Detroit Pistons 2012 NBA Draft Grades

How did the do with their picks in the ? We take a look at each of the Pistons’ selections and hand out our grades …

No. 9: , C, UConn

Chris Burke: When people talked about the Pistons’ choices at No. 9, Drummond was considered the dream pick — meaning that he was expected to come off the board earlier in the lottery picks but looked like a terrific fit on Detroit’s front line. The Pistons simply couldn’t pass up Drummond’s near-7-foot frame at this selection, even if the ex-UConn big man comes with questions about his motor. He also has a lot of work to do to develop into a legitimate offensive weapon, but the Pistons badly need the shot-blocking, rebounding and size he’ll give them as a rookie. Grade: B-plus

Max DeMara: This was the guy I had silently targeted all along. I didn’t figure he’d be avalible at 9, but as in the past three years, good fortune seems to have smiled on the Pistons once more. Drummond’s size and freakish athleticism makes him a perfect complement to Greg Monroe, and coming into the year, many felt he was a sure top-five pick. At best, he could become the next Dwight Howard. The deep slippage was caused by concerns about motivation, but considering Drummond fell as far as he did, that shouldn’t be an issue. This was a great pick for Detroit, and one that could pay dividends for years to come. Grade: A-plus

No. 39: Khris Middleton, SG/SF, Texas A&M

Burke: Like the Drummond selection, this is a high-upside selection. Middleton put up 14.4 points and 5.2 boards in his sophomore season, then saw those numbers drop to 13.2 and 5.0 last year as he dealt with a knee injury and the Aggies underwent a coaching change. He shot 36 percent from 3 in that sophomore year … and just 26 percent from deep last season. The Pistons are banking on the 2010-11 Middleton being the guy they’ve picked. He’ll have to bulk up and figure out how he’ll score as an NBA player, but the Pistons have enough wing guys (including the returning Kyle Singler) that they don’t need much for at least a year or two. Grade: B-minus

DeMara: Another good pick for the Pistons. Many had Middleton going in the first round, but he slipped right into Detroit’s lap at 39. He’s an excellent scoring option, and can create down low and finish with a nice jump shot. He’s coming in a bit unheralded with some injury concerns, but should he be ready, he could become a solid player. I like the pick. Grade: B-plus

No. 44: Kim English, SG, Missouri

Burke: English shot … ready for this? … 46 percent from behind the arc, 78-for-170. That’s ludicrous. No, English is not going to be a Rodney Stuckey/Brandon Knight-type player who steps on the court and finds ways to create his own offense. If he makes the team and secures a spot on the active roster, English’s role will be to hit some outside jumpers. Considering that he’s a Joe Dumars, hard-nosed type of player and the Pistons just traded sharpshooter Ben Gordon, it would not be surprising at all for English to see minutes in the near future. There might have been some higher-upside guys left here, but for the Pistons’ needs, it’s hard to argue with English at 44. Grade: A-minus

DeMara: Detroit upgrades its backcourt with the addition of English, a fantastic defender with good size. He’s also got the scoring touch, having averaged nearly 18 points per game for Missouri in college. This is a solid pick, but I would have much rather seen the Pistons take Hollis Thompson, a smoother threat from three-point land, with this pick. English can hit threes as well, but I liked Thompson’s complete game a bit better. Still, a player like English could develop well in the right system. We’ll have to see if Detroit is that place. Grade: B-minus

To see how the NBA Draft’s first-rounders compare to “NBA Jam” characters (we’re serious), click here to visit The Detroit Sports Site’s earlier breakdown.

For full NBA draft grades, click here for USA Today’s analysis

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