AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) — The Detroit Pistons bolstered their frontcourt Thursday night, taking Georgetown power forward Greg Monroe with the No. 7 pick in the NBA draft.
The 6-foot-10, 225-pound Monroe averaged 16 points and nearly 10 rebounds last as a sophomore for the Hoyas.
Detroit finished last season 27-55 — its worst record since 1994 — and missed the playoffs for the first time since 2001.
The Pistons had a top 10 pick for just the third time since Joe Dumars became president of basketball operations. The previous two were busts: Darko Milicic was drafted No. 2 overall in 2003, two years after Rodney White was taken ninth overall.
Dumars predicted the first five picks in the 2010 draft — John Wall, Evan Turner, Derrick Favors, Wesley Johnson and DeMarcus Cousins — and seemed to have some solid choices after Golden State selected Ekpe Udoh sixth overall.
He chose Monroe over other options: Wake Forest's Al-Farouq Aminu, who was drafted No. 8 overall, North Carolina's Ed Davis and Cole Aldrich of Kansas.
The Pistons also started the night with a second-round pick, 36th overall. They found a gem in the second round last year, selecting Sweden's Jonas Jerebko, after taking Gonzaga's Austin Daye 15th overall.
Monroe will get a chance to make an impact right away on a team that is desperately seeking big players and hoping to avoid missing the playoffs in consecutive years for the first time since the mid-1990s.
He has a versatile offensive game in the post and can make plays facing the basket.
Monroe, who is from New Orleans, is regarded as an excellent passer with good instincts. Scouts consider him an average rebounder and defender, who needs to work on his outside shooting.