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Pistons introduce draft picks, can now turn focus toward free agency

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AUBURN HILLS, Michigan — Stanley Johnson had already brought attention to himself when — after being selected by the Detroit Pistons with the eighth pick — he declared himself to be the best player in the draft.

Then there was his introductory news conference at the Palace on Saturday, when he showed up wearing a gaudy pink suit.

"At the draft, my suit didn't go as planned, to start off with. So the designer I originally had, I fired him," Johnson said. "So I had to go to a new designer who had to get a suit ready in about 16 to 24 hours. And of course, the only colors that I could pick is the suit that was available, so I just tried to make it work. I thought it would be more of a purple than this."

After explaining his fashion choice, Johnson eventually had a chance to talk about what he can bring to this Detroit roster. No, he's not backing off Thursday's comments about being the draft's top player, but the former Arizona star was diplomatic when asked about being picked ahead of Duke's Justise Winslow, another wing prospect who was available.

"I thought the Pistons made the best decision that's for them," he said.

Johnson averaged 13.8 points and 6.5 rebounds in his only season at Arizona. Detroit's second-round pick, Villanova's Darrun Hilliard, was also introduced Saturday.

Johnson has done his best to win over Pistons fans right away, tossing out the "Detroit versus everybody" line on draft night and expressing excitement about representing the city.

PHOTO: The Detroit Pistons new draft pick, Stanley Johnson addresses the media at a news conference, Saturday, June 27, 2015, in Auburn Hills, Mich. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)
The Detroit Pistons new draft pick, Stanley Johnson addresses the media at a news conference, Saturday, June 27, 2015, in Auburn Hills, Mich. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

"I think my personality is very versatile. I love to smile, I love to have fun," he said. "I'm as competitive as they can be, but I'm as serious as they can be as well."

Johnson can help the Pistons fill their hole at small forward, but the offseason is still young, and now Detroit can turn its focus to free agency, where the team is looking into adding more help on the wing.

"We know where we're going. We know what our targets are. We know Plan A, Plan B, Plan C," said Stan Van Gundy, Detroit's coach and team president. "If you get past Plan C, we might be stymied a little bit. Then again, if we get past Plan C, it may be: head to the bar."

Before worrying too much about acquiring free agents from other teams, Van Gundy says he'll concern himself with holding onto players who are already on the Pistons, like point guard Reggie Jackson, whom the coach called "priority number one" following Saturday's news conference.

"And obviously, we have to deal with Greg (Monroe) — I have a feel of what's going to happen with Greg, but I don't know for sure," Van Gundy said.

Monroe is a restricted free agent, and the Pistons have already prepared for his departure by trading for power forward Ersan Ilyasova.

The Pistons also need to figure out who will back up Andre Drummond at center. Van Gundy says he'd like to bring veteran Joel Anthony back.

"We've told him consistently — we would like to have him back," Van Gundy said. "We would like to sign a younger guy there too, and he's been made aware of that. He understands that. We don't hide many things when we're talking to our guys. We're not trying to fool anybody."

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PHOTO: The Detroit Pistons new draft pick, Stanley Johnson addresses the media at a news conference, Saturday, June 27, 2015, in Auburn Hills, Mich. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)
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