Detroit Pistons: An objective look at Hall of Fame odds for former Pistons

Tim Duncan (C) of the San Antonio Spurs looks for a rebound against Richard Hamilton (L) and Ben Wallace of the Detroit Pistons (Photo credit should read ROBERT SULLIVAN/AFP via Getty Images)
Tim Duncan (C) of the San Antonio Spurs looks for a rebound against Richard Hamilton (L) and Ben Wallace of the Detroit Pistons (Photo credit should read ROBERT SULLIVAN/AFP via Getty Images) /

A few weeks ago, I used data from a poll to determine where the Detroit Pistons rookies stacked up with other first-year players around the league using their stats. Rather than just comparing stats, each statistical category was weighted by how important NBA fans thought 16 categories were compared to each other.

With the induction of Ben Wallace into the Hoops Hall of Fame in 2022, I wrote about the ten best Pistons not in the Hall and determined that some of them have legitimate shot at making it in the future. So I took 21 NBA accolades and assigned “legacy points” to each based on how important dozens of fans from different teams thought they were, on a one to ten scale. Below is the point system I will be using. If a player made two All-Star games, they would receive 10.4 points.

"Finals Win     7.2Finals MVP     6.8All-NBA First Team     7.2All-NBA Second Team     5.5All-NBA Third Team     4.1All-Rookie First Team     3.4All-Rookie Second Team     2.4All-Defensive First Team     6.0All-Defensive Second Team     4.8All-Star Apperance     5.2All-Star Game MVP     3.7MVP Award     8.4Rookie Of the Year Award     5.2Most Improved Player Award     3.7Defensive Player of the Year Award     7.1Six Man of the Year Award     4.6Scoring Leader     6.2Rebounds Leader     5.3Assists Leader     5.7Steals Leader     4.9Blocks Leader     5.2"

Just so we know what we’re working with, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has a whopping score of 411.2, which no member of the Detroit Pistons has ever even gotten close to. Isiah Thomas finishes with 132.7 points, which is still very good, and Ben Wallace is just behind him with 131.7 points. Bill Bradley, BleacherReport’s worst player to ever make the Hall of Fame has 19.6 points, which many Pistons have beat, but they still, unfortunately, do not deserve a spot in Springfield.

Related Story. The Pros and Cons of trading Josh Jackson this offseason. light

Bill Walton is, in my mind, a fringe Hall of Famer who deserves to be in, but barely. He records a score of 79.8, so any player that beats that should be in. If you want to raise or lower your standards, go for it.

Of the ten best Detroit Pistons not in the Hall (yet), it is clear that some of them never will be, based on the points system. John Long’s only accolade is a ring, so he only scores 7.2. Jerry Stackhouse was an excellent scorer for a few years but only manages 13.8 points on the scale. Vinnie Johnson scores just under 15, and Lindsay Hunter has only 16.8 points. Mark Aguirre has an even 30, but most of those come from All-Star appearances with Dallas.

Detroit Pistons: Which former Pistons have a shot at the Hall of Fame?

Some players on the 2004 team fare a little bit better. Rasheed Wallace has a score of 30.4.  Tayshaun Prince only managed 26.4, although he should have made some All-Star teams to boost his score, which is exactly the same reason Rip Hamilton only got 22.8.

I have argued that Chauncey Billups and Bill Laimbeer are long overdue to be elected into the Hall. Unfortunately, Billups has only scored 63.3 points, which is far below the Bill Walton mark. Laimbeer does even worse, only managing 40.5 points.

It would appear that the argument for why most Motor City hoopers don’t belong in the Hall is easy, and frankly, it is. But there is some optimism to take from it. Detroit has three titles without a massive amount of individual talent and the Pistons have long emphasized team basketball. Detroit may not be well represented in the Hall by individuals, but Little Ceaser’s Arena has more banners than 22 other NBA stadiums.

At the time of writing this, before the 2021 All-Rookie teams are announced, the Pistons as a whole have 18.8 points, with nearly half coming from Cory Joseph’s bench-warming Finals run with the 2014 Spurs. Despite this, there is no reason to doubt that the team won’t massively improve next year and be a real threat in the Eastern Conference in the very near future. With Saddiq Bey, Beef Stew, and Jerami Grant, the Pistons are poised for success–both team and individual.

Top 10 Rookie in Pistons' franchise history. dark. Next