year under Bruce Pearl while averaging 12.9 points per game and shooting 51.4% from the field.