Originally posted on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 6/22/14
Nik Stauskas The Detroit Pistons have to wait 37 picks until their turn comes in this Thursday’s NBA Draft. The Pistons’ No. 38 pick will not be nearly as exciting as their No. 8 overall pick would have been, had they not lost it. The dream of getting an elite shooter like Nik Stauskas or Doug McDermott, or extra frontcourt depth with the  likes Julius Randle, Noah Vonleh or possibly even Joel Embiid in wake of his recent injury news, is long gone. Instead, the first draft of the Stan Van Gundy era is set to begin in the second round, where players tend to be much more sporadic in terms of panning out. Van Gundy, who has assumed control of basketball operations as well as coaching duties, has already made it clear what Detroit is looking for this offseason. Call it SVG’s holy trinity: “tough, smart and can shoot,” he listed in an interview shortly after getting the job this May. Let’s take a look at some the names I’ve seen being thrown around the most often in mock drafts by the experts and analysts and see if any of them fit the trinity’s criteria. Cleanthony Early, SF, Wichita State Joe Harris, SF, Virginia Mitch McGary, PF/C, Michigan Spencer Dinwiddie, SG, Colorado Bogdan Bogdanovic, SG, Serbia DeAndre Daniels, SF/PF, Connecticut Jordan Adams, SG, UCLA Thanasis Antetokounmpo, SF, Greece → NBA D-League Spencer Dinwiddie, SG, Colorado Damien Inglis, SF, France P.J. Hairston, SG, UNC → NBA D-League Looking at these names I see a few that stand out. Harris, Bogdanovic, McGary, Antetokounmpo fit the mold perfectly in my opinion, while a few others are close to fulfilling the trinity. I think that Van Gundy goes with a prospect that matches his trinity as perfectly as possible, which is my prediction is… Pistons’ 38th Pick: Joe Harris, Virginia Joe Harris Harris was a senior leader on a Virginia team that won the ACC regular season (16-2 record) and tournament (beating Florida St., Pittsburgh and Duke), and earned a 1-seed in the big dance. Virginia was a defensive juggernaut, and held their opponents to an NCAA-best 55.7 points-per-game. Harris played a large roll in all of this. He brought a lot of toughness and effort to the table for the Cavaliers last season. Not to mention, he shot 40.7 percent from 3-point range across his four years at UVA. Harris passes the tough, smart and can shoot test, but questions still remain about whether he can succeed at the next level due to inferior athleticism and limited length. Despite his lack of athleticism, I think Harris will the be the guy that Detroit goes with on draft night for a couple of reasons. First, I don’t think its likely that prospects with more upside like McGary, Early, or Antetokounmpo fall to pick 38 on Thursday. Second, there are a lot of things to like about Harris. He is a practitioner of the game’s fundamentals — hustling, defense, giving 100% effort, not turning the ball over — which makes him a safer picker who is not likely to be a bust. Third, he is a great shooter who is working to improve everyday. It also helps when you work out with Stauskas and Doug McDermott nearly everyday, which Harris has been doing in Chicago to prepare for the draft. He is a safer pick in the volatile second round. And because he is smart, tough, and can shoot; I predict that the Pistons are going with Harris on Thursday. The draft begins this Thursday on ESPN at 7 p.m. The post Detroit Pistons mock draft: Predicting the 38th pick appeared first on isportsweb.

This article first appeared on isportsweb.com and was syndicated with permission.

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