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Dwane Casey pushes back on assumption that Sekou Doumbouya is a ‘project’

pistons, sekou doumbouya, dwane casey

The Detroit Pistons made the playoffs in the 2018-19 season for the first time since the 2015-16 season, though sadly the team was swept in both of those matchups against tough teams. Going back even further, the Pistons have actually not won a playoff game since 2008 – sorry for that reminder, Pistons fans.

However, the 2019 NBA Draft treated the Pistons a bit better than the playoffs have of late. The Pistons were selecting just outside the lottery at No. 15 overall, and they also nabbed two interesting prospects in the second round in Deividas Sirvydis and Jordan Bone.

The most notable selection that the Pistons made, of course, was in the middle of the first round, where they took a swing on Sekou Doumbouya, who had fallen out of the lottery despite being the most widely-lauded international prospect in this draft class.

Much of Doumbouya’s upside is tied to his age as the youngest player in his draft class, as well as his size at 6-foot-9, 240 pounds. Combined with his ability to guard multiple positions on defense and developing repertoire of offensive skills, he’s a terrific bet for the Pistons at #15 overall.

Perhaps the reason that Doumbouya fell so far was the fact that he will likely take some time to develop. Pistons head coach Dwane Casey believes that argument to be fallacious, considering that Doumbouya played in “a league against men,” which Casey considers a step-up from the NCAA.

“I wouldn’t call him a project,” Casey said of Doumbouya, per Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press. “He’s a young athletic piece, (but) it’s not like you got to teach how to shoot the ball and play. He’s played in a league against men, which is a step above college basketball. I wouldn’t necessarily use the word project because he has a lot of NBA attributes that a lot of NBA players don’t have.”

If Doumbouya lives up to Casey’s expectations and garners minutes as a rookie, he’ll add a new look up front alongside Blake Griffin or Andre Drummond when the Pistons go to their bench.