The NBA Draft is constantly full of surprises. Thing is, they can’t always be good, and teams often tend to buy into the hype of some overrated prospect and wind up having their hopes crushed as they grow to be way below average players.
And things get even worse when all those players that actually went behind those flops wind up being superstars or at least very successful NBA players, making fans get fill with hatred towards their franchise’s front office and their scouting team.
A team that hasn’t always fared quite well during draft night has been the Detroit Pistons, a franchise that has mightily struggled to go back to contention despite pulling a lot of efforts to put together a competitive squad under the command of a very good coach and proven winner like Van Gundy.
This past week, the Pistons drafted Luke Kennard, a very intriguing prospect out of Duke University that might as well grow to be a very consistent NBA scorer, but over the course of the years, they’ve made some embarrassing mistakes in the lottery, and today we’ll rank the top 5 worst draft mistakes they’ve ever made, so if you’re a Pistons fan, you better close this tab right now.
5. Rodney White (2001 NBA Draft)
Gladly for the Pistons, they weren’t the only team to completely screw things up during this night, as the Washington Wizards actually selected Kwame Brown with the 1st overall pick, while the Pistons took Rodney White with the 9th overall selection.
The guard/forward was never able to become a productive player in either side of the court, while the Pistons could’ve have Joe Johnson, who went just one pick later, or Zach Randolph, or even Tony freaking Parker, who was the last pick of the 1st round that year.
4. Brandon Knight (2011 NBA Draft)
Brandon Knight has always flashed with his crafty dribbling and his offensive talent, although his defense is non-existent and he’s never been better than either of the guys that are ahead of him on the depth chart, and he hasn’t even set foot on an NBA court for a very, very long time, with his trade value going near zero at this point.
Still, he could have a very good NBA career if he finally gets the hell out of Phoenix, but thing is the Pistons trusted Knight just to deal him after a very short time, and they could’ve gone with Kemba Walker, Jimmy Butler, Klay Thompson or even Kawhi Leonard. Wow, that’s gotta hurt, Pistons fans.
3. Greg Monroe (2010 NBA Draft)
The prior year wasn’t much better for the Pistons either, as they decided to go with Greg Monroe, that was actually very productive on offense alongside Andre Drummond as their very own twin towers, but his horrid defense made him quite expendable and they just let him walk away despite being the 7th overall pick.
But the biggest issue with this pick is the fact that the Pistons could’ve gone with Eric Bledsoe, Hassan Whiteside, Avery Bradley or perhaps a couple of guard/forwards you’ve probably heard of, Gordon Hayward or Paul George.
2. Leon Douglas (1976 NBA Draft)
Oh boy, this one’s another insane flop by the Piston’s front office, taking Leon Douglas with the 4th overall pick just to watch him struggle through 6 mediocre seasons as an NBA backup center, leaving career averages of 7.9 points and 6.5 boards to go along with 1.8 turnovers and 3.6 personal fouls in just over 22 minutes per game.
And what makes this even more humiliating is the fact that the Pistons actually passed on the chance of getting a huge talent like Adrian Dantley or even worse, Robert Parish, Dennis Johnson or Alex English. That’s just sad.
1. Darko Milicic (2003 NBA Draft)
And this comes as no surprise as Milicic has to be one of the top 5 biggest draft busts in NBA history, as the big man out of Europe was mediocre at best, averaging 6 points and 4.2 boards despite being the very next pick after LeBron James himself.
Besides, the 2003 NBA Draft is perhaps a top 5 Draft in NBA history, with the Pistons passing on guys like David West, Boris Diaw and Leandro Barbosa. Oh, and did we mention that Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade and Bosh were also there? Shame on you Pistons. Shame. On. You.