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NBA Detroit Pistons

2014 NBA Draft: 5 Players Detroit Pistons Should Target

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5 Players the Detroit Pistons Should Target in the NBA Draft

NBA Draft
Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

The disaster that is the Detroit Pistons could have been avoided last June. All general manager Joe Dumars had to do was make the easy, simple and obvious draft pick. It was right in front of him. This player slipped down the draft board just enough for the Pistons to take the hometown hero with the 8th selection in the 2013 NBA Draft. The player led the Michigan Wolverines to the NCAA National Championship game a few months earlier. It was an easy pick.

The player?

Trey Burke.

But instead, Dumars selected Georgia shooting guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, a selection that shocked Piston fans, Michigan fans and much of the NBA. Dumars believed that this pick was a better choice for his squad than Burke. However, the Pistons have endured a season of turmoil as the free agent signing of Josh Smith, new point guard Brandon Jennings and head coach Maurice Cheeks have failed to gel.

Cheeks has since been fired and replaced by assistant coach John Loyer. Despite the change at head coach, the Pistons have still fallen short of preseason expectations that saw them as a legitimate playoff team. But with the Eastern Conference having one of its' worst years in recent memory, the Pistons sit only three games out of the final playoff spot despite a poor 24-36 record.

Regardless, fans are already looking forward to the 2014 NBA Draft. The Pistons could possibly (and most likely) will lose out on their first round draft pick as a result of their trade back in 2012 that involved the Charlotte Bobcats. The Pistons traded Ben Gordon for Corey Maggette and owe the Bobcats a first-round draft pick. The pick is protected if it's a top eight selection, but if the Pistons make the playoffs, the Bobcats will get the pick. If the Pistons don't make the playoffs, then it all comes down to the draft lottery on May 20.

When the 2014 NBA Draft hits on Jun. 26, here are five players the Detroit Pistons should target.

Josh Paulisin is a College Basketball writer for RantSports. He is also an NHL Contributor. Follow him on Twitter @JoshPaulisin and add him to your network on Google.

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5. PG Shabazz Napier, Connecticut

Napier
Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Shabazz Napier has been compared to former Connecticut point guard Kemba Walker. If anyone is compared to Walker, that's a good thing in my book. Walker led the Huskies to the 2011 NCAA title and Napier has that ability this year. A Wooden Award candidate, Napier is a gamer and comes to play night in and night out. The senior leads the Huskies in all major categories including points, assists and rebounds.

With the likeliness of having only one draft pick, the Pistons should take a hard look at Napier in the second round.

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4. SG Nik Stauskas, Michigan

Stauskas
Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

The question coming into this season was where Michigan forwards Mitch McGary and Glenn Robinson III would be picked in the upcoming draft. Now, the focus has shifted to shooting guard Nik Stauskas.

The sophomore has had a tremendous season and is a serious contender for Big Ten Player of the Year. His shooting stroke is off the charts and he has taken his game to another level with the ability to drive to the basket with authority. Stauskas also isn't afraid to take over a game and is the most confident player in college basketball.

No decision will be made by Stauskas until after the season, but if he declares, the Pistons shouldn't pass up on another hometown hero.

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3. PF James Michael McAdoo, North Carolina

McAdoo
Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

North Carolina forward James Michael McAdoo was once thought of as a lottery pick. That may not be the case anymore, but McAdoo can still play.

He is a solid contributor on both ends of the floor and is a mainstay on the Tar Heel front line. His long wingspan and tremendous athletic ability make him a quality all-around player. McAdoo leads the team in rebounds and is second in scoring.

If the Pistons have the chance to pick McAdoo, he would be a welcome addition to the talented young Pistons frontcourt.

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2. SG/SF Terran Petteway, Nebraska

Petteway
Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports

How many of you knew of Nebraska guard/forward Terran Petteway at the beginning of the season?

I didn't think so.

Petteway has taken the Big Ten by storm and is in the running for conference player of the year. Not only has he taken his conference by storm, but he is also making NBA scouts drool. As one of the more exciting players in college basketball, Petteway leads the Big Ten in scoring and continues to lead a surprising Cornhusker squad into the NCAA tournament conversation.

Petteway may not be available in the second round, but if he slips to them, the Pistons need to take him.

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1. PG Marcus Smart, Oklahoma State

Smart
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

As unlikely as it is, there is still a chance that the Pistons could get a top eight pick in the upcoming draft. And if they do, Oklahoma State point guard Marcus Smart should be a priority.

Smart has been NBA-ready for awhile now and has already said that this is his final season in Stillwater. The sophomore is a dominant guard and natural play maker. He can score, dish the rock, rebound and is a fiery competitor.

It may not happen, but if the Pistons get a top-eight pick, drafting a future All-Star shouldn't be a hard decision.