A great night for Greg Monroe, a great night for Georgetown University, and a great night for the Detroit Pistons. That's how I see Detroit selecting Monroe with the 7th pick in tonight's NBA Draft. For Monroe, a lifelong dream is being fulfilled. For Georgetown, John Thompson III is proving that he can develop big men and get them drafted in the top of the first round on a consistent basis. For the Pistons, they get one of the top 5 prospects in this draft at #7.
Monroe goes to a team that currently employs Charlie Villanueva, Ben Wallace, Jason Maxiell, Jonas Jerebko, and Chris Wilcox at the power forward and center positions. In other words, Monroe will start immediately. Like tomorrow. He will contribute from the start and be able to stretch defenses, allowing Rip Hamilton to run off thousands of screens and Ben Gordon to slash like Ben Gordon wants to slash.
More thoughts about Monroe and the Pistons after The Jump.
In 2007 Jeff Green went #5, in 2008 Roy Hibbert went #17 and now Monroe goes #7. While Green and Hibbert weren't nearly as touted coming out of high school as Monroe was, all three significantly improved throughout their time at Georgetown and all three have impressed legions of media members with their thoughtfulness and maturity. If you are a big man in high school, Georgetown has to be at the top of your list, because the Princeton offense showcases a big guy's versatility so well. For a team that has struggled with postseason success in the last three years, it is very important that Georgetown continues to produce first round draft picks to stay at the forefront of recruits' minds.
The Pistons have to be ecstatic right now. Their front office should send a nice fruit basket to Don Nelson and the rest of the Golden State Warriors braintrust. I'm pretty sure Ekpe Udoh means "D League Bust" in other languages. On talent alone, I really believe that Monroe is only behind John Wall, Evan Turner, and DeMarcus Cousins in this draft. Now, you have to take Cousins' talent with a grain of salt because he is a few krispy kremes and screws loose away from being Stanley Roberts and Ron Artest, respectively. I think Favors is a watered down version of Monroe, he just had one less year for NBA scouts to pick him apart. And Wesley Johnson is a nice complementary player, but I usually like my swingmen to be able to dribble. Therefore, the Pistons lucked into the third most "sure thing" in this draft at #7. Monroe is too talented as a passer, too smart a person, and too dedicated a worker to have anything less than a productive 10+ year career in the NBA.
As I said initially, this is a wonderful night for Monroe, Georgetown and Detroit. Greg gets to go to an organization with Joe Dumars as its GM, an organization that went to six straight conference finals from 2002-2008. Initially, he will be asked facilitate, rebound and block shots - three things he does very well - while Gordon, Hamilton and Tayshaun Prince handle the scoring load. Detroit gets the most fundamentally sound big man to come out of college since Tim Duncan. And DaJuan Summers gets a fellow Hoya to sit on the plane with. This pick is a victory for all involved, but most of all, FOR AMERICA.