The Detroit Pistons’ all-time draft bust starting lineup

22 Mar 2001: Mateen Cleaves #24 of the Detroit Pistons Credit: Jeff Gross /Allsport
22 Mar 2001: Mateen Cleaves #24 of the Detroit Pistons Credit: Jeff Gross /Allsport /
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Detroit Pistons
Darko Milicic #31 of the Orlando Magic and Chris Webber #84 of the Detroit Pistons (Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images) /

Every team in the NBA has a list of draft busts, as it is an imperfect science that requires a whole lot of guess work and luck. This includes the Detroit Pistons, whose modern draft history is littered with guys who never made it in the league.

Detroit is hoping that has all changed in recent years, as Saddiq Bey and Isaiah Stewart are off to promising starts, Cade Cunningham looks like a future superstar and Jaden Ivey and Jalen Duren hope to be as well.

If Cade does become the superstar we all think he will be, the Pistons will have gone nearly three decades in between them, with a whole lot of busts along the way, which is one of the big reasons the team has mostly been bad or mediocre since the Goin’ to Work days.

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But what if you made a team of Detroit Pistons’ draft busts? There were plenty to choose from, but here is the Pistons’ all-time draft bust starting five.

Detroit Pistons: All-time draft bust starting five

Center: Darko Milicic (2003)

We’ll start with the easiest one, as Milicic is not only the Pistons’ biggest draft bust, but one of the biggest in NBA history when you consider he was taken second in a draft filled with future Hall-of-Famers.

Darko actually had a 9-year career, which is not bad considering he never averaged double digits in a season and only once averaged over six rebounds per game.

He did win a ring with the Pistons, though he only appeared in 96 games total over parts of three seasons in Detroit, where he was like a bleached blonde victory cigar, only appearing once the game was already in hand.

He’ll always be the guy who was taken just before Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh and Dywane Wade, and we’ll always wonder what might have been had the Detroit Pistons just taken one of the future hall-of-famers instead of Darko.