The Detroit Pistons selected Luke Kennard out of Duke with the 12th pick in the NBA Draft tonight. The PalaceOfPistons staff gives their initial thoughts on the pick.
Dylan Edenfield (@EdenfieldSports): Kennard has the potential to be a solid shooter at the next level, but passing on a player who can be not only a great shooter but also a great defender in Donovan Mitchell was not a smart move. Kennard has a shorter wingspan than his height, preventing him from being a shutdown defender in the NBA. He does have superior footwork and shooting that should translate, something the Pistons desperately need. Not a bad pick, not a great one.
Zach Fosdick (@ZachFozz): I truly don’t understand the Luke Kennard pick with Donovan Mitchell still on the board. Mitchell brings more upside and versatility to the table and looks to be the better NBA player in the future. Kennard lacks length and athleticism but is a great shooter which is something the Pistons lacked last season. Unless there are corresponding moves of trading Andre Drummond and company, I don’t like the Luke Kennard pick at all.
Aaron Johnson (@AJohnsonNBA): Look, Luke Kennard is going to be a ten-year NBA veteran. That’s great. He can shoot and has pick and roll skills, which are important, especially in Stan Van Gundy’s system. However, he lacks athleticism and is not going to be a reliable defender anytime soon. With Donovan Mitchell on the board, this was by far the wrong pick. Kennard will help Detroit, but he does not have the potential that a guy like Mitchell possesses.
SixthManMike (@SixthMan_Mike): Kennard is a flat out scorer who can shoot confidently. Best at coming off screens as opposed to catch and shoot, though he can do both. He’s suited as a combo guard and won’t stop anybody defensively. But when it comes down to it, the Pistons need shooting and Kennard can provide that.
Matthew Crowe (@MatthewCrowe313): Given the emphasis SVG places on defense, I worry that Luke Kennard (JJ Reddick Jr) will struggle to see consistent playing time next season. Having said that; he’s obviously a great shooter, a hard worker, and I believe he’ll be a capable P-n-R ball handler. He gives Detroit a legitimate backup shooting guard behind Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, which was arguably their biggest hole. I’d be thrilled if he eventually becomes a JJ Reddick or Kyle Korver type, but I’ll settle for a solid backup who can play 15-20 min a night, which I believe he is more than capable of.
J.T. Olson (@IceWaterOlson): Today, the Pistons added a new dimension to their team in the form of Luke Kennard. Kennard is the outside shooter that this team lacked a year ago. He shot 44% from three-point land last season, which might already make him the best pure shooter on the team. What I like best about Kennard (aside from his sweet jump shot) is the way he moves without the ball and makes himself available for catch and shoot opportunities. He’s not a guy who has to dominate the ball to make a major impact, but rather a guy who can strike when given the slightest bit of space. In a perfect world, Kennard will turn out to be a Ray Allen type player, obviously not as good as Allen, but be able to play the same way that he did. But even if he doesn’t ever become a star, which he won’t, he’ll always have a role in this league as a sharp shooter from deep.
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