After Kanter was picked by Utah at No. 3, the draft took a turn for the unexpected when Cleveland took Thompson with the next selection.
Valanciunas went fifth to Toronto.
“I was on the phone with Toronto when four was on the clock,” Dumars said. “As soon as four took Thompson, Toronto said, ‘We’re out. Our guy’s on the board.’ So I hang up with them. Boom, they take Valanciunas.
Detroit has been looking forward to an opportunity to add personnel after Karen Davidson’s drawn-out sale tied management’s hands to a degree last season. The Pistons now have a new owner, Tom Gores, who completed a deal to purchase the team less than a month ago.
Detroit still has yet to hire a coach. Boston Celtics assistant Lawrence Frank, former Atlanta Hawks coach Mike Woodson, Milwaukee Bucks assistant Kelvin Sampson and Minnesota Timberwolves assistant Bill Laimbeer _ the former Detroit player _ appear to be candidates to replace Kuester.
The Pistons‘ draft record has been mixed over the years. They infamously picked Darko Milicic at No. 2 overall in 2003 _ one spot ahead of Carmelo Anthony _ but they’ve landed some solid contributors in later spots. Detroit drafted Stuckey at No. 15 in 2007 and Jonas Jerebko in the second round two years later.
Greg Monroe, picked at No. 7 by Detroit last year, became one of the league’s best rookies.
The Pistons still have holes to fill, though. Tayshaun Prince is a free agent and may not return. Ben Wallace says he’s leaning toward coming back, but he turns 37 in September and played only 54 games last year.
“He’s shown the ability in college, where he’d guard the threes and fours,” Perry said. “The one thing you know: He’s smart, he’s going to be committed to figuring this thing out and doing whatever it takes to help us win.”