The 2011 NBA Draft is about selecting a player who can help your team improve. Many teams will draft a project because they see great potential in their future. Other teams will take a player who just needs a season or two to develop. Some need a player who can turn their franchise around immediately.
The Detroit Pistons would be the latter in that scenario. But truthfully, can any one player turn this team around? For that matter, can any two or three accomplish that feat either?
The Pistons are horrible. They can't score, pass, rebound or defend. They are just a bad team who quit on their coach earlier this season, and they are a disgrace to the city and the fans.
Yet you know what they say about things having to first hit rock bottom before they get better? That is what would happen if Detroit drafts Jan Vesely of the Czech Republic with the No. 7 pick in the first round of the 2011 NBA Draft.
Granted, that is actually giving credit to the Pistons for not already hitting a new low. It is amazing to think that things could still get worse before they get better. Drafting Vesely could put them even further down the ladder in the Eastern Conference.
That is no knock against Vesely, although I am certainly not saying I would draft him. But the Pistons need someone to help improve their team right now. As in today. Or yesterday, better yet. They cannot afford the luxury of being patient. Sure, whoever they draft will not turn them into a playoff contender next season - even in the weak lower half of the Eastern Conference - but they need someone who will at least show up to the team.
That is the problem with drafting European players. You have no idea if they will get out of their contracts and ever join your team.
How is Ricky Rubio panning out for the Minnesota Timberwolves thus far? And he is not the only one.
Detroit should have learned from the Dark Milicic disaster. You think they would have rather had Carmelo Anthony? Or Chris Bosh? Or Dwyane Wade?
Funny, that is the year that LeBron James came out as well, but he went first overall, so Detroit could not have drafted him. It was like the whole current Miami Heat team entered the league at the same time, just with different teams to begin.
Chad Ford of ESPN says that Vesely is ready, and that he could pay dividends if he does enter the league next season.
"Vesely is a terrific athlete who has played major minutes on a Euroleague team the past two seasons. He has already announced he'll be in the draft. Many scouts think he's the most NBA-ready European player out there and a likely top-10 pick."
That would still not be enough to convince me to select him with a lottery pick. We have seen few Dirk Nowitzki's enter the NBA. Many more have turned out like Milicic.
Detroit needs an impact player in the first round, and they cannot afford to waste a pick. I am not saying for sure that drafting Vesely would be a wasted pick, but neither would I ever deem it a safe one under any circumstances.
And with a lockout looming on the horizon, would European players really pick this year to come over to the NBA earlier than they are required?
For more on the 2011 NBA Draft, make sure to check out Bleacher Report Correspondent Jason Heim, who takes a look at the 2011 NBA Mock Draft: Which Wildcat Goes First, Brandon Knight or Terrence Jones