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Five prospects the Pistons could select in the second round

Tribune News Service • Jun 20, 2018 at 11:18 PM

Maryland forward Justin Jackson was considered a first-round candidate for the 2018 NBA draft at this point last year.

He considered entering the draft after his freshman season but returned to school.

Shortly after, in September, The Ringer published an early 2018 mock draft and had the sophomore going No. 6 overall to the New York Knicks.

But his stock fell after struggling with an injured shoulder.

Jackson kept his name in the draft this time, but mock drafts have him going undrafted in Thursday night’s NBA draft at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.

Could the Pistons go for upside and take Jackson in the second round at No. 42 overall?

Pistons senior adviser Ed Stefanski, who is overseeing draft operations, says teams should normally go upside over fit — especially in the second round, where many prospects fail to pan out.

In the front office with the Memphis last season, the Grizzlies selected swingman Dillon Brooks at No. 45. He had a solid season for the Grizzlies.

“I’m not saying we’re going to get Dillon Brooks, but we’re hoping that if we stay at 42, it will be development guy,” Stefanski said. “No question about that.

“Just give me one thing you can hang your hat on with this guy. What can the guy do that’s an NBA quality? Is he a playmaker? Is he a shooter? Is he a great rebounder? Is he a great defender?”

The Pistons lack a first-round pick because of the Blake Griffin trade.

Here are five prospects to watch for the Pistons. The focus is on perimeter prospects because the team doesn’t need another big man.

F Justin Jackson

Age: 21.

Size: 6-foot-7, 219 pounds.

School: Maryland.

Class: Sophomore.

The buzz: Three-point shooting fell off in second season with Terrapins as he struggled with a torn labrum. … Long wingspan gives hope that he can become a defensive force. … Questions abound as he only went through measurements and not athletic testing in pre-draft workouts.

SG Hamidou Diallo

Age: 19.

Size: 6-5, 188.

School: Kentucky.

Class: Freshman.

The buzz: A big-time high school prospect who almost entered the 2017 draft after eligibility issues. … He has length and if development occurs, he could turn into a two-way force. … Very good in transition. … Settled into secondary role playing alongside two likely first-round picks.

SG Anfernee Simons

Age: 19.

Size: 6-4, 185.

School: Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy.

Class: Freshman.

The buzz: Didn’t play in college, spending a post-high-school-graduate year at a prep school. ... Reportedly getting late first-round attention because he can get buckets. … Nowhere near ready to contribute at the NBA level so there will be Gatorade League time in his future.

PG Jevon Carter

Age: 22.

Size: 6-2, 200.

School: West Virginia.

Class: Senior.

The buzz: Defense is his calling card. A consistent 3-point shooter who averaged more than six assists per game last season. Tough competitor and plays with a chip on his shoulder … For the Pistons, he would be a candidate for the third point guard spot on the roster.

SG/SF Jacob Evans

Age: 21.

Size: 6-6, 210.

School: Cincinnati.

Class: Junior.

The buzz: Told HoopsHype recently that he could be one of the best “two-way players in the league." ... Good athleticism and shot nearly 40 percent from 3-point range over last two seasons. … Inconsistent offensively and shot mechanics could need work.

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