Detroit Pistons: All-time draft bust starting five
Shooting Guard: Rodney White (2001)
White was taken 9th overall by the Detroit Pistons, and though he wasn’t really a shooting guard, I am going to put him here because the group of possible forwards for this team is already big.
White played exactly 16 games for the Detroit Pistons in his one season with the team and averaged a whopping 3.5 points per game before being traded to Denver for two players and a future first-round pick, which turned out to be a great deal for Detroit.
He didn’t fare much better in Denver, though he showed some signs in his second season, bumping his scoring average up to nine per game. In the end, White played just four seasons in the NBA and made just 21 starts in that time before finishing his career with multiple teams overseas.
Point Guard: Mateen Cleaves (2000)
This really was a grim era of drafting for the Detroit Pistons, as their all-time bust starting backcourt was taken in back-to-back years.
Cleaves is from Flint and was one of the most decorated college players of his day for Michigan State, but came to the Pistons with the 14th pick at already 23-years-old.
Like White, Cleaves lasted just one season for the Pistons before being traded for Jon Barry and a first-round pick (another good deal for Detroit, who was better at trading their picks than choosing them).
Cleaves played for six seasons and never averaged more than 5.4 points per game. He was a harsh lesson about hometown picks and why college success does not always translate to the NBA.