Pistons intrigued by LaMelo, moving up in draft
Currently holding the No. 7 pick in the upcoming 2020 NBA draft, Detroit Pistons general manager Troy Weaver says that “moving up is definitely an option.”
One possible target has been training in the team’s backyard throughout the pandemic: top prospect LaMelo Ball — whose mentor and manager, Jermaine Jackson Sr., is a former Piston and Motown native.
In October, Ball hosted a free basketball camp at Oakland Fieldhouse in Rochester Hills, Michigan, for kids ages 8 to 13. Weaver says the Pistons plan on scheduling an interview with Ball soon to get to know him.
“I’m always happy to hear players embrace our organization, our city. That never goes unnoticed. I know people around him. His trainer is a Detroit native, so I’m sure he’s been here for a while working out,” Weaver said during Thursday’s pre-draft media availability. “I’m sure he’s well versed in the city from traveling around, being with his trainer and hearing different things, so no, that doesn’t go unnoticed and that’s always a positive when prospects speak highly of the city and the organization.”
Sources told ESPN’s Jonathan Givony that Ball has already met with the Minnesota Timberwolves, who hold the No. 1 pick. Their meeting happened in Southern California with Timberwolves president of basketball operations Gersson Rosas and head coach Ryan Saunders.
ESPN has Ball listed as the top available prospect.
Weaver says “everything’s on the table” to bring the Pistons back to relevance, including an attempt to shuffle around in the draft, currently set for Nov. 18. The No. 7 pick is Detroit’s highest since Greg Monroe’s seventh overall selection in 2010.
“I love the draft. I love it every year. I always look at the draft with a glass half full. Yeah, you may not have a Zion Williamson or a Ja [Morant], but there’s guys in the draft that we really like,” Weaver said. “The draft is always great because you have a chance to bring these young men in your program and help shape your culture from day one. So we really like the draft. Yeah, moving up is definitely an option as well, but I’m excited about the draft.”
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