When the Detroit Pistons are looking at the 2021 NBA Draft class, players from conferences like the Big Ten, SEC, Big 12, ACC, WCC, and PAC 12, and even G-League stand out. This is standard, as they play against a very high level of competition and it is easy to predict how the players will transition to the NBA.
Mid-majors are sometimes forgotten about, but the hometown Horizon League may provide interesting second-round picks for the Detroit Pistons. Or maybe not. Looking at the 2020-21 All-Horizon team, some players emerge as possible late picks, and others don’t.
The teams represented in the All-Horizon team are Cleveland State, Detroit Mercy, Oakland University, and Wright State.
The only current NBA player who went to Clevland State is Bryn Forbes of the Bucks, and the only other noteworthy player from CSU was Manute Bol. Not exactly a school that churns out NBA talent. This is a theme with all the schools.
Detroit Mercy can claim no current NBA players, and Oakland University only has four ever, but one of them is Kendrick Nunn, who is a solid player for a good team.
Wright State only has two players ever drafted, and none in this century.
Clearly, all these players are at high risk. Now, let’s look at the five options and see if any of them fit.
Possible Detroit Pistons draft picks: Torrey Patton, Guard, Cleveland State
Torrey Patton is an oversized guard who still has one year of eligibility, so he may not declare for this draft. He was Horizon League tournament MVP this season, but his numbers are not impressive.
His scoring is not very high, and while his midrange and inside shot are solid, he doesn’t have a three-ball and his defense is not very good. He looks a lot like Obi Toppin, but make no mistake, he is nowhere near a first-rounder, let alone a lottery pick.
He did put up an impressive stat line against Oakland in the finals of the conference tournament, but unless he lights up Houston in March Madness, I suspect Patton will have a decent career in Europe.
VERDICT: IF AVAILABLE, PASS