It was back in May that the 2014 NBA Draft Lottery took place, while the lottery worked out for a number of teams, many didn’t feel it work out well for the Detroit Pistons, who was given the 38th overall pick in the second round of the draft.
After much speculation on what the Pistons would and should do with their second round pick, we now have our answer, because on late Thursday night, the Pistons decided to used their second-round pick tonight to select Colorado guard Spencer Dinwiddie.
Now I said from the beginning that before the Pistons concentrated on the draft, they need to concentrate on their current roster because who they decide to keep and let go of, are going to determine how they attack this year’s draft and free agency class.
One of the main roster areas that I felt they needed to focus before the draft was the guard position, specifically the point guard position. Before the 2014 NBA Draft took place, the Pistons had a total of five point guards on their roster and those point guards are Brandon Jennings, Chauncey Billups, Will Bynum, Peyton Siva and Rodney Stuckey. Now the Pistons have added yet another point guard in Dinwiddie who they drafted with the 38th overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft.
Now, I don’t have a problem with Dinwiddie, in fact, I think he is very talented and tough young man who honestly could have been a first round pick in this year’s NBA Draft, if he hadn’t torn his ACL last season. As a sophomore, Dinwiddie averaged 15 points and three assists a game and as junior he averaged 14 points and nearly four assists a game before his season ended prematurely with an ACL tear. So again, I have no problem with Dinwiddie, he is great pick-up for any team, that needs perimeter help on both sides of the floor.
My concern with this pick is what is head coach Stan Van Gundy going to do with the rest of these point guards, because the Pistons definitely don’t need six point guards on their roster. At this point, I don’t have any reason to think Jennings is going anywhere but everyone else is fair game at this point, in my opinion.
When you talk about Billups, you’re talking about an older guard who basically brings you leadership and experience, plus he is a in-expensive asset, who could be retained for ’14-15 on a team option, so I’m fine with him staying or leaving.
However, I think it’s time for Stuckey to go. He is about to become an unrestricted free agent and frankly he doesn’t help the Pistons. He continues to be a tweener, meaning he wants the play the shooting guard position but he doesn’t have the height or ability to play it consistently but at the same time he doesn’t have the skill set of a point guard. If that isn’t enough, he has been injury prone the last few years, which doesn’t help the Pistons. Another point guard who we could see potentially go is Will Bynum, who has just one year left on his current deal. I honestly never understood why the Pistons re-signed Bynum in the first place, especially when they signed Billups and drafted Siva. Nonetheless, I think his time is over with the Pistons because he continues to be an inconsistent point guard who doesn’t create for his teammates or score consistently.
Then last but not least you have, Siva, who the Pistons drafted last year with the 56th overall pick. Now Siva is an interesting player to watch because you have to remember that Siva wasn’t Van Gundy’s draft choice, he was Joe Dumars and Mo Cheeks draft choice last year. With that being said, there is no guarantee that Van Gundy wants to keep Siva. Plus, the Pistons have a newly acquired D-League team in Grand Rapids, Michigan that they could easily send him to develop.
Now I know most people think Dinwiddie is going to be point guard for the Pistons but when it comes to Dinwiddie, keep in mind that Van Gundy may not be thinking about playing Dinwiddie at the point guard position. At 6-foot-6, he very well could be thinking about playing Dinwiddie, at the shooting guard position. Although Dinwiddie has a point guard skill set, he is capable of playing the shooting guard position. After reviewing more film of Dinwiddie today, there is no doubt in my mind that he can play either guard position and he do it well consistently on both ends of the floor. Offensively, he knows how to attack the rim and draw fouls. He knows how to create for himself and others. Shooting wise, I feel he has a nice jump shot, especially off the dribble. While I don’t consider him to be a great three-point shooter, he is capable of shooting the three ball consistently seeing that he shot 41% percent from om beyond the arc. Defensively, he has good length which allows him to make things happen in the passing lanes, although he does still need to work on becoming a better perimeter defender.
Most importantly, he is a great character choice who has a good basketball IQ and leadership qualities, which is probably one of the reasons that Van Gundy drafted him.
It’s because of those factors above that I say that Van Gundy may be thinking about playing Dinwiddie at the shooting guard position. The Pistons honestly, only have one shooting guard right now on their roster and that player is Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, who the Pistons selected with 8th overall pick in last year’s draft. Just like Siva, we have to remember that Caldwell-Pope was not Van Gundy’s draft choice, that was Dumars and Cheeks draft pick from last year. So I’m not sure what his plans are for Pope. He could easily see potential in Pope and attempt to make him the starting shooting guard of the Pistons or he could try to develop Pope into a potential sixth man off the bench. It’s because of those scenarios that I say Dinwiddie could possibly be moved to the shooting guard position.
Nevertheless, I will say that regardless of whether Van Gundy plans to use Dinwiddie at the point guard or the shooting guard position, Van Gundy must get rid of the dead weight, starting with some of the point guards on this roster and ending with the their other dead weight like Charles Villanueva.
Overall, I won’t call the Pistons decision to draft Dinwiddie a failure because I do feel that Dinwiddie will provide the Pistons with some needed flexibility in the back-court, as well as shooting ability on offense. Plus he could eventually turn into a good locker-room and on the court leader like he was in Colorado. However, until other roster decisions are made, it will be hard for me to say whether I like what Van Gundy and his staff are doing with the Pistons roster right now.
Written by LBeasley (Lauren Beasley), Sports Contributor for Radio One Detroit