It is time to throw away the American inferiority complex with its place in the sport, where many blindly claim that technique should come above all in choosing and developing the best prospects and that the U.S. is not an international power because it cares too much about athleticism.
Far-Fetched Friday: LaMelo Ball Becomes an All-Star on the Detroit Pistons
By: Jake Lofgren
Welcome back to Far-Fetched Friday, where every Friday we give you a bold prediction that we believe will come to fruition. This Friday, our prediction concerns LaMelo Ball once again.
With a record of 20-46 and choosing to trade Andre Drummond for basically expiring deals, the Pistons are looking to be on the verge of a new era. The Pistons do still have two win-now players in Blake Griffin and Derrick Rose, but considering both of their injury histories, I have a hard time believing either of them are a part of this franchise's long-term plans. This Pistons roster does have some good young pieces for the future, such as Christian Wood, Luke Kennard, Sekou Doumbouya, Bruce Brown, and Svi Mykhaliluk. And while I do believe these players could contribute to a winning Pistons team in the future, none of them really strike me as someone who could be the face of the franchise. That's where LaMelo comes into the equation.
Thanks to Detroit's horrible second half of the season the Pistons now have the fifth worst record in the entire NBA, meaning they will have high chances of getting a good pick for this year's draft. This draft doesn't contain a Zion Williamson or a Ja Morant that everyone knows will be a great player immediately, but it does contain many players with fantastic upside. The Pistons will have another opportunity to add another great young piece and if their pick is good enough, could even draft someone to build their team around. Big guys like James Wiseman and Obi Toppin look really good, but the Pistons are in a new era and should attempt to find a guy to build this team around who isn't in the frontcourt. The modern NBA is known as a guard's league, and look no further for proof than the struggles the Pistons have had in recent years building around players like Andre Drummond and Blake Griffin.
LaMelo Ball would be the perfect player in this draft class for the Pistons and the Pistons look like the best fit for LaMelo, too. Not only would he give the Pistons a tall point guard that excels at both scoring and playmaking, but it's the excitement he would bring as well. LaMelo would give the Pistons a young, big name prospect to build the rest of their roster around, which would suit him well. Luke Kennard is a great scorer and outside shooter. Christian Wood is a great perimeter big man who became the Pistons best player this season and looks like he could put up borderline All-Star numbers in the future. Sekou Doumbouya is still 19 years old and started to show us this season how he could turn into a Pascal Siakam clone. Bruce Brown and Svi Mykhaliluk both played big minutes last year and could be very cheap role players for the Pistons for years to come. This group could be a great supporting cast to a player like LaMelo who would come in and become the primary ball-handler and scorer immediately.
Besides the possibility of LaMelo coming in and fitting in well with the current young core the Pistons are building, LaMelo is a huge name that could get Detroit fans excited about Pistons basketball again. Every move he makes is talked about in the media constantly and would bring a ton of national exposure to Pistons basketball. He could make both Pistons fans and the national media interested in watching the Pistons again after years upon years of mediocrity and early playoff exits.
The idea of having a big name, high upside prospect like LaMelo should make the Piston's mouth water. Whether the Pistons have a high enough draft pick to select him is yet to be seen, but if he is on the board when the Pistons are selecting, he is a can't miss prospect and would instantly become the new face of the franchise.
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