All early reports out of Detroit have mentioned that the Pistons are looking at taking an athletic big man to pair with Greg Monroe with the #9 pick. While I agree that this is probably the most likely scenario, I don’t think that we should disregard the fact that they may take a perimeter player instead. Whether the big man they are targeting was selected ahead of them, or a perimeter player they rated highly fell into their laps, it would not shock me the least to see Joe Dumars take a shooting guard or a small forward here. Barring the possibility of a trade, there are four perimeter players that the Pistons may feel comfortable taking with the ninth pick of the draft. Lets take a look at them.
Bradley Beal: While most mock drafts have him going well before Detroit’s pick, there is a small chance that he could fall all the way to number 9. He has been compared to a young Ray Allen because of his silky smooth jumper, but I consider him to be closer to Dwyane Wade with a deep ball. Beal is much more athletic and physical than Ray Allen ever thought about being, and by no means am I promising that he will be able to get to the hoop at will like Wade, but the body types and athleticism are very similar. I feel that Beal is the third best prospect coming out, behind Anthony Davis and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, so sadly this is a long shot.
Harrison Barnes: Much like Bradley Beal, Harrison Barnes is projected to go before the Pistons pick, with most mocks having him land at Sacramento at number 5, but I feel that he is the perimeter player with the highest probability being drafted by the Pistons. He reminds me of a younger, slimmer version of Paul Pierce. Harrison has a very smooth, slow-paced game that you don’t see from a perimeter player very often nowadays. While he is extremely talented, he was somewhat of an underachiever in college, but with the right coaching staff, he could finally reach his potential.
Jeremy Lamb: If the Pistons were to go for the perimeter player, I feel that Lamb would be the best one. He is a long lanky two guard, who was able to score at will in college. It looks like he may struggle in the NBA until he becomes a more physical player, and he will never be very interested in defense, but his offensive skills more than make up for it.
Austin Rivers: Of these four players, I feel that Rivers has the lowest ceiling. He is a gifted scorer and an above average athlete, but I feel that his combination of skills will not make him stand out in the NBA. I feel that he is a very safe pick, but he will not be able to differentiate himself at the next level. If the Pistons were to draft him, they could trade him to the Celtics (Doc Rivers has said that he wants to coach his son), but other than that, I do not feel that he is a good choice at number nine.