Draft Options for the Drive with 5th Pick in D-League Draft
The NBA D-League Draft is today at 2pm EST. There is a total of 182 draft eligible players. The Detroit Pistons D-League affiliate, the Grand Rapids Drive, hold the 5th pick in the draft. The draft is six rounds long, but this article will only discuss players the Drive could draft in either the first round.
The Drive have yet to announce their training camp roster, which many other teams have already done. We do know, however, a few players that will be or are expected to be on their roster. The Drive traded the sixth pick in the draft for shooting guard Jordan Crawford. The Detroit Pistons signed and waived guard Trey Freeman, forward Nikola Jovanovic, and center Mamadou N’Diaye. All three of those players will now play with the Drive after being waived by Detroit. By signing with Detroit, the Pistons took control of their player rights, meaning if they were to play in the D-League, which they all will, they would play with the Drive. The Drive are also hoping to have point guard Lorenzo Brown on their roster. He played for them last season until the Pistons signed him to a contract. Detroit then waived him before the start of the season. Brown may decide to play overseas after being cut once again, but it is clear he belongs in the NBA. The Drive are hopeful he decides to stick it out another season and play in the D-League, where he is one of the top players in the league. Kammeon Holsey, Kelsey Barlow, and Devin Ebanks are all expected to be back with the Drive after playing with them last year, but there is no report as to whether they will or will not.
Now that we know a few of the guys on the Drive roster, let’s take a look at some possible draft choices for them this afternoon.
Anthony Brown SF/SG
Anthony Brown should be the man every team wants in this year’s draft. Brown is a 6’7” wing with two-way potential. He was drafted by the Lakers last season but never really had the chance to make an impact as he only played in 29 games. He averaged four points and 2.4 rebounds per game in those 29 appearances. He only 28.6% from the three-point line, but the expectation is that will improve significantly. He is 22 years old. The likelihood of Brown being around at pick No.5 is slim. In fact, he could be the first pick in the draft. If he does however slip to five, the Drive will be getting a young player with clear NBA potential.
Keith Hornsby SG
Keith Hornsby is a shooting guard out of LSU. He played with them in his junior and senior seasons after transferring from North Carolina-Ashville. He scores the`ball plain and simple. Last season he averaged 13.1 points per game on 41.5% shooting from the three-point line. Hornsby went to training camp with the Dallas Mavericks this offseason, after going undrafted in the 2016 NBA Draft, but was waived before the start of the season.
Tiny Gallon C
Don’t let the name confuse you, Tiny Gallon is not tiny. Gallon is a 6’9” 290 pound center that was drafted by the Milwaukee Bucks in 2010. In the 2014-2015 season, Gallon’s last in the D-League, he averaged 5.8 points and 4.7 rebounds per game. He’s a talented player but the Drive do have N’Diaye, which would make him the backup center on the team. It seems unlikely that the Drive would spend a top-five pick on a backup, but Gallon is a hard big man to pass up with his ability to play.
Brannen Greene SF
Greene is a scorer out of Kansas. He went undrafted in the 2016 NBA Draft, but he can play basketball. He only played 12.4 minutes per game last season while averaging 5.4 points, but he did so at an efficient rate. He shot 49.2% from deep on 63 shot attempts. The definition of a sharpshooter.
Max Hooper SG/SF
Like Greene, Max Hooper gets buckets. He played at Oakland last season. He averaged 10.7 points per game last season, while not taking a single shot inside the arc. He attempted 257 threes, hitting 45.5% of them. Hooper is likely a reach at five, but if they Drive are looking for a small forward and Anthony Brown is off the board, Hooper might be the best choice.
Featured image: Jae C. Hong/Associated Press