NBA Draft recap: Crazy night for Pistons; Michigan State stars fall

Detroit News

By Matt Schoch
| The Detroit News

It’s NBA Draft time.

The Pistons picked seventh, 16th and 19th. Point guard appeared to be their biggest need, and they addressed it by selecting Killian Hayes at No. 7.

The Pistons then made a pick at No. 16, acquired in a trade from Houston before the draft.

Detroit drafted Washington’s Isaiah Stewart at No. 16 and then acquired No. 19 by reportedly trading Luke Kennard to the Los Angeles Clippers in a three-way trade.

There, they took Saddiq Bey of Villanova, who could be a three-and-D player. The Pistons added a second-round pick later and drafted point guard Saben Lee from Vanderbilt.

Follow along here for live updates from writer Matt Schoch, a Detroit News freelancer.

Cassius Winston goes No. 53 to Washington

Cassius Winston’s long slide in the draft ended near the bottom.

The Michigan State All-American went No. 53 to Oklahoma City but then was traded to Washington.

There, he’ll have a chance to play for a young team.

There will be lots of us rooting for him.

Pistons pick up Saben Lee of Vanderbilt

The Pistons had the 38th pick after making a trade with Utah and drafted Vanderbilt point guard Saben Lee. ESPN says Lee is fast but is a shaky shooter.

Lee is not highly ranked by draft folks. He played for former Pistons player Jerry Stackhouse this past year.

MSU’s Xavier Tillman goes to Memphis

Michigan State’s Xavier Tillman was the 35th pick on Wednesday, the fifth of the second round.

Tillman is a mature player who should help Memphis right away. That’s a good, young nucleus. Sacramento made the pick

It’s a lot like when Deyonta Davis of Muskegon went No. 31 to Memphis after falling out of the first round.

Pistons make another move

The Pistons aren’t done yet.

According to Woj, the Pistons have traded into the second round.

The Pistons acquired the salary of backup center Tony Bradley from Utah and for the 38th pick in return.

Michigan State prospects, Pistons at No. 38 still

The Michigan State Spartans did not have a first-round pick this year as Cassius Winston and Xavier Tillman slipped through.

In addition, the Pistons still have another pick at No. 38.

30. Memphis trades for final first-round pick

Boston traded the final pick of the first round to Memphis.

Desmond Bane of Texas Christian is the pick there for the Grizzlies.

Bane should be able to play right away and is a good shooter.

29. SDSU’s Flynn to Toronto

San Diego State’s Malachi Flynn is headed to the Toronto Raptors.

He led the Aztecs to a great season for coach Brian Dutcher, who used to be an assistant at Michigan.

28. McDaniels to Minny via Lakers

Jaden McDaniels of Washington is headed to Minnesota.

Big night for the Timberwolves who are trying to remake the roster.

27. Jazz take Kansas big man

Udoka Azubuike of Kansas is the pick for the Utah Jazz.

Michigan fans will remember him from the Final Four a couple years back.

He can’t shoot, we’ll see there.

26. Pritchard staying in green in Boston

Oregon guard Payton Pritchard is off to the Boston Celtics.

A skilled shooter, Pritchard is the prototype veteran, well … white guard.

25. Kentucky’s Quickly off to Knicks

After a trade for Leandro Bolmero, the Knicks took Immanuel Quickley. of Kentucky.

Quickley was in a crowded backcourt for the Wildcats but is a real scorer.

24. RJ Hampton falls to Denver

RJ Hampton took a risk going to Australia and he fell in the draft after a tough year.

Milwaukee drafted the solid athlete at No. 24 for Denver.

23. Bolmaro headed to Minnesota via trade

Leandro Bolmaro of Argentina is picked No. 23 by the Knicks but was traded to Minnesota.

He’s a competitor but was moved for No. 25 and 33.

22. Denver takes NNaji at 22

Zeke Nnaji is the pick at No. 22 for the Denver Nuggets.

He’s a 7-footer from Arizona who is very physical.

21. Maxey to Philly, nice pick

The Philadelphia 76ers took Kentucky’s Tyrese Maxey.

I thought this might be Detroit’s pick at No. 19, but Philly will like this competitor.

20. Memphis athlete goes to Miami

This pick seems pre-ordained.

The Miami Heat took hard-working forward Precious Achiuwa, a super-athlete from Memphis.

The athleticism is there, but is the offense?

19. Pistons take Saddiq Bey after trade

The Pistons traded Luke Kennard to the LA Clippers for the No. 19 pick.

Detroit then took Villanova’s Saddiq Bey at No. 19.

Bey shot 45% from 3-point land, and also defends too. He should play right away.

Jay Wright products seem to do well in the league and should help instill a nice culture in Detroit.

I tweeted something.

18. Josh Green headed to Dallas

Arizona’s Josh Green is headed to the Dallas Mavericks.

He grew up in Australia, 

17. Aleksej Pokusevski to Minnesota

The Timberwolves added to Edwards by taking Serbian Aleksej Pokusevski, who is raw but has intriguing skills.

The Pistons skipped Obi Toppin and Pokusevski in this draft, an accomplished and a project big.

16. Pistons take project big at No. 16

Washington forward Isaiah Stewart is headed to the Pistons after one lone season in college.

Stewart is a 6-foot-9 project but plays very hard. Great wingspan. He’s got intensity that Detroit fans should like.

He also knocked down 77% of his free throws as a freshman so maybe some range will come along. 

Stewart was the No. 2 player coming out of high school, behind James Wiseman.

15. Cole Anthony to Orlando

North Carolina point guard Cole Anthony is headed to Orlando.

He was a blue-chip recruit but disappointed in Chapel Hill.

14. Shooter Nesmith headed to Boston

Vanderbilt forward Aaron Nesmith is headed to the Boston Celtics, who took him at 14th.

He shot a crazy percentage form 3-point land this past season.

13. Lewis Jr. to New Orleans

The New Orleans Pelicans took Alabama point guard Kira Lewis Jr., who is a real speedster.

New Orleans needs to replace Jrue Holiday, who they traded to Milwaukee earlier this week.

12. Tyrese Haliburton free falls to Kings

Sacramento rarely has luck on draft night but they got it this time.

Iowa State’s Tyrese Haliburton fell all the way to No. 12 and that’s great value for the Kings. He’s a steady guy and could’ve been in the mix for the Pistons at No. 7.

11. Vassell goes 11 to Spurs

Florida State’s Devin Vassell went No. 11 to the Spurs, a little further down the list than you might figure.

He’s a solid 3-and-D prospect.

10. Another surprise with Smith to Suns

Maryland’s Jalen Smith goes No. 10 to Phoenix, a bit of a surprise for the versatile big.

He was thought to be mocked closer to No. 20.

9. Avdija No. 9 to Washington

The free-faller of Wednesday’s draft was Deni Avdija, the young Israel forward.

There’s a lot to like with Avdija, and that’s great value there at No. 9.

8. Toppin to Knicks at No. 8

Perhaps the best player in college basketball last season, Dayton’s Obi Toppin fell to the Knicks.

Toppin should make an impact right away and could be rookie of the year.

7. Pistons take Killian Hayes at No. 7

French point guard Killian Hayes is the Pistons pick at No. 7.

It’s the second straight year the Pistons took a Frenchman after taking Sekou Doumbouya at No. 15 last year.

Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer had him as the top player in the draft.

6. Okongwu goes No. 6 to Atlanta

USC center Onyeka Okongwu is headed to the Atlanta Hawks.

I liked him a lot, he should be a solid pro.

He could be fodder to be moved to Boston in a Gordon Heyward trade though.

5. Cavaliers take Okoro fifth overall

Cleveland reported fielded trade offers for the fifth pick, but took Isaac Okoro from Auburn.

Okoro should help turn around Cleveland’s defense, among the worst in the NBA.

4. Chicago takes Patrick Williams fourth

The first big surprise of the night comes via Chicago, which took Patrick Williams of Florida State at No. 4.

He was someone linked lately to the Pistons, who now maybe have to shift course.

Williams is a project and won’t contribute right away. He’s young but has potential though. Still, I’d want a college starter at No. 4.

3. Hornets pick up falling LaMelo Ball

LaMelo Ball fell to No. 3 and Charlotte happily scooped him up.

The Hornets need some juice and the flashy point guard provides that. The top three was the top three we figured, though the order maybe was a little different than some thought.

2. Golden State takes Wiseman second

Memphis center James Wiseman goes No. 2 to the Golden State Warriors, who got bad news Wednesday about a possible injury to Klay Thompson.

Wiseman is a project but has a chance to help the Warriors bridge the gap to the next era of winning basketball in the Bay Area.

1. Timberwolves take Edwards No. 1

Minnesota took Anthony Edwards No. 1, skipping the chance to take LaMelo Ball at No. 1.

Edwards, of Georgia, fits better with D’Angelo Russell than Ball does. Edwards could be an impact player, but he’s not the star you hope for at No. 1.

First-round draft order

Here are the teams still coming up in the first round:

20. Miami

21. Philadelphia

22. Denver

23. New York

24. Milwaukee

25. Oklahoma City

26. Boston

27. Utah

28. LA Lakers

29. Raptors

30. Celtics

Who is going to go No. 1?

Months ago, it was Anthony Edwards.

Last week, it was LaMelo Ball.

Now, Edwards again?

Oddsmakers are siding with Edwards to go No. 1 now as Minnesota has the top pick. But it could move.

Stay tuned.

Pistons made trade to open draft night

Alright, let’s get weird.

The Pistons reportedly made a deal with Houston to acquire another first-round pick.

The Pistons hold No. 7 and No. 16.

They also received Trevor Ariza, who is reportedly due a guarantee of about $7 million. Will the Pistons keep him around for the balance of that contract, a little less than $6 million?

And what about the pick they sent out to Houston? It’s heavily protected, but it’s potentially a mid-first round pick in about three to six years.

It’s a gamble.

2020 NBA draft

When: 8 tonight


Pistons selections: No. 7 and 16 overall; they do not have a second-round pick.

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