4 prospects Detroit Pistons could target in the second round of 2022 NBA draft

Detroit Free Press

The majority of the draft focus for the Detroit Pistons has been centered around their first-round pick.

They have the fifth overall selection and are searching for another franchise centerpiece who can thrive alongside 2021 top pick Cade Cunningham.

But the Pistons also own the 46th pick of the draft, thanks to their trade with the Brooklyn Nets last September. Historically, most second-round picks don’t pan out. But every draft has a handful that do, and Detroit will aim to make good use of theirs.

Here are four prospects to keep an eye on:

[ Pistons mailbag: Is Phoenix Suns big man Deandre Ayton a possibility? ]

Max Christie, G, Michigan State

2021-22 stats: 9.3 points, 3.5 rebounds, 38.2% overall shooting, 31.7% from 3 (3.5 attempts)

It was surprising for some to see Christie (6-foot-6, 185 pounds) declare for the draft after an underwhelming freshman season at Michigan State basketball. The former five-star recruit developed a reputation as a sharpshooter in high school, but he struggled to hit outside shots in college. But Christie is still only 19 years old, and his size and length enabled him to become an outstanding perimeter defender. His upside makes him an intriguing target and he’s still confident that he’ll consistently knock down 3-pointers in the NBA.

“It may not have been reflected this past year but I think I know and I think everyone knows I’m a better shooter than what I produced,” Christie said during the NBA draft combine in Chicago. “Not really worried about the numbers that were produced. I’m a better shooter and I’m going to shoot it better in the NBA.”

Christie has all the tools necessary to become an archetypal modern NBA wing. He’s big and long enough to defend multiple positions and tested well at the combine, finishing top five among guards in standing vertical leap, shuttle run and three-quarter sprint. If he can knock down shots, he’d be an ideal off-ball pairing next to Cade Cunningham.

David Roddy, G, Colorado State

2021-22 stats: 19.2 points, 7.5 rebounds, 2.9 assists, 57.1% overall shooting, 43.8% from 3 (3.4 attempts)

In 2021, the Pistons leaned toward taking older, productive players. Isaiah Livers and Luka Garza were both four-year seniors, and both players played notable minutes for Detroit last season. David Roddy, a three-year standout at Colorado State, comes from a similar mold. He stuffed the stat sheet during his junior season last year and was a highly-efficient scorer, possessing strong footwork and touch around the rim. Couple that with his tough defense, rebounding and passing vision, and there aren’t many second-round prospects who can impact the game in as many ways as Roddy can.

So why isn’t Roddy a first-round lock? He’s a wide-bodied athlete who measured in at 6-6 in shoes, 261 pounds at the combine, and there are concerns about his body type translating to the NBA. He also only had a single season as a plus outside shooter, as he shot just 19.5% and 27.8% during his first two college seasons. He will have to prove he can keep up defensively and knock down shots.

Patrick Baldwin Jr., F, Milwaukee

2021-22 stats: 12.1 points, 5.8 rebounds, 34.4% overall shooting, 26.6% from 3 (5.8 attempts)

Once considered a potential top-10 pick, Baldwin’s draft stock has plummeted after an injury-marred freshman season. He turned down an offer from Duke to play for his father, former Northwestern standout Pat Baldwin. But Baldwin Jr. struggled against Horizon League competition, raising significant questions as to whether he’ll find success in the NBA.

Baldwin measured 6-10 in shoes with a 7-foot-2 wingspan at the combine, giving him great size as a scoring power forward. He was a strong outside shooter in high school and handles the ball like a guard. Though he struggled as a primary option in college, there’s enough to his game to inspire belief he’ll eventually figure things out.

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Dalen Terry, G/F, Arizona

2021-22 stats: 8.0 points, 4.8 rebounds, 3.9 assists, 50.2% overall shooting, 36.5% from 3 (2.1 attempts)

Terry checked a lot of boxes for Arizona last season. He’s a big wing with a 7-1 wingspan and handled a variety of defensive assignments — and also thrived as a lead ball-handler. He improved his outside shooting and only committed 1.4 turnovers a game while averaging nearly four assists.

He averaged about two 3-point attempts per game and will have to show that he can knock down a healthy percentage on higher volume, but that’s a bet worth taking in the second round.

Terry could see his stock rise as we get closer to the draft.

Contact Omari Sankofa II at osankofa@freepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @omarisankofa.

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