I think if there’s one draft choice Joe D would like to have back – even more than Darko, who was the overwhelming choice at No. 2 by NBA personnel evaluators that year – it would be choosing White over Joe Johnson. Remember, the revered Jerry West had said he thought White was the best talent in that draft, so a lot of people thought the Pistons got a steal at No. 9. But Dumars went into that draft with a soft spot for Joe Johnson, who went one pick later, and I think that’s the pick he wishes he had back. He managed to turn White into a No. 1 pick from Denver a year later, recovering pretty nicely and also affirming that other teams thought White had a real NBA future, too. It just never panned out for him, largely because of off-court issues.
Does that make you feel better about this year’s draft?