The Pistons are obviously one of the worst teams in the NBA. That is not a horrible thing, unless you are Tom Gores, Lawrence Frank, Joe Dumars, or a Pistons player. The reason it’s not horrible is because in the NBA the only way you can get good is to get bad. As we know the Pistons were a premier franchise between 2003-2008 with six Eastern Conference Finals and a championship. The hardest thing for a team to do is rebuild while staying good. Joe Dumars tried, but unfortunately it has not worked out.
With the poor play the last several seasons, Dumars has been under some heat for his coach selection, free agent signings, and his drafting. I have stated that Joe was fantastic for half of his dozen years and poor the last half. His drafting record has recently been under attack by myself and many fans. Detroit News Piston beat writer Vinnie Goodwill has defended Dumars’ drafts. Let’s examine the drafting record of Joe Dumars year by year and see how good or bad it really is.
Granted, most teams make mistakes and most make some good picks,especially in the first round. The second round is more of a crap shoot, so I don’t think hits or misses should carry that much weight. I will list who the Pistons picked and any player of significance I feel they should have or could have picked.
Click the chart to enlarge
So those are the facts. Here is the opinion. It is obvious that Dumars could have done much better than Cleaves and White in his first two drafts. I think he was correct in selecting Prince over Boozer, who did not go until the second round. The 2003 draft could be one of the worst in sports history.Besides the obvious Darko debacle,selecting Delfino ahead of the three listed was a mistake as well. Who would not rather have Brandon or David Lee that Jason Maxiell. I would rather have Young or Chandler than Stuckey but one could make a case for Stuckey so I am not going to go crazy over that pick. Arfflalo was a steal at 27, but how good would Marc Gasol look. What is ironic about that 2007 draft is I would rather have Afflalo on the team now instead of Stuckey. The 2008 and 2009 drafts were bad,especially when you consider the players they drafted for other teams have done better than what Dumars got in return. DJ White is a serviceable reserve power forward,while Walter Sharpe and Trent Plaisted are not in the league. In addition do you think Mario Chalmers and DeAndre Jordan would have helped. The Austin Daye pick of 2009 is turning into a fiasco. Hmmm,Taj Gibson in Piston colors would be pretty sweet,not to mention Jrue Holliday,or even Collison or Lawson.
I will give credit for some good second round finds including Cardinal,Okur,Johnson and Jerebko. All four are still in the league, with the latter three playing significant minutes.
Lets be real here for a second as well. Some of the players that they could have had were not needs in their draft years and for example if they selected Mario Chalmers they would not have needed Jrue Holliday or even Brandon Knight. That being said the only years where I can say Joe did a good job in the first round were 2002,2010,and 2011. I would say 2005 and 2007 were average at best. 2000 2008 and 2009 were bad. 2001 horrible and 2003 a disaster. In my opinion that adds up to a grade of D for Joe Dumars first round selections. If you add in the second round I can bump his overall drafting record to a C- but that is not good enough for me and shouldn’t be for Pistons fans either.