Having remained at No. 12 after Tuesday’s NBA draft lottery, the Pistons are scouting a wide range of prospects and won’t necessarily target a player at a position of need next month, per GM Jeff Bower (link via Rod Beard of The Detroit News). As Bower explained, a player’s value and long-term potential may make him the best pick for Detroit, even if he doesn’t immediately fit into the team’s rotation.
Our list of draft picks by team shows that the Pistons’ 12th overall selection is currently their only pick in this year’s draft. That could make it difficult for the club to bring in second-round prospects for workouts, but Bower remains hopeful that those players will be willing to audition for the team, recognizing that they could be undrafted free agents, or that the Pistons could acquire a second-round pick.
“Some guys aren’t going to want to come in and work out if they don’t see a vehicle at the end of it,” said the Pistons’ GM. “The reality of it is we are looking for guys where we don’t have a second-round pick now — we could (via a trade) — but those possibilities change, so you want to try to be prepared. … Our relationships with agents are strong. They like our program and like their guys to have the exposure to us.”
Here’s more from around the Central division:
- After being nagged by ankle issues during his rookie season, Bulls guard Denzel Valentine has undergone arthroscopic surgery on his left ankle, a person familiar with the situation tells The Associated Press (link via USA Today). Valentine’s recovery timetable isn’t expected to stretch out too long — the AP report suggests he’s expected to play for Chicago in Summer League action in July.
- UCLA’s T.J. Leaf is headlining the Bucks‘ workouts today, but the team is looking at several prospects, per a press release. Landen Lucas (Kansas), Devin Robinson (Florida), Wesley Iwundu (Kansas State), Jacob Wiley (Eastern Washington), Jabari Bird (California), Derrick White (Colorado), and Thomas Wilder (Western Michigan) are also in attendance.
- The Pacers also have another group of prospects in for workouts today. According to a team release (and Twitter link), Indiana is taking a closer look at Dillon Brooks (Oregon), Ben Moore (SMU), Semi Ojeleye (SMU), Sindarius Thornwell (South Carolina), Michael Young (Pittsburgh), and Evan Bradds (Belmont).
- Paul George‘s future is the main topic of conversation looming over the Pacers‘ offseason, but the team has other issues to address, including re-signing Jeff Teague, as Bobby Marks of The Vertical details in his Pacers offseason preview. We looked earlier this month at five key questions facing Indiana this summer.