With the NBA Draft just weeks away, Wiz of Awes will be doing a mock draft, which we’ll break down each pick for every lottery team, including the Washington Wizards. [Completed Mock Draft: 1) Cleveland, 2) Orlando, 3) Washington Wizards, 4) Charlotte, 5) Phoenix, 6) New Orleans 7) Sacramento]
8) Detroit Pistons: C.J. McCollum, PG/SG, Lehigh
Basic Stats: 23.9 PPG, 5.0 REB, 2.9 AST, 1.4 STL
As I looked over the Detroit Pistons roster, it’ll be tough for them to go wrong with any of the top prospects slated to go 8th overall. They have established a solid frontcourt with Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond, but they might be missing a guard who could help them in several aspects of the game.
Even though I think Brandon Knight is a good player, he’s stuck in a weird situation, with virtually no one at the helm leading the backcourt. The Pistons could possibly go in plenty of different directions with their late lottery pick, but since they’ve got their frontcourt of the future with Monroe and Drummond, I think it’s safe to say they’ll try to acquire a guard who could take them to the next level.
C.J. McCollumn first burst on the scene last year when he led his low ranked Mountain Hawks to a stunning upset victory over the No.2 seed Duke Blue Devils. McCollum dropped 30 points and 6 assists against Austin Rivers, who at that time, was viewed as one of the top prospects for the upcoming NBA Draft. After the first round upset, McCollum drew national attention, captivating the eyes of millions of basketball fans, though his tenacity and courage to step up on the biggest stage in college basketball.
Since then, McCollum has been ranked amongst some of the top NBA prospects. Even though he didn’t play in a great conference, Damian Lillard’s transitional success to the next level certainly helped McCollum rise on draft boards. The Pistons were one of the worst offensive teams in the league last season, so acquiring someone who can put the ball in the basket at a high rate is something they’ll try to do this off-season. McCollum will likely play point guard at the next level, but that doesn’t necessarily mean he won’t look to score as much as he did in the past. The NBA has seen an influx of talented scoring point guards over the past few drafts and McCollum has all the tools to become a legitimate starter for a good NBA team.
With four years of college basketball under his belt, McCollum knows how to run a basketball team, and could help out a rebuilding NBA club right out of the gate. His craftiness offensively makes up for his lack of athleticism, since he could put the ball in the basket from virtually anywhere on the floor. His confidence will probably elevate his teammates, which is certainly something the Pistons could use. McCollum isn’t an elite defender, but his willingness to improve will cause him to make the right adjustments once he gets into the big league. Besides, the Pistons do have a few guards on the roster that McCollum can probably learn from. He has a very high basketball I.Q and seems like a high character guy, so adding that to a rebuilding roster can’t hurt.
I don’t think McCollum will ever become an All-Star caliber player in the NBA, but scorers are always needed, especially for teams which desperately need it. His game reminds me a bit of Jarrett Jack and Deron Williams, with his ability to make up for his lack of athleticism with his offensive tools.
The Pistons cant go wrong with this pick, and I won’t be surprised if they take the former Mountain Hawk eighth overall in a few weeks.