In the past three NBA drafts, the Pistons have been fortunate to pick up prospects who have fallen on the board.

When the 2013 NBA draft arrives Thursday night, the Pistons may fall into the same position as they were in recent years, according to ESPN’s Chad Ford, who has UNLV forward Anthony Bennett dropping to Detroit at No. 8 spot in his latest mock draft.

“(Greg) Monroe slid, (Brandon) Knight slid, (Andre) Drummond slid. At that point, you take the best player that’s available,” Ford said Tuesday in a conference call. “In Anthony Bennett’s case, that’s clear cut if he is available at No. 8.”

Although the Pistons have Drummond and Monroe in the frontcourt, Bennett still would benefit the Pistons with his athleticism and style of play. In one season with the Rebels, Bennett averaged 16.1 points and 8.1 rebounds per game in helping lead UNLV to the NCAA tournament.

“Take Bennett and worry about fit later. He can fit into a rotation if that’s the case with (Andre) Drummond and (Greg) Monroe,” Ford said. “Both players are not going to play 48 minutes a night. Bennett can also slide over and play the three and stretch the floor with his versatility and ball handling, which makes him an interesting prospect.

“You never want to draft need over best player available when there is a clear break. In my opinion, Anthony Bennett is one of the six best players in this draft.”

Ford also mentioned the Pistons might want to look at a point guard to play alongside Brandon Knight.

“The Pistons have looked at Knight and think that he is probably better suited to play the two than the one, and that’s led them to look at the point guards that are available in this draft,” Ford said. “For fit, Michael Carter-Williams to me is the best fit to play next to Brandon Knight, because of size and play-making ability.

“Knight can really shoot the basketball and can defend, he’s a heavy player. But he isn’t a natural play maker. He’s not the quickest guy off the dribble. But that’s where (Michael) Carter-Williams succeeds.”

In his sophomore year at Syracuse, Carter-Williams started in 39 games, averaging 12.1 points to go along with 7.4 assists and 4.9 rebounds per game.

“Carter-Williams can get past defenders; he can get to the rim, creative passer. He is also a nightmare on the defensive end,” Ford said. “He is one of the best defenders in this year’s draft. If you see both players on the floor together, Carter-Williams at 6-6 and Knight at 6-3, they can play well together.”