Pistons Mailbag - Monday, April 25, 2011

Pistons.com editor Keith Langlois answers your questions about the Pistons and NBA. Click here to submit your questions - please include your name, email address and city/state on the form. Return to the Mailbag homepage.

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Jeremy (Kelowna, British Columbia): I know when a rookie doesn’t touch the floor in his first season, he is still considered a rookie in the next season, as Blake Griffin was this year. Does the same apply for players going into their second year, like Jonas Jerebko? Is he still eligible to play in the Rookie-Sophomore game next year?

Langlois: I asked Tim Frank of NBA offices in New York and he said that if a player appears in one game, it’s considered a season of experience. Since Jerebko didn’t play in even one game, he will be considered a second-year player next season. So, yes, technically, he could play in the Rookie-Soph game. But unless that fact is made well known to NBA assistant coaches – the ones who do the voting for spots – they might not have him in mind when they go to fill out their ballots.

James (Canberra, Australia): I know it’s still very early, but I was wondering what names Pistons fans should keep an eye on for the second round? I understand the second round contains a lot more variables, but any light you could shed would be appreciated.

Langlois: We’ll start speculating on possibilities for the Pistons’ picks at 33 and 52 in the coming weeks, James. But until we know who’s in and who’s out of the draft – the deadline for entry just passed, but now May 8 looms, when NCAA players must decide whether to pull out or stay in – it’s just throwing darts at a board at this point. Even to try to guess who the Pistons might pick at seven, I believe, would be tough to winnow down to three or four names at this point, despite what the mock drafts might say. If you’re picking at 33, you probably have to look at names from 20 to 45, at least, on your board.

Arthur (Detroit): Will the Pistons target a point guard in the first round and, if so, who might they be targeting?

Langlois: I don’t think they’ll target a particular position, Arthur. When you’re picking in the lottery, what you’re looking for is impact – a player who has the potential to grow into an All-Star level player, no matter the position. I would never pass up a player who fits that description – even if it wasn’t a position of need for my roster currently – to take a player I think would have a chance to start for me next year but, at his best, would be a below-average NBA starter. That said, if the Pistons get the No. 1 pick, they would be likely to take Kyrie Irving, I think, and if they stay at No. 7, I suspect that Brandon Knight or Kemba Walker, should they be available, will at least be strongly considered.

Tony (Roseville, Mich.): If Prince and McGrady leave, I could see the Pistons keeping Hamilton and Gordon. If Hamilton gets some minutes backing up Daye at the three, it could open up more minutes for Gordon. What do you think?

Langlois: If both Prince and McGrady are gone next season, then I’d be surprised if Joe Dumars doesn’t bring in a veteran to compete for minutes with Daye at small forward – not necessarily a high-profile player, but someone capable of starting in the NBA. It’s also possible they draft someone – more likely at 33 than at seven – who could work his way into the picture at that spot. Hamilton is certainly capable of taking minutes at that position, as well, though I think as he gets older the risk of injury increases when he’s asked to guard players 30 and 40 pounds heavier than him, so coaches might choose to limit his exposure. But I don’t think it’s a foregone conclusion, as many do, that at least one of Hamilton or Gordon will be gone next season.

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