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AUBURN HILLS – Toronto is taking the Lawrence O’Brien Trophy to Canada for one overriding reason: the 15th pick. If it hadn’t been the Raptors, it might have been Milwaukee to end Golden State’s reign and for the same reason: the 15th pick. Toronto’s Kawhi Leonard and Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo were both 15th picks two years apart, Leonard in 2011 and Antetokounmpo in ’13. Two-time MVP Steve Nash was the 15th pick in 1996.

Nobody else comes close to their class, though, among the 65 players drafted 15th overall since the NBA began seeding rosters via an amateur draft. Perhaps Al Jefferson
is the next most accomplished player, though he never made an All-Star team.

The Pistons have had the No. 15 pick four times in their history. Cheap Rodney Stuckey Jersey (2007) made the most immediate impact and probably wound up having the best career, though Phil Hubbard (1979), a great college player at Michigan before a catastrophic knee injury after his sophomore season, has a case.

The others taken with the 15th pick by the Pistons are Cheap Al Eberhard Jersey, back in 1974, and Cheap Austin Daye Jersey in 2009.

Last year’s 15th pick was Troy Brown, who played sparingly for the Washington Wizards. Brown profiles as the type of player most likely to be the pick of the Pistons this year: a teen with one year of college experience and little expectation of offering significant immediate help.

The four No. 15 picks prior to Brown were Justin Jackson, traded from Sacramento to Dallas in February, who shows promise as a rotation player heading into his third season after a three-year career at North Carolina; Juan Hernangomez, who’s shown flashes of promise but has yet to establish himself as part of Denver’s rotation in three NBA seasons; Kelly Oubre, who’ll be a restricted free agent after being traded from Washington to Phoenix at the trade deadline; and Adreian Payne, out of the NBA after being drafted by Minnesota out of Michigan State.

Our draft preview series continues today with a profile of Kentucky freshman guard Tyler Herro.

FIRST-ROUND CANDIDATE: Tyler Herro

ID CARD: 6-foot-6 guard, Kentucky, 19 years old

DRAFT RANGE: Ranked 18th by ESPN.com, 20th by The Athletic, 15th by SI.com

SCOUTS LOVE: Herro’s a bucket getter. That’s his calling card. It’s not all there is to his game, but that’s what will get him drafted in the first round – perhaps in the lottery. Herro, a freshman out of Wisconsin, wasn’t necessarily considered a one-and-done recruit when he pledged to Kentucky – breaking a prior commitment to Wisconsin – as a four-star who wasn’t a McDonald’s All-American. If you squint, you can see shades of J.J. Redick in Herro with his cutting and his quick trigger on catch-and-shoot opportunities. It says something that on a team with three likely first-round picks – P.J. Washington and Keldon Johnson, like Herro, are both considered potential lottery picks – it was Herro who led Kentucky in minutes played per game at 32.6. Herro plays with a high motor and a chip on his shoulder, traits that will endear him to NBA personnel evaluators. Herro has been reported to be one of the players with an invitation to the NBA green room on draft night, a strong indication that he’ll be a top-20 pick, further evidence that feedback on him since the NBA draft combine from front offices has been positive.

SCOUTS WONDER: Herro didn’t go through athletic testing at the NBA draft combine, but he did subject himself to measurements. One raised something of a red flag: his wingspan of 6-foot-3¼. That raises concerns that he’ll be challenged to defend at an adequate level, though Herro’s competitiveness and apparent average athleticism might lessen the impact. Herro showed some potential as a secondary playmaker, averaging 2.5 assists per game, but his ability to finish off the dribble over outstretched arms is put in question by the wingspan numbers. Shot selection also requires some fine tuning. As pure as Herro’s stroke appears, his .355 3-point percentage last season doesn’t scream “elite.” Like a lot of players who identify as shooters, Herro might be prone to hunt shots to get himself going and let other areas of his game lag until his shot starts to fall.

NUMBER TO NOTE: 93.5 percent – That was Herro’s free-throw percentage at Kentucky, supporting the school of thought that Herro will become an elite NBA 3-point shooter once he acclimates to the speed of the game and his body matures.

MONEY QUOTE: “I think I can step in right now and shoot with the best of ’em. I can space the floor. I think teams, they haven’t seen me really play with the ball in my hands. I think I can score at all three levels and I’m going to compete. I’m tough and I’m going to be a good teammate.” – Tyler Herro, on how he can help an NBA team as a rookie, while at the NBA draft combine

PISTONS FIT: If there’s a position where the Pistons are a little crowded, it’s at shooting guard. Even if Cheap Luke Kennard Jersey winds up swinging mostly to small forward, the Pistons still have second-year players Cheap Bruce Brown Jersey, Cheap Khyri Thomas Jersey and Svi Mykhailiuk. Mykhailiuk’s size (6-foot-8) makes him a more viable candidate to guard small forwards, but there’s still something of a logjam at the position. Given Herro’s short wingspan, his defensive versatility might be limited. On the other hand, given the premium on 3-point shooting – and Herro shows the ability to shoot it off of movement as well as in more common catch-and-shoot situations – there would be plenty of appeal in taking potentially the best shooter in the draft with the 15th pick.

BOTTOM LINE: Herro’s competitiveness and potentially elite shooting range make him a candidate to be drafted ahead of projections. The outsized importance of the 3-point shot in today’s game, at a time when 36 percent of total field-goal attempts come from the arc, easily could influence a team’s draft model to push Herro ahead of a handful or more of prospects conventionally thought to be ranked ahead of him. A report after a workout for the Celtics – who have three No. 1 picks, including one at 14, a spot ahead of the Pistons – that included other potential lottery picks in Kevin Porter Jr. and Nickeil Alexander-Walker had Herro dazzling Boston, including making 80 percent of his 3-point shots in a drill. The fact Herro showed himself to be a good rebounder for his position and flashed secondary playmaking skills broadens his appeal.

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The Pistons finished the preseason with a 2-2 record after Saturday’s 99-96 loss at Washington. They split two games at home and two on the road, but as the book closes on the exhibition season and moves toward the regular season on Wednesday, there are some good takeaways from the four-game preseason.

The starting group had its ups and downs, but the reserves, led by Cheap Derrick Rose Jersey and Cheap Josh Jackson Jersey, brought some optimism about the depth that the Pistons will have. Because of the shortened training camp, they’ll lean more on the second group to play some of those minutes.

Detroit Pistons’ Jahlil Okafor, right, puts up a shot over Washington Wizards Robin Lopez (15) during the second half.
Here are some observations from the final preseason game:

The rotation
The Pistons stayed with the starting lineup of Killian Hayes, Delon Wright, Cheap Jerami Grant Jersey, Cheap Blake Griffin Jersey  and Cheap Mason Plumlee Jersey. The reserves were about the same, with coach Dwane Casey going deep into the bench again, with 12 players seeing the court.

Casey reiterated after the game that there shouldn’t be any guesses at the rotation from the exhibition games and that the preseason was just a trial run for several lineup combinations. It will be that way for the first couple of weeks in the season at least, as he tries to ramp up the minutes for the starters and figures out a way to get minutes and determine which groupings work best for the team. It’s a preseason game, so worrying about how many minutes any of the starters plays is pure craziness.

BOX SCORE: Wizards 99, Pistons 96

Wayne Ellington played nine minutes in the first half — after not playing at all in Thursday’s game — and struggled from the field, but there will be times he’s needed in the lineup. When the regular season rolls around, he won’t get a ton of minutes, but they’ll be valuable, and most likely, they’ll need him to be solid.

There were limited minutes for rookies Cheap Saddiq Bey Jersey, Cheap Isaiah Stewart Jersey and Cheap Saben Lee Jersey, as Casey is trying to get a handle on which players will get the majority of the minutes when things get real in the regular season.

Jackson’s role
Josh Jackson had another strong outing off the bench, with 13 points and eight rebounds. He went 3-of 7 from beyond the arc and his strong play on the defensive end was one of the catalysts for the second-half comeback.

Fans of the Detroit Pistons are especially frustrated with the Cheap Bruce Brown Jersey  trade after a recent move.
The Detroit Pistons have officially wrapped up their preseason, and one final roster move needed to be made before opening night. Detroit decided to waive Cheap Dzanan Musa Jersey, who only appeared in one game and was acquired in exchange for Bruce Brown.

Anyone who watched Musa play with the Nets and their G-League affiliate should have known that he never really stood a chance with this roster. While it’s true that the Pistons are taking fliers on a plethora of raw projects, it’s equally true that Musa didn’t fit the timeline.

Instead, the only thing that remains from the deal with Brooklyn was the 2021 second round pick that they also sent over. It’s worth noting that it was the least favorable of four second rounders that the Nets owned at the time.

RELATED STORY: Troy Weaver’s vision for Detroit: Trust the new process?
This has somewhat justifiably sparked some frustration with the fans. Brown was more or less the quintessential embodiment of what Pistons fans looks for in players. Additionally, he was easily Detroit’s best on-ball defender and he was making promising strides offensively.

It also could be easily argued that he fit whatever timeline Detroit had set up.

However, with their lack of second round picks over the next few years (a situation that only got worse with the Cheap Luke Kennard Jersey trade) it created a scramble to try and accumulate some by any means necessary.

The issue with keeping Brown on this roster is that for as promising as he became as an overall product, his role on this team would have been left ambiguous. Assuming all the same moves were made, between him, Cheap Wayne Ellington Jersey, Svi Mykhailiuk, Saddiq Bey, and Josh Jackson, the rotation would have been ever more cluttered than it already is.

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Dwane Casey had already reiterated that they weren’t interested in continuing to play Bruce at point guard, and even if he was, the minutes would’ve been equally clunky.

The way that fans are trying to explain this is that Detroit trade Brown away for a second round pick, and that it doesn’t seem fair.

The question then becomes: What was he worth then? As valuable as he was to this Pistons team, it’s clear that Brooklyn won’t have much room for him to play barring any injuries.

He could’ve been moved to a team who’s more in the same position as Detroit, sure, but they probably wouldn’t be too keen on moving draft capital. Seemingly every single team in the league has their own version of Bruce as well.

To that same point, the idea that trading him for a second round pick is a “bad trade” is inherently flawed. Where did Detroit draft Brown in 2018? The second round. Admittedly they got pretty lucky with him, given the number of second round picks who don’t pan out, but the principle remains the same.

Players like him come around every single year. Troy Weaver has a solid track record with his drafting, and Pistons fans need to be patient.

It’s perfectly okay to still be a bit sour over the move in general, though. Even with someone like myself who is urging you to get over it, I too think it was a frustrating move. But at the end of the day, it’s not a make or break deal for their season or their rebuild.

He’s been one of the biggest surprises of the preseason, with consistent play in the final three games. Jackson looks to be a very nice pickup for the Pistons in free agency and if he can continue to provide the two-way production that he has in the preseason, he’ll be a big part of the rotation and garner significant playing time, possibly with the starters to finish some games.

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“Josh has really played well on both ends of the floor. Offensively, he’s shot the ball well. He’s a talented young man who just needed an opportunity,” Casey said. “He’s going to be a big plus for us this year, the way he’s playing. Defensively, he sets the tone for us and he had seven rebounds, which is huge for a guard.”

At 6-foot-8, Jackson’s length and inside-outside game complement the starting group well and there are times he could be there instead of Wright if the situation calls for it.

More from Hayes
Following a subpar game in the opener with seven turnovers, Hayes has looked much more comfortable in the starting lineup and getting a rhythm. Though the shots haven’t fallen as much during the preseason, he’s stuck with trying to get his step-back jumper to go down.

“It’s something I’ve always had and something I use when I want to create space,” Hayes said.

Hayes did return in the fourth quarter for another stint and had his best scoring game of the preseason with 11 points, but just being comfortable is a big step up for Hayes heading into the regular season.

Hayes had a 4-point play, one of his two 3-pointers to fall on Saturday. He’s still doing well defensively without getting lost in rotations or switching onto bigger players off defensive changes.

Watching the boards
The Pistons outrebounded the Wizards, 51-45, which will be something to watch this season. Without Cheap Andre Drummond Jersey, they’re not going to dominate the boards quite as much, but they can get more rebounding out of Grant (nine) and Jackson’s eight were a pleasant surprise.

Plumlee also had eight rebounds, along with four from Cheap Jahlil Okafor Jersey, which is decent production from the centers. Getting some help on the boards from the guards and small forwards will determine how well the Pistons do in getting extra possessions on the offensive end or cutting down on having to defend extra time defensively.

That rebounding margin is a key stat that something gets overlooked.

The Wright choice
The more that Cheap Delon Wright Jersey can play like he did Saturday, the more he looks like the right fit in the starting lineup. He went 3-of-5 from the field, including a 3-pointer, for an efficient nine points.

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LiAngelo Ball is attempting to become the third brother in his family to play in the NBA, as he tries out for the Detroit Pistons. How realistic are his chances?
The Detroit Pistons are a retooling team looking for young talent. If a player can show them some potential or promise for the future, they have a chance of sticking with the team.

LiAngelo Ball has a famous name, but he, like many other players, are now in NBA training camps around the country, just looking for a chance.

His older brother, Lonzo Ball, is an established player with the New Orleans Pelicans, and younger brother LaMelo was recently drafted No. 3 overall by the Charlotte Hornets.

LiAngelo Ball’s road to the NBA is going to be a lot harder. His brothers were both taken in the top three of the draft, so making a team was never a question.

However, LiAngelo, a 6-foot-5 guard/forward, has nothing being handed to him. On December 2, he signed a non-guaranteed contract with the Pistons and is part of their training camp roster.

Ball does have an Exhibit 10 clause in his contract. That means, if he did get cut by Detroit but agreed to play for their G-League team, the Grand Rapids Drive, he can get paid up to $50,000 if he stays with them for 60 days.

LiAngelo and LaMelo had spent most of the summer in Detroit working out with former Piston player Cheap Will Bynum Jersey, where he undoubtedly caught Detroit’s eye.

Ball’s road to Pistons training was a very circuitous route.

He was a freshman at UCLA when he got in trouble during a pre-season trip to China. He got suspended from the team, and dad LaVar Ball took him and LaMelo to play professionally in Lithuania.

RELATED STORY: Detroit Pistons: Would LaMelo Ball even stay beyond his rookie contract?
While LaMelo went to Australia last season to play professionally, LiAngelo started out as a practice player for the Oklahoma Blue, the G-League affiliate of the Thunder. He eventually made their roster, and played in one game before the entire league was shut down due to the pandemic.

Having one game in the G-League to playing in the NBA is a major step. One advantage LiAngelo might have is, he could be the best shooter of the trio.

With the Pistons having gotten rid of most of their shooters, there is a place for someone who can knock it down from outside.

LiAngelo was not as coveted by NBA teams as his brothers. He has been eligible to play in the NBA since 2018, and this is his first time in a training camp.

What are Ball’s chances of sticking?
The fact he is on a non-guaranteed contract will help. That means he counts little against the cap, and Detroit can cut him at any time. That way they will not owe him any additional money.

Ball is a little heavier than his brothers. He is 6-5, same height as Lonzo, but he weighs 230 pounds That means he could play small forward as well as shooting guard.

Ball is one of 20 players currently on the roster. The raw math is that an NBA team can only carry 15 players on its roster. An NBA team can also have two ‘two-way’ players. They are assigned to the G-League but can play up to 50 games for the NBA team.

Assuming (and knowing general manager Troy Weaver, it is a big assumption), there are no further moves made, Ball needs to beat out three players to get a two-way contract and five to make the Pistons.

Taking a realistic look at the roster, Ball will probably have to outplay Cheap Anthony Lamb Jersey, Dzansan Musa and Cheap Deividas Sirvydis Jersey  to make the Pistons. He must also knocks out Cheap Saben Lee Jersey and Cheap Louis King Jersey to even get a two-way contract..

According to Spotrac.com, King and Lee have already signed two-way contracts. Of course, if either one of them looks especially good, the two-way can be converted to regular NBA contracts. Either one could also get released and be replaced.

Lamb was a standout at Vermont in college but, like Ball, he is on a non-guaranteed Exhibit 10 contract.

Blake Griffin is all good to go.

That may not seem like much, but for the Pistons, that’s some of the best news they could get as they ramp up training camp and prepare for the start of the preseason schedule on Friday.

Griffin, who missed the first 10 games last season because of lingering knee issues, isn’t having any problems this season.

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“He hasn’t taken a play, a possession or a drill off yet. He’s looking good. All the guys are getting their sea legs under them after being off for so long, but he’s the Blake of old, making plays and fitting in seamlessly,” coach Dwane Casey said Monday via teleconference. “He did a lot of work this summer to strengthen his legs and he’s done that. He’s back to being the Blake of old.

Subscription:Beard: Battle for shooting guard poised to be Pistons camp’s top storyline

“We’re excited about that. I had known that he had been putting in the work with all the naysayers. He’s done a good job the last couple of days in 5-on-5.”

It was a frustrating season for Griffin, who played just 18 games before shutting things down because of recurring knee issues. He posted subpar numbers for his career: 15.5 points, 4.7 rebounds and 3.3 assists and shot a miserable 24 percent on 3-pointers. More than that, he didn’t have much lift off his knee, but all that looks to be in the past.

More:Dwane Casey: Rookie Killian Hayes is Pistons starter ‘right now’

Along with Griffin, the Pistons also are getting good signs from Cheap Derrick Rose Jersey, who isn’t showing any signs of wear or injury. Rose, 32, has been working throughout the summer and has an additional job this season of mentoring rookie point guard Killian Hayes.

He’s off to a good start.

“Derrick has been going two-a-days with his personal trainer throughout the pandemic. He has not missed a possession (in training camp),” Casey said. “Tonight, we’re going into night practices and both guys are a go.

“That’s the exciting part, that you have those two players that are back and contributing with the younger group, also, so it’s a good mixture.”

Musa came to Detroit via the Cheap Bruce Brown Jersey trade. He is a 6-foot-9 stringbean who plays a similar positions to Ball. He is a former first-round draft pick of the Nets, but he played a lot for their G-League team

Musa is on the books for $2 million this season, whether he makes the team or not

The Pistons traded for Sirvydis two years ago in a deal struck by current special advisor Ed Stefanski, who gave up three-second picks for the Lithuanian. The 6-6 wing has signed a three-year, $4.2 million contract to finally come over.

So, if Ball was to make the team, the Pistons would need to release either Musa or Sirvydis and add to their dead salary cap space (already $3 million for this season for cutting Zhaire Smith and Dewayne Dedmon).

The Pistons are not particularly invested in Musa, he was just a handy salary to complete the Brown trade.

However, they are on the hook for three years of paying Sirvydis and Detroit gave up a lot of draft capital to get him. Due to his youth (20) and inexperience, it would not be surprising if Sirvydis ends up playing mostly with the Drive this season, but he still would remain officially on Detroit’s roster.

As for the two-way players, Lee was a second-round draft pick. Although many mock drafts did not have him being drafted at all, the Pistons were reportedly quite high on him and consider him to be almost their fourth first-rounder.

King was a two-way player last year. He was one of only five players who returned from last year’s roster, so general manager Troy Weaver must see something he likes in the 6-foot-9 small forward.

Breaking it down, it will a tough road for Cheap LiAngelo Ball Jersey to make the Detroit Pistons roster.

NEXT: Detroit Pistons: Setting expectations for Cheap Killian Hayes Jersey in 2020-2021
However, all politics aside, Ball will get his chance to show he belongs beginning on Friday, when the New York Knicks come to Little Caesars Arena (Fox Sports Detroit, 97.1 FM) for the start of the exhibition season.

If Ball plays well, he can force the Pistons to make some difficult decisions.