It’s more likely that the Pistons will trade down in the draft than use the No. 5 overall pick to acquire a veteran player, according to James Edwards III of The Athletic. However, all options remain on the table for general manager Troy Weaver and his staff as the draft approaches.
If the Pistons keep the pick, they’ll be looking at five players that they recently worked out, barring some unforeseen development. Brothers Amen Thompson and Ausar Thompson (Overtime Elite), Cam Whitmore (Villanova), Jarace Walker (Houston) and Taylor Hendricks (Central Florida) are the potential targets at that spot, Edwards says.
According to Edwards, Ausar Thompson has fans in the Pistons’ front office, as he’s more of a wing player than his brother, though both provide athleticism and size. Hendricks may seem like a bit of a long shot at that spot but he made a strong impression with the Pistons’ brass, particularly with his shooting, Edwards adds.
We have more Central Division news:
- In the same piece, Edwards reports that the Pistons have been fielding calls from numerous teams on big man Isaiah Stewart. As previously reported, one of those teams is the Celtics, who are looking to upgrade their frontcourt. Stewart’s defensive versatility and improving perimeter game intrigues many teams around the league. However, he was part of Weaver’s first draft class and it would be surprising if the Pistons moved on from Stewart, says Edwards, adding that it’s more likely the Pistons will sign the 22-year-old big man to a rookie scale extension. It would be the first time since Andre Drummond that a drafted Pistons player has signed a rookie extension with the franchise.
- The Pacers are looking at two more draft prospects on Monday — forwards Toumani Camara (Dayton) and Maxwell Lewis (Pepperdine), Scott Agness of Fieldhouse Files tweets. Lewis is ranked No. 31 on ESPN’s Best Available list and he could be a candidate for either of Indiana’s two late first-round selections (Nos. 26 and No. 29) or early second-rounder (No. 32). Camara is ranked No. 52.
- The coaching change in Milwaukee might alter the equation, but Jae Crowder‘s future with the Bucks is cloudy at best, according to Eric Nehm of The Athletic. Crowder will be an unrestricted free agent unless he agrees to an extension before free agency begins. Crowder has been searching for a big payday — a big reason why he sought a trade from Phoenix — and he probably won’t get that from Milwaukee.