Mitchell Layton/Getty Images
David Aldridge @daldridgetnt
Pretty slick work there by the Pistons, getting a couple of solid guard prospects midway through the second round in Khryi Thomas (trade with Philly for two future seconds) and Bruce Brown (taken 42nd overall by Detroit).
Sam Vecenie @Sam_Vecenie
I like what the Pistons did bolstering their backcourt depth with Khyri Thomas and Bruce Brown. No. 31 and No. 34 on my board. Thomas has a first round grade for me despite that ranking. Brown just missed.
Thomas is coming off a junior campaign with the Bluejays during which he averaged 15.1 points, 4.4 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.7 steals across 33 appearances. He was highly efficient at the offensive end, shooting 53.8 percent from the field, including 41.1 percent from three-point range.
The 22-year-old Nebraska native also emerged as one of the top perimeter defenders in the nation. He earned Big East Defensive Player of the Year honors in each of his final two years at the college level.
Thomas, who decided to skip his senior season in order to enter the NBA draft, told Jon Nyatawa of the Omaha World-Herald it’s been a goal on his mind for a while.
“I think about back in eighth grade, hanging with my friends, we’re always like, ‘We’re all gonna go to the NBA,'” he said in April. “Then we’d sit there like, ‘Nah, we’re not gonna go to the NBA.’ And then I’m here in this position now.”
Thomas possesses one of the highest floors in the class outside the top-five picks because, at worst, he should be a reliable three-and-D contributor. Those type of players are coveted in the modern NBA.
That said, he could turn into one of the steals of the 2018 draft if he continues to develop his all-around production in the years ahead with the Pistons. He must become a more reliable distributor if he’s going to run the offense at times.
If he cracks the Pistons’ opening-night roster, Thomas should factor in as a third point guard behind Reggie Jackson and Ish Smith.