NBA mock draft 2023 roundup: Detroit Pistons likely to pick between 2 players

Detroit Free Press

The Detroit Pistons hold the No. 5 overall pick in the 2023 NBA draft, following the results of Tuesday’s lottery.

It was the worst possible outcome for the franchise, missing out on a draft with a consensus top-three prospects.

Yet there is always plenty of talent to be found at the fifth pick this year, and a fluid ranking of players from No. 4 on will make for an exciting debate leading all the way into draft night June 22 in Brooklyn, New York.

There is also the possibility of trades, and the Houston Rockets at No. 4 are a team to watch as they search to jumpstart their lagging rebuild.

Mock drafts have been updated with the draft order now set. Here is the instant reaction predicting whom the Pistons might pick at No. 5, one year after taking Jaden Ivey there. Click on the player’s name for the full mock draft from each site.

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The pick: Jarace Walker

The reason: “A versatile forward with a soft touch inside, the American Athletic Conference freshman of the year will be an immediate help on defense, where his 7-foot-2 wingspan can cause all sorts of problems for opposing players.”

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ESPN’s Jonathan Givony

The pick: Jarace Walker

The reason: “Adding one of the most versatile defenders in this draft class to the frontcourt in Walker makes a lot of sense with the passing acumen and budding perimeter-shooting prowess he displayed this season, as well as the significant upside he brings, even though the Pistons have a logjam of big men they’ll need to sift through in the long term.”

The Athletic’s Sam Vecenie

The pick: Cam Whitmore

The reason: “Cunningham and Ivey would be perfect for Whitmore, two high-level ballhandlers and distributors who would allow Whitmore to focus on what he does best: Score the basketball. He’d be allowed to come along slowly as a passer and decision-maker and would be a tremendous transition threat with Ivey running the break. A pairing with Ivey would arguably give the Pistons two of the 10 most athletic players in the league. Whitmore … fits perfectly with what Troy Weaver tends to value in terms of bigger, longer prospects with athletic tools.”

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CBS’ Gary Parrish

The pick: Jarace Walker

The reason: “Walker would be a nice consolation prize as a physical specimen who exerts energy on both ends of the court and possesses the ability to play the four or small-ball five.”

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The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor

The pick: Cam Whitmore

The reason: “Whitmore fits with Cunningham and Jaden Ivey as a versatile wing, but he also provides long-term upside with his quick first step as a scorer.”

CBS’ Kyle Boone

The pick: Cam Whitmore

The reason: “Detroit has very few glaring holes on its roster but wing is absolutely one of them. Whitmore is one of the most explosive vertical athletes in this class who can hit 3-pointers and attack closeouts. Good fit next to Cade Cunningham and Jaden Ivey.”

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