The Detroit Pistons have not been relevant since they were a constant threat in the Eastern Conference in the mid
2000’s and no the Andre Drummond era only lead to first round exits and in disappointment as the Pistons front office were left waiting for him to develop into Hakeem Olajuwon which never happened. The Detroit Pistons have a great chance to land the #1 pick in this year’s draft, the Cavaliers,Warriors,Hawks,and Timberwolves all have worse records than the Pistons but it is not by a landslide so the chances of the Pistons winning the number 1 pick are far from scarce. I am looking at this draft and it’s far from being weak just very top heavy and I can’t help but to be intrigued by Deni Avdija who is the best all-around player in this draft. Standing at 6’9 and 210 pounds Deni Avdija has a skill-set reminiscent to former Boston Celtics legend Larry Bird let me explain.
Maybe most of you were not around to see how Larry Bird instantly transformed the Celtics into a contender the moment he was drafted but he did just that and it was due to his unselfishness on the court and all-around skill-set. Deni Avdija possesses a very similar skillset to Larry Bird and he stands at about the same height of Larry Bird and might have the potential to grow up to 6’11 being that he is not even 21 yet. Deni Avdija can get his own shot,he’s got floaters,pull up 3’s,he can move off the ball and catch and shoot, he can drive and kick-out to shooters, he can catch cutters on the move for baskets at the rim,he can rebound and push the ball up the floor, there is literally Deni Avdija can’t do on the basketball court which is why the Detroit Pistons must make it a priority to draft him. Looking at the Pistons’s roster they lack a small-forward pretty badly and no Christian Wood and Blake Griffin are power forwards and not versatile enough to play the small-forward position. Sekou Doumbouya showed some promise in his rookie season but is better suited as a small ball 4 at the NBA level.
What the Pistons have is a surplus of power forwards in Sekou,Blake,and Christian but drafting Deni Avdija won’t lead to chemistry issues what so ever since Deni Avdija is a pass first player and wouldn’t have a problem getting any of those guys the ball on pick and rolls or pops as Sekou,Blake,and Christian can all knock down mid-range jumpers off passes. Deni Avdija’s greatest asset is his passing and high basketball IQ which I believe would transform the Pistons into a possible playoff team next season because Deni makes everyone on the court better and would make head coach Dwane Casey a candidate for Coach of the Year next season. Deni Avdija is so good with the ball in his hands that making him a primary play-maker should be the Pistons main priority assuming they draft him this Summer, the great thing about Deni is he is not ball dominant and is as efficient as they come when it comes to scoring the basketball. Sure the Pistons can shoot for a scorer like Anthony Edwards or a center like James Wiseman in the draft or maybe LaMelo Ball to run point but the Pistons have no small forwards what so ever on their roster and can experiment with Luke Kennard at point guard or even Bruce Brown who was impressive in spurts throughout this season running the offense.
Sometimes I feel teams get so caught up in trying to draft the best scorer in a draft but I am a fan of unselfish players who look to make the game easier for teammates who can’t create their own shot. I am looking up and down at the Pistons’s roster and I see two notable play-makers in Luke Kennard and Bruce Brown, I consider Derrick Rose more of a scoring point guard than distributor and Blake Griffin is a respectable play-maker at the power-forward position but not someone you want the offense running through. Leading me to think the Detroit Pistons need a floor general and have no small-forward what so ever which is exactly where Deni Avdija steps in and fits in perfectly. Whether he starts or comes off the bench next season for the Pistons really won’t matter much because the moment he gets on the court I guarantee you he will make his presence known because he will do everything possible to help the Pistons on both sides of the ball. I have not even spoken about his defense which might be a weakness due to his lack of athleticism and explosiveness but the kid has a high motor and plays hard so I doubt he’ll get torched on defense. Most question his wingspan which is only 6’9 but everything he does offensively far outweighs that so I would not be worried about it if I was the Detroit Pistons.
To conclude the Detroit Pistons have been in the doldrums for over a decade now to say the least and I think drafting Deni Avdija would speed up their rebuild rapidly. By no means am I saying Deni Avdija will step in and transform the Pistons into a contender next season but he is the the right player for the Pistons to draft, he fills in at a position of need and has winning intangibles. I reminisce to how Larry Bird,Magic Johnson,Scottie Pippen, and LeBron James elevated their respective teams by doing much more than just scoring on the basketball court and I see Deni Avdija having the same kind of impact at the NBA level. I am seeing it right now with Luka Doncic who can do absolutely everything on the basketball floor and has solidified himself as a top 10 player in the NBA already, Deni Advija is practically Luka Doncic just one inch taller and maybe not as good a ball handler but the similarities are there. Hopefully Stefanski gets a hold of my article, he won’t regret it for the next decade if he drafts Deni Avdija till next time.