My name is Aaron Slone, I am a fan of the Detroit Pistons…. and I hate the NBA Draft. In my lifetime, it seems like I’ve been able to witness mistake after mistake by the Pistons in the NBA Draft. I can remember very few of our picks actually working out, and I just want to take the time out of my day to educate you on some of the picks we’ve made as a franchise, while also informing you of some of the picks that we could’ve made just so you can have a better understanding of why my life as a sports fan is miserable.
2003 Draft: Selection-Darko Milicic
Everyone knows this as one of the biggest draft mistakes of all-time. There’s Bowie over MJ and Oden over KD, but I think this may be the worst of them all. Detroit passed on Dwyane Wade, Carmelo Anthony, and Chris Bosh to take Darko. Hell, could’ve even taken Chris Kaman! He at least made an all-star game. Detroit would go on to win the NBA Title that season, and continued to have playoff success over the next few seasons. But imagine a Pistons Dynasty with Billups, Rip, Melo, Sheed, and Big Ben Wallace with Tayshaun Prince coming off the bench as one of the best 6th mans of all-time (yeah, I said it). They would’ve been a force to be reckoned with.
If I want to be a picky asshole, I could point out that we took Carlos Delfino later in the first round instead of Josh Howard or Leandro Barbosa. Even Kendrick Perkins. Or Kyle Korver. None of those guys would’ve made a significant impact like Melo/Wade/Bosh (except maybe Josh Howard, who had a couple of great years) but they still would’ve been nice assets.
2009 Draft: Selection-Austin Daye
In 2009, we used our selection for the small forward out of Gonzaga. Daye had a huge amount of potential, but never lived up to it. Other possible selections could’ve been Jrue Holiday or even Jeff Teague. Both have made All-Star Games, and Holiday is one of the better point guards in the league now.
2010 Draft: Selection-Greg Monroe
Monroe put up some good numbers during his time in Detroit, averaging a double double in his last season with the team. Monroe would leave the team in 2015 as he signed with the Bucks. Detroit could’ve selected Gordon Heyward, who made the All-Star team in 2017 while getting better every year during his career (until this year’s injury). Orrrrr, they could’ve taken Paul George. Yeah, he’s good.
2011 Draft: Selection-Brandon Knight
Knight had some talent. But just watch this video.
Knight was drafted ahead of All-Star Kemba Walker. AAAAAAAAANNNDDDD Klay Thompson AAAAAAAAANNNNNNDDDDDANDNDNNDAND Kawhi Leonard.
2013 Draft: Selection-Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
This guy had the ability to score almost anytime he wanted to. Unfortunately, it seems like most of the time he didn’t want to. This draft class was weak, but there were a couple of players selected after KCP that are pretty good. Like Steven Adams. He doesn’t have any accolades, but he’s a solid player. Rudy Gobert was also selected 27th overall, and he’s developing into one of the better big men in the league. I know it’s unrealistic to have taken either of these guys in the first round since we already had Monroe and Drummond down low…. but we could’ve been able to take GIANNIS ANTETOKOUNMPO. I heard he was developing nicely.
2015 Draft: Selection-Stanley Johnson
Johnson has a ton of potential, and he could be extremely dangerous. This is definitely a make or break year for Johnson. Detroit could’ve selected Devin Booker, who is developing into one of the better overall scorers in the league, and not just a spot up shooter.
2017 Draft: Selection-Luke Kennard
Kennard didn’t have THAT bad of a rookie year, and he still has plenty of time to develop. It just hurts my heart knowing that Donovan Mitchell was picked with the very next pick.
Detroit doesn’t have a first round pick this year, since we traded what would have been the 12th pick of the draft to the Clippers for Blake Griffin. But as things seem to go for teams that I’m a fan of, I’m sure Blake Griffin is suddenly about to have his career just fall off and the Clippers will probably draft the next MJ or Lebron. Only time will tell.