The Detroit Pistons were among the contenders for the No. 1 overall pick and were tied for the best odds to land the selection, but ultimately fell to fifth in the lottery and will likely have to watch the best prospects go before they get to pick. However, that doesn’t mean they can’t land a great player at No. 5.
2023 NBA Mock Draft: Who should Pistons take fifth?
The Pistons are set in the backcourt and they have a rising center in Jalen Duren. The wing spots will be a problem area for the Pistons to address in this draft.
Jarace Walker, F, Houston
Walker profiles as a strong defender from the jump, which could help the Pistons build something good on that side of the ball with Jaden Ivey and Duren in the mix. The forward is also a physical presence who can make an impact on the glass, something the Pistons desperately need. Walker doesn’t scream “future star” but he’s a nice player to have on your roster when you want to contend.
Cam Whitmore, F, Villanova
Whitmore doesn’t shoot the triple at the best clip yet, which is why there may be some hesitancy for Detroit to take him this high. He does fit the bill in terms of positional need, and he does project well as a defender down the line. If the Pistons believe he can improve as a shooter, they might take him here or even trade down.
Ausar Thompson or Amen Thompson, G/F, Overtime Elite
Either Thompson brother would be an interesting pick for the Pistons, who already have two guards. Cade Cunningham could slide into more of a guard/forward role as the primary scorer, but the Thompson brothers offer more upside than Walker and Whitmore at this spot.