Mehmet Okur, Tayshaun Prince, Jason Maxiell and Rodney Stuckey. What do they have in common?
They are the few notable players that have been drafted by the Pistons since Joe Dumars took over in 2000. The rest of them were lucky if they lasted a year.
Here's a review of players that the Pistons took, and a look at who they could have gotten instead. Starting in 2000, which I believe was Joe Dumars first year being with the Pistons.
2000: Mateen Cleaves (14) and Brian Cardinal (54)
Cleaves lasted a year with the Pistons, never living up to his potential and college success. He was traded for Jon Barry and a first round pick which would end up being wasted.
Should of drafted: Hedo Turkoglu or Quentin Richardson
Cardinal at least made it two years with the Pistons, averaging 2.1 points with his career high then being nine points. Something decent did come of him though, he was packaged with Stackhouse to bring in Rip. They waived him after five games.
Should of drafted: This is hard as he was used to get Rip, and it was a second pick. If I had to go with someone it would be Ime Udoka.
2001: Rodney White (9) and Mehmet Okur (37)
Rodney was the ninth overall pick as he was 6'9". His main position? Shooting guard and he played some forward. Rodney was named the freshman of the year by ESPN. How could he be a miss? No one could match up in size with him or talent on most occasion.
Problem was he only played offense and had no respect for the coach. He played 16 games and averaged four points in eight minutes. He only lasted a year before being traded to Denver, where he did just as bad.
Should of drafted: Joe Johnson, Richard Jefferson, or Gilbert Arenas
Mehmet was one of their best picks since 2000. He played two seasons for them, but he helped them win the 2004 NBA Championship. He was a big part of their success those two seasons. The only thing they got wrong was not re-signing him after his contract was up.
Should of drafted: Mehmet Okur
2002: Tayshaun Prince (23)
Prince was again a very good pick, so the Pistons had two good picks in successive seasons. He would end up being a huge part of the 2004 NBA Championship and would be a starter for a long time. He is one of only two players from the championship team left (Rip Hamilton being the other).
Should of drafted: Tayshaun Prince
2003: Darko Milicic (2), Carlos Delfino (25) and Andreas Gliniadakis (58)
With three picks, there's no way they could screw up every single one of them right? WRONG! This was probably there worst draft yet since 2000.
Darko was on the team three years. His best season? He had a 1.8 points per game average. He claimed it was due to lack of playing time, but what could he expect with Okur and Wallace around? This was a terrible pick by the Detroit Pistons. He did finally have a nice run with the Magic in the 2007 playoffs.
Should of drafted: With this class anyone else would of been 10,000 times better, but here's a small list; Chris Bosh, Carmelo Anthony, D-Wade, David West, Nick Collison, Mickael Pietrius
Carlos Delfino was the second SG/SF who was huge for his position taken by the Pistons—White being the first of course. Delfino didn't turn out to be much better at all. He played three seasons with the Pistons with his best scoring average about four points. He was traded to Toronto where has had a nice career.
Should of drafted: Josh Howard, Leandro Barbosa, Mo Williams
Andreas was the last player taken in the draft. So there's not much to say about him. He never played for the Pistons.
Should of drafted: Matt Carroll, Marquis Daniels, Ronald Dupree (later signed by Pistons)
2004: Rickey Paulding (54)
Didn't last a year with the Pistons, and never really made it in the NBA.
Should of drafted: Damien Wilkins
2005: Jason Maxiell (26), Amir Johnson (56) and Alex Acker(60)
Jason, since signing with the Pistons, has been a very solid player. He turned out to be better than a lot of the people that were drafted in front of him. He was probably a steal in the draft and will be with the Pistons for a while.
Should of drafted: Maxiell, Brandon Bass (still like Jason better)
Amir Johnson was another player who ended up being solid for the Pistons. He's still a part of the Pistons and probably will be for a long time. Like Jason, he was better than most taken in front of him and could be considered a steal.
Should of drafted: Amir
Alex Acker, the same one who was just traded to make cap space. He never turned out to be much with two stints on the Pistons both not being very successful.
Should of drafted: Josh Powell, Fabricio Oberto
2006: Will Blalock (60)
Played 14 games for the Pistons averaging about two points. He was the last one chosen so much wasn't expected from him.
Should of drafted: Walter Herrman, Juan Barea, Chris Quinn
2007: Rodney Stuckey (15), Arron Affalo (27) and Sammy Mejia (57)
Stuckey has yet to blossom into the player everyone thought he would be, but it's only his third season. He still has a while to develop, and he has definitely been solid. He will turn out to be one of Dumars best picks.
Should of drafted: Stuckey
Arron Affalo was just traded away to make cap space. He never really was a big part of the Pistons and he was a bad pick in my opinion. Another one of the two-year guys, his best scoring average was about five points. Which isn't terrible, but he was the star guard of UCLA and was supposed to be way more.
Should of drafted: Marc Gasol, Ramon Sessions
Sammy Mejia never suited up for the Pistons and now is in the Greek league playing for some team. He's still under contract to the Pistons though and may make a return.
Should of drafted: Too early to tell really but I would say Milovan Rakovic, or maybe D.J. Strawberry
2008: D.J. White (29) and Deron Washington (59)
D.J. was traded right after being drafted and he underwent surgery for growth and didn't play much. He ended up averaging nine points in the season. He could of been a special player for the Pistons.
Should of drafted: White and kept him.
Deron Washington played for an Israel team this past season and signed a contract with Detroit on July 3. It's too early to tell how he will do.
Should of drafted: Washington. He was the second to last taken and he was better than the last center taken.
So there's the recap up until this season. I won't do 2009 yet as they have not even played a game yet. I had doubts about Daye being the next one and done though and so far he's proving me wrong. We'll see how they work out.
I think over the years Detroit and especially Dumars has gotten better at picking players but we need to keep them around for more than a year or so.
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