Detroit Pistons' All-Star draft blunder rising the ranks of worst ever

2022 NBA Draft
2022 NBA Draft / Arturo Holmes/GettyImages

It's safe to say that the 2020 NBA Draft didn't work out for the Detroit Pistons.

Three of the original "Core Four" (whom Troy Weaver once compared to the Yankees) are no longer on the team, as Saddiq Bey, Killian Hayes and Saben Lee are either on other teams or out of the league entirely.

Only Isaiah Stewart remains, a player the Pistons traded a 1st-round pick to get (that still haunts them to this day) and whose ceiling seems to be topping out at quality role player, which is fine.

The biggest whiff was Killian Hayes, who was taken 7th to fill the Pistons' biggest need at the time, which was point guard.

I'm not going to spend any time belittling Killian Hayes, who has taken enough grief from Pistons fans over the years, so let's just say that it didn't work out and leave it there.

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The relationship officially ended at this year's trade deadline and I wish Killian well in the future.

In retrospect, the 2020 NBA Draft is about who the Pistons didn't take and All-Star Tyrese Haliburton hasn't forgotten. He spoke in a recent interview about his shock that the Pistons didn't take him and how he would have been happy if they did. Ouch.

Haliburton is already a two-time All-Star and has an argument as one of the best point guards in the game. He leads the NBA in assists and has his Indiana Pacers where the Pistons had hoped to be, which is fighting for a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

As Haliburton rounds into one of the best players in the league with the Pistons still looking up from the cellar, it's fair to wonder where he ranks among Detroit's worst draft misses.

Is Tyrese Haliburton the Detroit Pistons' worst draft miss?

I already had Haliburton in my Holy Trinity of draft misses along with Devin Booker and Donovan Mitchell, and that was before he made his 2nd All-Star team. It's hard to put him above those guys yet, as they have done it for longer and have had more team success.

Looking historically, we always have the Darko pick (yawn, they still won a title) and the 2011 Draft in which the Pistons took Brandon Knight over some guys named Kemba Walker, Klay Thompson and Kawhi Leonard.

Haliburton probably isn't worse than any of those, at least not yet, as the Pistons passed on several Hall-of-Famers and all-time greats. Haliburton isn't there yet, but he's on that trajectory.

I doubt he'll go down as the worst draft miss, but it was a bad one, which looks worse after the Detroit Pistons couldn't even find anyone to trade Killian Hayes to and just had to cut him.

So Core Four 1.0 is no more and Troy Weaver looks to have had good drafts ever since, but we'll always wonder what might have happened if Detroit had done what Tyrese Haliburton thought they were going to do, which is make him the Pistons point guard of the future.

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