I write this after the Pistons took Luke Kennard 12th overall in the NBA Draft. I also write it assuming that they will not trade for a second round pick and stand pat. No matter, the Kennard pick is a good one.
The Pistons desperately needed a player that can stretch the floor and shoot well. They got just that in Luke Kennard. While they may have also gone with a best player available direction here, Kennard was also something this team needed. Regarded by some as the best shooter in the draft, Kennard shot an unworldy 43.8% from behind the arc, and 52.5 from inside last season with Duke. With Kennard, Detroit gets someone who should easily contend for a high roster spot, whether it be on the bench or starting.
I’m a big fan of the Kennard pick simply because Malik Monk was taken by the Charlotte Hornets at 11th overall. Monk was the dream pick for the Pistons at 12, and when they didn’t get him it was almost a consensus that they’d go with Kennard. Kennard had reportedly been on Detroit’s radar for a while, and was mocked to them on numerous occasions. There’s nobody drafted after Kennard that, at this very moment in time, I can say that I would’ve liked to see Detroit draft. Maybe DJ Wilson, but that’s my Michigan bias coming out, and they’ve kind of already got a 4 that can shoot with Marcus Morris.
In terms of what role Kennard will play this upcoming season, it all depends on how he does in the Summer League. However, Henry Ellenson kind of impressed in the Summer league averaging 12.4 points a game, but was likely held off the NBA roster due to shooting a measly 18-58, good for a .310 shooting percentage. Assuming Kennard can at least kind of keep up the shooting prowess he showed with Duke this past season, he should have no issues making the roster, and perhaps challenging for a starting role.