The best draft picks in Detroit Pistons’ history

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Nov 23, 2016; Auburn Hills, MI, USA; A general view of basketball court sideline before the game between the Detroit Pistons and the Miami Heat at The Palace of Auburn Hills. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

A total of 436 players have been drafted by the Detroit Pistons all-time, dating back to 1948 when they played in Fort Wayne, IN.  Now let’s take a look at the best draft picks in Detroit Pistons’ history.

The Detroit Pistons (then known as the Fort Wayne Pistons) made Indiana forward Ward Williams their first ever draft pick in 1948.  In his lone season, Williams finished with 4.1 point per game and 1.5 assists per game.  Rebounds would not be recorded for another two years.

Needless to say, a lot has changed since then.  With hundreds of players to choose from, we’ve narrowed it down to the 10 most famous (and infamous) Pistons draft choices of all time.  We’ll start with the best five draft picks of all-time today.

5. George Yardley – Forward – 1950 – Round 1, Pick 7 (7th overall)

The 1957-58 NBA season was notable for two reasons.  It was the Pistons’ first year in Detroit, and George Yardley became the first player to record 2,000 points in a single season.  In addition to making his fourth consecutive All-Star appearance, Yardley led the league in scoring with 27.8 points per game.

The 6’5″ forward also totaled 10.7 rebounds per game while shooting 41 percent from the floor. Obviously, the game was very different back then.  But he put on the single greatest scoring season the NBA had ever seen up to that point.  Yardley played all 72 games and averaged 39.5 minutes per contest.

Despite only wearing a Pistons’ uniform for six seasons, he belongs on this list.  Yardley was a six-time All-Star and was enshrined into the Hall of Fame in 1996.  He was also the lone bright spot on a Pistons’ team that struggled for relevancy their first season in Detroit.  The Pistons have had their fair share of superstars, but Yardley was the original.

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