Point Forward

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope selected No. 8 by Pistons in NBA draft

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope averaged 18.5 points and 7.1 rebounds at Georgia last season.Kentavious Caldwell-Pope averaged 18.5 points and 7.1 rebounds at Georgia last season. (Porter Binks/SI)

The Pistons selected Kentavious Caldwell-Pope with the No. 8 pick in the NBA draft on Thursday. Here's a look at Caldwell-Pope and how he fits with Detroit:

Bio: Georgia | Sophomore | Shooting Guard

Vitals: 6-6, 204 pounds

2012-13 Statistics: 18.5 points, 7.1 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 2 steals, 43.8 percent shooting in 33 games.

Strengths: Caldwell-Pope is a versatile scorer who excels at creating his own shot. The pull-up jumper was his most devastating weapon last season, but he also excelled off screens and in spot-up situations. Defensively, he's a plus-rebounder for the position and a willing perimeter defender who often guarded the best opposing player.

Weaknesses: The Georgia guard has never met a shot he didn't like. While he can make many of those tough shots in traffic, he needs to refine his decision-making to become an efficient threat in the NBA. Ball-handling and playmaking are two other areas in which Caldwell-Pope needs to improve.

What Scouts Say: "He takes tough shots, but he makes a lot of them. He can score in a multitude of ways. He scores really high in our analytical projections. His weight is a concern because he'll have to defend some of the stronger two guards, but that's about it. He's a great kid, not overwhelmed by the process."

Team Fit: A really nice fit for a team that was characteristically starved for perimeter shooting last season. The Pistons may not have ball-handlers reliable enough to keep Caldwell-Pope's shoot-first game in line, but he'll immediately help space the floor for a frontline that features both Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond. Caldwell-Pope is by no means a one-dimensional player, either; he posted some decent rebound numbers (5.9 total boards in 34 minutes per game) and promises to be a serviceable NBA defender at the least. He has work to do in terms of his judgment on both ends, but this is a good pick for Detroit in terms of both pick value and functional fit.
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