The Detroit Pistons have had a sketchy history in the NBA Draft and that is being kind.
The draft that most people focus on is 2003, when the Pistons selected Darko Milicic instead of Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade or well, anyone else really.
You could point to Stanley Johnson over Devin Booker or Luke Kennard over Donovan Mitchell, and you’d be right, as those ended up being awful choices.
Booker and Mitchell are now superstars who have led their teams on long playoff runs while Johnson is barely in the league and Kennard is an overrated role player.
One draft that doesn’t get mentioned as often is the 2011 NBA Draft, which has to be one off the all-time worst for misses.
Just ask The Detroit Pistons who took Brandon Knight, or the Timberwolves who took Derrick Williams. How about Jan Vesely to the Wizards or Bismack Biyombo to the Kings? I’m pretty sure Tristan Thompson, Enes Kanter, Jimmer Fredette and the Moraii (Markieff and Marcus) would not go as high if teams could re-do the 2011 Draft.
It was a mess for a lot of teams, especially when you see how much All-NBA and All-Star talent was available with the first eight picks.
So let’s do those picks again to see what teams would do now, including the Detroit Pistons with the 8th pick.
Detroit Pistons: 2011 NBA Draft pick #1
Kawhi Leonard dropped to 15th in the original 2011 draft but if it were done again he would go first.
Leonard is still one of the best two-way players in the NBA, a two-time NBA champion and Finals MVP who has been a mainstay on the All-NBA, All-Star and All-Defensive teams.