The Detroit Pistons select Justin Anderson from the University of Virginia
From Detroit Bad Boys: A seven foot wingspan. 43 inch vertical. 45 percent three point shooting percentage. 230 pound frame. Sound like someone you’d want playing small forward for you?
Justin Anderson took a big step forward in 2014-15, particularly in his shooting, but it seems like those improvements are here to stay thanks to some mechanical improvements. Anderson should be able to see the floor quickly thanks to his NBA-ready frame and defensive ability. If his three point shot transitions to the next level quickly, that’ll just be gravy. The Pistons are looking for a small forward with the potential to be a dominant defender at multiple positions and a big time three point threat. Anderson fits the bill perfectly.
So with the No. 8 pick, the Pistons were able to land a young starting-caliber power forward and perhaps the most immediately-ready SF in the draft. We’ll take that.
Taylor: Anderson is one of those type of guys who is good at a lot of things, but great at none. He’s a slasher, a shooter, a passer, and a rebounder, but doesn’t really excel at any one thing. He’s a stat sheet stuffer for sure, and should be able to add a lot to the Pistons’ bench. He can catch and shoot, but doesn’t have a very strong ball-handling ability and can’t create shots for himself. He can get to the rim with ease and can finish when he gets there, but he may be a bit small for the SF position. I see him as more of a 2 guard, although if SVG decides to go small ball he could slide to the 3 and not have many problems.
Dontae: This is a quintessential needs pick for the Pistons. He’s a physical defender and he has improved greatly on the offensive side of the ball, particularly in catch-and-shoot shoot scenarios. You know, the kind that head coach Stan Van Gundy specializes in generating around his bigs.
He has a wingspan of 6’11”, and a max vertical is 43 inches. His potential on the defensive end has to be his most tantalizing attribute. The Pistons lack any punch on the wing and Anderson should step right in and contribute from day one. Yes, he’s essentially a 3-and-D guy. He has no skills in getting to the rim (outside of straight-line drives), and he’s not a creative scorer from anywhere on the floor. That’s ok, on this team, all he’ll have to do is, defend, catch and shoot.
Kevin: Anderson is a freak athlete who has a history of getting a little dinged up and missing some time. He’s not going to be a Kawhi Leonard type player, but he’s going to be a little more than the Bruce Bowen style 3-and-D type player.
As Dontae said he does need to work on his driving ability, but he’s an incredible finisher once he does get to the rim. SVG is going to have to develop him a bit, he was inconsistent at Virginia.
Lucas: Anderson, a Junior out of Virginia, is everything an NBA team can ask for from their small forward in today’s NBA, he has great size and length, at 6’6” 231 pounds and with an 6’11” wingspan, he has great length and an NBA ready body, not to mention a 43 inch max vertical. He also shot 45.2% from deep last season, and is able to use his size and length to bully defenders on his way to the rim and then finish over them with emphatic dunks.
The Pistons only have one small forward on their roster-35 year old Tayshaun Prince. Anderson should be able to come in and compete for the starting position right away, and I don’t expect it to be long before head coach Stan Van Gundy inserts him into the starting lineup. The concerns with the Junior out of Virginia is his passive nature on offense, and his lack of potential due to the fact that he is already 21 years old. However, I view that as a slight misnomer, while he may never be a start in this league, Anderson is ready to compete at the NBA level, and should be a solid starting small forward in this league for at least the next decade. The Pistons also add Kelly Olynk via the previous trade with Boston. While Illaysova and Olynk are likely a downgrade from Greg Monroe (assuming he departs this offseason) they are more natural fits in SVG’s up tempo, space the floor offense than Monroe.