Houston’s Jarace Walker appears to be the most likely draft choice for the Pistons, but the possibility of Alabama’s Brandon Miller sliding to No. 5 shouldn’t be dismissed, Mike Curtis of The Detroit News writes in a mailbag column. Miller is currently expected to be taken second or third, but unanswered questions about his connection to a fatal shooting in January continue to hang over him. He reportedly brought a legal brief from his attorneys to the draft combine that explained why he couldn’t go into detail about the case.
If the Hornets opt for Scoot Henderson at No. 2, Curtis views the Trail Blazers‘ pick as unpredictable due to rumors that they’re seeking to trade it for veteran help. The Rockets would also have to pass on Miller at No. 4, and while Curtis admits the scenario seems unlikely, he says it’s possible that Miller could continue to slip if teams are concerned about his legal issues.
If Detroit does wind up with Walker, Curtis sees it as a smooth fit for an organization that hopes to rebuild around defense. Walker is considered one of the strongest front court defenders in the draft, and he’s versatile enough to handle either forward position and maybe even see time as a small-ball center. Curtis notes that Walker has exhibited some promise as a play-maker as well.
There’s more from Detroit:
- A report earlier today indicated that the Pistons are willing to give Monty Williams $10MM per year to become their next head coach, and Marc Stein states in an email that the offers he has heard are $50MM over five years or $60MM over six years. Stein adds that owner Tom Gores‘ recent meetings with finalists Charles Lee and Kevin Ollie came after Williams turned down the team’s first offer. The Pistons view Williams as a perfect choice to establish the culture for a young roster, according to Stein.
- There’s a wide variance in opinions on prospects after the top three, so the Pistons’ best move might be to trade back and pick up more draft assets, state James L. Edwards III and John Hollinger of The Athletic. The authors view the Thunder, Jazz and Wizards as teams that might have interest in moving up to No. 5.
- Omari Sankofa II of The Detroit Free Press (subscription required) also considers possible trades with the fifth pick, suggesting that it might be used in a package to get Jaylen Brown from the Celtics or Dejounte Murray from the Hawks.