Welcome to the tenth installment of 30 Teams, 30 Years, 30 Drafts featuring the Detroit Pistons. This series takes you through each of the teams’ draft picks from 1978-2008 and evaluates how they fared. We finish up the Eastern Conference with the Detroit Pistons. Not really much of a surprise here that the Pistons clock in just below the top score with a 3.877. They do have themselves 3 titles, and the first two title teams were built almost entirely through the NBA Draft. For the Western Conference I’m going to start with the teams with the shorter histories (Wolves, Hornets, Grizzlies), and finish with the teams I believe will have the top scores (Jazz, Spurs, Lakers). The Thunder will be done under the Sonics since the Thunder technically have zero drafts in the time frame we are covering.
Total Score: 3.877
View the previous teams and their scores here:
Boston Celtics – 3.885
Philadelphia 76ers – 2.561
Toronto Raptors – 2.659
Orlando Magic – 2.861
Charlotte Bobcats – 2.225
New York Knicks – 2.471
New Jersey Nets – 2.49
Atlanta Hawks – 1.258
Miami Heat – 2.743
Milwaukee Bucks – 3.616
Chicago Bulls - 2.93
Cleveland Cavaliers – 3.176
Indiana Pacers – 2.762
Washington Wizards – 2.359
Let us know in the comments below who you think their best and worst draft picks were.
To see how the score was calculated, check out the intro post here.
[table id=113 /]
1- Greg was drafted above Sidney Moncrief.
2- 1979 was a rough draft for Detroit. Two top ten picks were unable to combine for 400 games.
3- Don’t be fooled by the post playing foibles or the lack of eye popping career numbers. He retired early, once he felt himself “slipping”, even though he was only 32. That was the kind of competitor he was. Isiah was one of (if not) the greatest pure point guard of all time. He was the best player on two title teams. Also, if he did not sprain his ankle in the 88 Finals he very well may have been part of a threepeat. I actually did not have Isiah as a 20 until I watched the Game 6 of the finals that he lost the other day again. You may have heard of the game. Isiah sprains his ankle and still was able to set a finals record for most points in a quarter. If you haven’t though, do yourself a favor, sit down and actually watch this game. Isiah is warrior on the court, his performance is inspirational. And while watching it, even the most diehard of Knicks fans like myself can forget his ineptitude in his post playing career. That, says more than anything, and was ultimately what decided to push him to the very elite 20 point status.
4- Joe Dumars was known as one of (if not) the only likeable player on the “Bad Boys” Pistons teams. Maybe he wasn’t especially very likeable but just seemed like a teddy bear when compared to everyone else. Kind of like how a common criminal wouldn’t seem all that bad in a room full of murderers. Anyway it was enough that today the NBA Sportsmanship Award is named after him.
5- John Salley has spent the greater part of his retirement filling out his IMDB page. His highlights include appearances in both Bad Boys films and Eddie. He appeared in Bad Boys alongside my cousin, which gives me a seven degrees to most NBA players of the 80s and 90s.
6- Dennis Rodman, what can I say that can’t already been said? Quite honestly I’m quite surprised he lived past the age of 50. That should go right up there with all his other amazing accomplishments. Rodman is a Hall of Famer, which kind of shocked me. Not that his accomplishments didn’t warrant it, but I’m surprised he got the votes necessary, given his persona and off the court (and on the court) antics.
7- No, not another footnote for Rodman, this one goes to the Pistons in general. Also it goes to a time when teams built champions through the draft, not trades and free agency. From 1981-1986 on the precipice of their champion teams the Pistons drafted 10 players who averaged a score of 8.95 per pick.
8- Michael holds the record for most consecutive free throws made in the regular season. In 92-93 he hit his final 84 attempts. He followed this up by hitting his next 13 in 93-94 to end the streak at 97, shattering the old record of 78 set by Calvin Murphy.
9- Lance comes from quite the athletic family. His father was a running back for the Oilers and Patriots and his cousin was an infielder for the Braves, Indians and Rangers. He is currently the GM for the Suns.
10- I was quite disappointed that Lindsey Hunter’s IMDB page did not reference the Lindsey Hunter All Stars. Created by a Bill Simmons reader the Lindsey Hunter All Stars are designated for professional athletes that have names that make them sound as if they are hot chicks.
11- Part of the 2005 CBA included the Allan Houston Rule, which was basically 2005’s version of the Amnesty Clause. It was named in honor of Allan Houston because the Knicks were in such dire cap shape and Allan was the longest and most lucrative contract in a long list of bad contracts for the Knicks. Ironically enough, the Allan Houston rule was not used to cut Allan Houston, as the Knicks correctly predicted he would retire and instead used the amnesty on Jerome Williams.
12- Another great debate that probably deserves its own column (maybe this will be the next off-season project); Is Grant Hill a Hall of Famer? Here’s the short answer without the extensive research I so love to do. Yes. 7 All Star Games. 5 top 10 MVP finishes. 1 1st All NBA. 4 2nd Team All NBA’s. But here is the kicker, Grant Hill had an AMAZING college career as well, and the Hall of Fame includes that when deciding who is and who is not a Hall of Famer and he is a great guy. Everyone loves Grant Hill. Have you ever read a bad story about Grant Hill? He’s won the Sportsmanship Award 3 times. These things matter when voting for the Hall of Fame too.
13- That’s right; Theo Ratliff was an All Star.
14- According to wikipedia Randolph’s career was cut short due to ACL problems and “disagreements with Trail Blazers coach PJ Carlesimo.” I was under the impression that disagreements with Carlesimo only enhanced one’s career. Just ask Latrell Spreewell.
15- Pollard sparked a bit of a controversy in 2007. He saw the light on the top of a camera was off during a game and assumed it was off. Attempting to get a laugh out of the guys in the production truck he looked into the camera and said, “Hey kids, do drugs.” Unfortunately for him, the light was broken and the camera was on. He later apologized for his actions. Pollard just missed the next point level, with a total of 99 starts.
16- Mehmet Okur is the first Turkish player to play in an All Star Game.
17- We know the story. Darko was drafted over Bosh, Wade and Melo. However Bosh and Wade were never really a choice. LBJ was supposed to be the savior of basketball. Melo just came off what up to that point in time may have been the most impressive freshmen season in the history of college basketball. And Darko was supposed to be the hottest international import in the history of foreign players. Wade and Bosh were never really in the conversation. Maybe Melo messes up Detroit’s chemistry. Either way, it is still an awful, awful pick in retrospect. And Detroit must be penalized.
18- In his short career Rodney has one season with 16 ppg. Considering his career is young, he’s playing on a pretty bad team and he’s come close two other times to achieveing this milestone, we will bump up to the 5 point category.
19- Arron Afflalo was a tough one to peg. Last season on an incredibly deep Nuggets team he managed to average 16 points per 36 minutes (not per game). Now he will be one of (if not) the best players on the Magic. It’s tough to see him not averaging 16 ppg a few times over the next few years. However seeing how he doesn’t even have one 16 ppg season yet, I decided to split the difference and project one.