The Detroit Pistons will take on the Denver Nuggets tonight in a battle of two teams on the opposite ends of their respective conferences.
The Pistons have the worst record in the NBA, while the Nuggets lead the Western Conference by 4.5 games behind the brilliance of reigning MVP Nikola Jokic, who is the frontrunner to win another one this year.
The debate about Jokic’s MVP worthiness has become tedious, but one thing that can’t be debated is that the entire NBA missed big time when Jokic fell to the 41st pick in the 2014 NBA Draft.
The 2014 NBA Draft may have had the most stacked second round of all time, as it featured players like Jokic, Jerami Grant, Joe Harris, Spencer Dinwiddie, Jordan Clarkson and Dwight Powell, which would make a pretty good NBA team.
It was a strange draft for the Detroit Pistons for a couple of reasons, and one that Joe Dumars and Jeff Bower would rather forget.
Detroit Pistons: Dumb trades and big draft misses
The 2014 NBA Draft was not a banner one for the Detroit Pistons. Joe Dumars started the mess by attaching the Pistons’ 2014 1st-round pick to Ben Gordon in order to get rid of him. Detroit took back Corey Maggette, so saved some money, but gave up the 9th pick in the draft in the process.
Noah Vonleh was taken in that spot, but you still had players like Zach LaVine, Jusuf Nurkic, Clint Capela and Bogdan Bogdanovic available, all who went later in the first round. In other words, the Pistons could have had a star or at least a very good role player instead of nothing if Dumars had not made that disastrous trade.
And that’s before we even get to the second round, where there were even more talented players, including two-time MVP Jokic. The Pistons had the 38th pick and elected to use it on Spencer Dinwiddie. Dinwiddie turned out to be a pretty good player himself, not that it mattered, as Detroit gave him away for Cameron Bairstow, who was the 49th pick in that same draft.
The big miss was obviously Jokic, who went just three picks later in what would be arguably the biggest league-wide draft miscalculation of all time, as just about every team in the NBA had at least one chance to take him but passed.
It’s safe to say that every team in the NBA would like a do-over on that one, including the Detroit Pistons, who managed to find a decent player in the second round, but missed out on an MVP by just a few picks.