Three Forwards the Detroit Pistons Could Take In The 2023 Draft


The Detroit Pistons are not playing much meaningful basketball these days. After falling to the Milwaukee Bucks, the tank is picking up even more steam right now.

While many fans have turned their attention to Victor Wembanyama and Scoot Henderson, good luck because the NBA lottery is as unpredictable as ever, it could be possible that the Detroit Pistons will not be picking top two in this year’s draft.

With the Pistons back court of the future seemly in place, drafting a forward makes a lot of sense. Here are three of the top forward draft prospects the Pistons could look to take in 2023.

Jarace Walker (Houston, PF, Freshman)

Dec 28, 2022; Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA; Houston Cougars forward Jarace Walker (25) during the second half against the Tulsa Golden Hurricane at Reynolds Center. Mandatory Credit: Brett Rojo-USA TODAY Sports

Jarace Walker, a power forward from Houston, projects as a potential top 10 pick. At 19 years old, Walker stands at 6 ft 8 and weighs 235 pounds. He has good length and could even play some minutes as a small ball five in the NBA.

In 19 games with the Cougars this season, Walker put up numbers such as:

25 minutes per game

46% from the field

35% from three

6.6 rebounds per game

1.7 assists per game

0.9 blocks per game

 10.1 points per game

1.2 turnovers per game

Jarace Walker’s jump shot is described as “unorthodox.” He still has time to fix his shot, as one report I saw described it as “a slow release that needs a lot of time to get off.” The development of his jump shot at Houston will determine how high he goes in the draft. Walker also needs to work on his handle, as right now he is not a player who is able to operate on the wing consistently.

Walker has great instincts defensively. Not only does he possess athletic gifts, but he has a great feel on the defensive end. This is important because of Walker’s ability to play next to another center and guard on the perimeter, which he would need to do in Detroit.

Fit With the Pistons

The Pistons have built a strong big man rotation heading into the future, with Jalen Duren looking like a future all-star and Isaiah Stewart taking huge strides in his shooting game this year. With that being said, Walker could project next to either of the Pistons young centers, due to his potential as a shooter.

Cam Whitmore (Villanova, SF, Freshman)

Dec 7, 2022; Villanova, Pennsylvania, USA; Villanova Wildcats forward Cam Whitmore (22) shoots the ball against the Pennsylvania Quakers during the second half at William B. Finneran Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Currently playing for the Villanova Wildcats, Whitmore is one of the top wing prospects in the 2023 draft. He will just be 18-years old when he is drafted this year and stands at 6 ft 7, 220 pounds.

In 13 games at Villanova this year, Whitmore has put up a slash line of:

26 minutes per game

46% from the field

35% from three

5.2 rebounds per game

0.8 assists per game

1.6 steals per game

12.5 points per game

2.1 turnovers per game

Whitmore is a good cutter and finisher at the rim. He has the athleticism to get to the rim consistently and is a good offensive rebounder. Shooting wise, Whitmore will need to improve. His jumper has good form, but he has struggled with his free throw shooting ever since high school. Whitmore is a solid ball handler who needs to work on his pace to really become a threat with the ball in his hands.

Defensively, the forward has good tenacity and effort on the floor. Whitmore could be an off-ball guard or play the power forward position, as he projects as a defender that can guard multiple positions due to his strength and athleticism.

Fit With the Pistons

The Pistons have struggled mightily defensively this year. While Whitmore can’t fix that on his own, he certainly won’t hurt the defense. The Pistons need shooters around Cade and Ivey, and Whitmore might leave some to be desired as a catch and shoot three-point shooter at this time. But in terms of his explosiveness, him and Jaden Ivey would be electric in transition.

Brandon Miller (Alabama, SF, Freshman)

Jan 17, 2023; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide forward Brandon Miller (24) celebrates after a basket during the second half against the Vanderbilt Commodores at Memorial Gymnasium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Brandon Miller is arguably a top five pick and has even gone as high as three on some mock drafts. The 6 ft 9 forward has the shooting, ball-handling and scoring ability all NBA dream of. He has seen comparisons to the likes of Paul George, which might be a bit much, but the resemblance is there.

In his freshman season with Alabama, Miller has put up stats such as:

33 minutes per game

46% from the field

46% from three

8.3 rebounds per game

1.7 assists per game

0.7 steals per game

19.8 points per game

2.0 turnovers per game

Miller is shooting an absurd, 46% from three, making 63 of his 138 attempts. His jumper is described as fast, needing very little time to get it off. Miller ranks in the 92nd percentile in dribble jumper efficiency according to Synergy Sports, showing his ability to shoot off the dribble. Miller is averaging 2.7 pull-up threes a game at Alabama this year.

Finishing is something Miller will need to work on, much like Cade Cunningham of the Detroit Pistons when he was a rookie. He needs to bulk up and get better at finishing through contact at the rim. Brandon Miller is not the greatest athlete, but does possess the size and quickness to guard multiple positions.

Fit With the Pistons

The Pistons need to improve defensively and sometimes, offense is the best defense. Miller will not hurt the Detroit Pistons on defense, but don’t expect him to necessarily be a game changer. He has the potential of a 20 point-per game scorer in the NBA, with the ability to create offense for himself, the prototypical wing you need to win in today’s NBA.