Post-All-Star break means it is officially the 2023 NBA Draft season for the Detroit Pistons and for Pistons fans. In that spirit, Detroit Bad Boys is sharing weekly articles and prospect breakdowns from our own Bryce Simon, who is analyzing prospects for Sports Illustrated’s Draft Digest.
This week, Bryce explores a pair of Sweet 16 guards in Houston’s Marcus Sasser and Arkansas’ Nick Smith Jr.
Nick Smith Jr., Arkansas Freshman Guard
Many would call this a disappointing season for Nick Smith Jr. who many had as a top-five prospect coming into the college basketball season. His stock fell over the course of the year due to injuries and inefficient play. Unfortunately, three games in the NCAA tournament have not done anything to erase the worries for potential NBA teams and scouts. Smith Jr. is not a prospect we should be seeing the Detroit Pistons take in the top five, BUT if he were to fall AND Troy Weaver acquires another first-round pick MAYBE he fills the role of a scoring guard off the bench.
Marcus Sasser, Houston Senior Guard
The path to NBA success is getting harder and harder for small guards in the mold of Marcus Sasser, but the intensity he plays with and his shooting numbers are going to give him a chance for success. Sasser and his Houston Cougars team is still alive in March Madness, and they are actually one of the favorites to cut down the nets on April 3 (side note: come watch the game with myself and Omari Sankofa II at the HopCat Detroit Downtown as we will be doing a live, in-person, recording of episode 60 of The Pistons Pulse before the game). Sasser is also not in play for the Detroit Pistons first pick on draft night but it is possible he could be selected with pick No. 31 that Troy Weaver currently holds IF they were ready to move on from Killian Hayes.
The Best 3-Point Shooters in the NBA Draft (via Cerebro Sports)
Cerebro sports has their 3-point efficiency (3PE) metric, explained in the article, that gives us a deeper look at some of the best 3-point shooters in the 2023 NBA Draft. Considering the Detroit Pistons need for floor spacing, the five names mentioned in the article may be of particular interest. You will find breakdowns on Brandon Miller (Alabama), Brandin Podziemski (Santa Clara), Jordan Hawkins (UConn), Tucker DeVries (Drake) and Jett Howard (Michigan).
The Best Non-Bigs Bucket Getters in the NBA Draft (via Cerebro Sports)
Cerebro sports has their point scoring prowess (PSP) metric, explained in the article, that gives us a deeper look at some of the best scorers in the 2023 NBA Draft. NBA teams, especially the Detroit Pistons, are always looking for more guys that can get a bucket. You will find breakdowns on Kris Murray (Iowa), Brandin Podziemski (Santa Clara), Jalen Pickett (Penn State), Tucker DeVries (Drake), and Keyontae Johnson (Kansas State).
If you want to stay up to date on all of this year’s NBA Draft prospects, you can read all of Bryce’s work for Sports Illustrated’s Draft Digest.