Though the Detroit Pistons were not going to splash headlines with the number 12 pick. But many are arguing they quietly pulled off one of the better picks of the late lottery stage.
Luke Kennard of the Duke Blue Devils is one of the best shooters coming up from the college game, and 3-point shooters can always find a place in a Stan Van Gundy offense. Yes, he will be outmatched by almost everyone else at his position in terms of athleticism. But it is not for lack of effort. Kennard is reputed as a smart mover on the court and has some whispers of playmaking ability to boot.
Kennard will likely be a bench player his rookie season, despite his ACC Tournament MVP. But it is possible he can find a place knocking down jumpers from Andre Drummond double-teams (if he can indeed command them) and will certainly fill one of the Pistons’ biggest needs. It goes double if the Pistons do not match offers for Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (whom the Pistons are likely willing to give a max contract too in restricted free agency).
Having said that, Kennard’s drafting likely does not move the needle enough to distract from their unfortunate downturn last season.
Have the Magic passed them? Yes, probably. Kennard is not a big enough deal to give a real indication of where the Pistons are at. A Stan Van Gundy team is always going to have potential, but so far they have not done anything to show they can improve.