Detroit Pistons: The worst draft in the history of the NBA

MIAMI, FL - JUNE 11: Brian Cardinal #35 of the Dallas Mavericks (Photo by Chris Chambers/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL - JUNE 11: Brian Cardinal #35 of the Dallas Mavericks (Photo by Chris Chambers/Getty Images) /
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Detroit Pistons
New York Knicks power forward Kenyon Martin (3) strips ball from Detroit Pistons power forward Greg Monroe Credit: Jim O’Connor-USA TODAY Sports /

The Detroit Pistons have had some bad drafts over the years, but one in particular stands out.

That’s because it wasn’t just the Pistons who drafted a couple of busts, but just about the entire NBA, as it was a draft filled with some of the worst players to ever hear their names called on draft day.

Most fans would mark 2003 and Darko Milicic as the worst draft ever, but this one was actually far worse.

I’m talking about the year 2000, which was undoubtedly one of the worst drafts in NBA history, not just for the Detroit Pistons, but the entire league.

Detroit Pistons: The 2000 NBA Draft

If you take a look at the list of 2000 draft picks, you’ll see a who’s who of busts, mediocre role players and guys who had a cup of coffee in the league before heading overseas.

Kenyon Martin (a college senior) was the number one pick. This is a guy who made exactly one All-Star team in his career, though he did have a couple of good seasons for New Jersey.

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He certainly isn’t the worst number one pick of all time, but it was the last time that a senior was taken #1, something we may never see again, as most of the top picks now are one-and-done players in college.

Only three players from this draft (Martin, Jamaal Magloire and Michael Redd) made an All-Star team, and all of them made it just once.

If you look at the top-10 picks, seven of them were quantifiable busts. That would leave you arguing between Martin, Mike Miller and Jamal Crawford as to who was the best player from this draft class. Yikes.

In fact, there were only six decent NBA rotation players taken in the entire first round. To show how bad that is, I would argue that every player in the top-10 of the 2021 NBA Draft, including Cade Cunningham, would have been the best player in the 2000 draft.

It was a horrible draft for the whole league, and the Detroit Pistons were no exception.