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NBA Mock Draft 2011: Pistons Select Kemba Walker At No. 8

The Detroit Pistons have the No. 8 pick in the draft; in the SB Nation 2011 NBA Mock Draft, Matt Watson of our Pistons blog Detroit Bad Boys takes UConn guard Kemba Walker. Matt explains the choice.

Wait, Kemba Walker? An undersized combo guard for a team that's already trying to unload a scoring guard? Admittedly, he's not my first pick.

What the Pistons truly need is a defensive anchor in the paint who can focus on protecting the basket and snatching rebounds. Or perhaps a replacement for Tayshaun Prince, who's likely played his last game in Detroit. Or maybe a true point guard so the Pistons can end the Rodney Stuckey experiment.

But since Bismack Biyombo, Kawhi Leonard and Brandon Knight are off the board -- and guys like Jan Vesely and Tristan Thompson are either a project or a reach -- Walker is the value pick. He's safe. He's going to be productive from Day 1, even if he is currently redundant.

And that's OK, because after two and a half years of sitting on his hands, Joe Dumars finally has permission from ownership to resume doing his job. Walker's arrival should signal someone else's departure, whether it's Stuckey, Ben Gordon or Rip Hamilton. Once the depth chart is balanced, having a dynamic scorer on a rookie-scale contract makes sense -- especially a high-character gym rat with a track record of improvement and success.

Follow this StoryStream to see our entire SB Nation mock draft play out over the next couple days. See our 2011 NBA Draft hub for full coverage.