Detroit Pistons roster flashback: What a difference 3 years makes

Detroit Pistons forward Sekou Doumbouya (45) drives in against Sacramento Kings guard Buddy Hield Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
Detroit Pistons forward Sekou Doumbouya (45) drives in against Sacramento Kings guard Buddy Hield Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports /

Another March has rolled around and once again the Detroit Pistons are at the bottom of the Eastern Conference looking up.

It’s been a disappointing season, as many of us hoped the Pistons would at least compete for a play-in spot, but instead are once again competing to be the worst team in the NBA.

When Detroit added Bojan Bogdanovic and Alec Burks in the offseason, it looked like they were ready to pivot towards being a bit more competitive, to be where Orlando and OKC are right now, but then Cade Cunningham went down and we all started counting losses as wins again.

So the NCAA Tournament is more relevant to the Pistons than the NBA playoffs, but unlike the past, the Pistons at least have some reason to hope, with Cunningham coming back fully healthy next season and promising rookie performers in Jaden Ivey and Jalen Duren to go along with the recently acquired James Wiseman.

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One thing is for certain, the Detroit Pistons are in a far better position than they were in March of 2020, when they had possibly the most depressing roster in team history.

Detroit Pistons’ roster 3 years later

Back in March of 2020, Troy Weaver had yet to take over as the GM for the Detroit Pistons and had not yet started the restoration that he has talked so much about. The Pistons hadn’t drafted Killian Hayes (oh to have a time machine), Isaiah Stewart or Saddiq Bey and were running out one of the worst teams they’ve ever had.

In a game against the Sacramento Kings three years ago to the day, here was the Pistons’ roster, with the starting lineup on top:

  • Derrick Rose
  • Svi Mykhailiuk
  • Tony Snell
  • John Henson
  • Christian Wood
  • Brandon Knight
  • Langston Galloway
  • Sekou Doumbouya
  • Donta Hall
  • Derrick Walton
  • Khyri Thomas
  • Thon Maker
  • Bruce Brown

If you are counting, exactly zero of those players are still on the Detroit Pistons, and most of them are out of the league altogether. All-time draft bust Sekou Doumbouya can’t even get run in the G-League these days and only two of these players (Wood and Brown) are even getting minutes in the NBA.

In other words, things could be worse! At least this Pistons’ team, which will be lucky to win 20 games, actually has some potential, whereas three years ago there was absolutely none. Even the uniforms are better than those hideous things from March of 2020.

It may be a small consolation, but the Pistons have come a long way in three years and hopefully next year will finally be the one where the competitive roster we’ve been waiting for finally arrives.

Next. 2023 NBA Mock Draft: Pistons fall to 6th, grab a big forward. dark