The Detroit Pistons and general manager Joe Dumars face a bevy of options with the No. 9 overall pick heading into Thursday's 2012 NBA Draft. But the underlying theme for Dumars right now, as he looks to repair a squad that lost 93 games over the past two seasons combined, is that he needs to acquire another competent big man to pair with 2010 1st round pick Greg Monroe.
And in a relatively strong year for power forwards and centers, there are a number of scenarios that could arise where the Pistons could literally have the pick of the litter of the lottery-bound big men in their range at No. 9. So in preparation, Dumars and company will invite every single one of their potential targets to Auburn Hills on Monday for what could prove to be a pivotal scrimmage.
Six 1st round picks, Ohio State's Jared Sullinger, North Carolina's John Henson, Baylor's Perry Jones III, Illinois' Meyers Leonard, North Carolina's Tyler Zeller, and Kentucky's Terrence Jones, will each be on hand for Monday's showdown at the team's practice facility. In what is sure to be a heated battle in the paint all day as the potential draftees quite literally jockey for position, Pistons decision-makers will most likely get their final look at the player they will eventually select with the 9th pick.
Henson, who is widely considered the most logical choice of the six men, has been rising up draft boards slightly as of late and may no longer be on the board when the Pistons are on the clock. That could then open the door for Leonard, a legit seven-footer who tested out quite well athletically and still has plenty of room to grow into his NBA frame.
Regardless of which big man eventually hears his name called by the Pistons at No. 9 (barring a trade, of course), it's clear that Monday's workout could stand to influence the organization's final decision more than it probably should. Getting a chance to see guys like Leonard and Henson face off 1-on-1 is an invaluable tool for a franchise that cannot afford to whiff on another draft pick, and it's possible that the most impressive player on Monday might just wind up in a Pistons uniform by this time next week.
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