- Associated Press - Friday, June 27, 2014

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) - Spencer Dinwiddie’s knee surgery did not scare off the Detroit Pistons.

Detroit drafted the Colorado guard with the No. 38 overall pick in the NBA draft on Thursday night, feeling comfortable with his ability to bounce back and play eventually.

The Pistons have a former Buffalo great, guard Chauncey Billups, on their roster and he helped them win the NBA title a decade ago.

“I think that’s a great path to follow,” Dinwiddie said. “He’s the best player in my school’s history and I would want to be like him one day.”


Dinwiddie’s college career ended when he tore his left ACL during a Jan. 12 game and needed reconstructive surgery.

“Our medical team dug deep into that,” Pistons general manager Jeff Bower said. “We had all his records.”

Dinwiddie, a Los Angeles native, previously said he expects to be back on the court by August, but he backed off that prediction on the advice of his new team.

“We won’t put a timeframe on it,” Bower said. “We’ll move with it cautiously and slowly. We look at this as a long-term plan.”

The Pistons went into the night without a first-round slot, giving up the No. 9 pick to Charlotte to complete a previous salary-cap saving trade for Ben Gordon. First-year executive and coach Stan Van Gundy said earlier in the week he would be willing to move back into the first round if a team with one of the last picks would be willing to give it up for a future second-rounder and cash. That potential trade did not happen and the Pistons went with Dinwiddie early in the second round.

Dinwiddie’s specialty, according to Bower, is passing. He averaged 14.7 points and 3.8 assists last season as a junior.

“His instincts are of a point guard, but he does have the size and flexibility to do a lot of things,” Bower said.

Dinwiddie can shoot, too, connecting on 39 percent of his 3-pointers over his career.

“I view myself as a pure (point guard) but at the same time, I think I bring defensive versatility with my size and shooting as well,” he said. “I expect to play multiple positions in the league.”

If the 6-foot-6 Dinwiddie can stay healthy, he will have a shot to play a lot in Van Gundy’s first season of leading the team on the sideline and from the front office. Van Gundy was hired to replace president of basketball operations Joe Dumars and to succeed interim coach John Loyer.

The Pistons fired coach Maurice Cheeks past the midway mark last season with a 21-29 record and they finished 29-53, missing out on the playoffs for the fifth straight year.

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