Wild NBA Mock Draft brings back bad memories for the Pistons

Feb 7, 2024; Sacramento, California, USA; Detroit Pistons guard Killian Hayes (7)
Feb 7, 2024; Sacramento, California, USA; Detroit Pistons guard Killian Hayes (7) / Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

The Detroit Pistons have had plenty of NBA Drafts that they'd rather forget.

Drafting poorly has been the cornerstone of the Pistons' futility in their current drought of playoff wins that extends back to 2008. If you want to know why the Pistons have been bad for so long, there is a clear culprit.

They hope that has changed with recent picks of Cade Cunningham, Jaden Ivey, Jalen Duren and Ausar Thompson, a new "Core Four" to replace the old one, three of which are no longer on the team.

A recent mock draft on The Ringer saw Kevin O'Connor making a bold pick, sending guard Reed Sheppard to the San Antonio Spurs. Even in a wide-open draft, Sheppard doesn't seem like a #1 pick, though he would be a nice fit with Victor Wembanyama and the Spurs. O' Connor has forward Zaccharie Risacher going to the Pistons with the second pick. Here's our Draft primer on Risacher and some of the other non-collegiate prospects.

This isn't the first time O'Connor has made a bold choice at the top of a draft, as he did the same in 2020.

NBA Mock Draft brings back memories for the Detroit Pistons

In 2020, The Ringer listed Killian Hayes as the #1 pick in the draft and O'Connor has taken his lumps over the years for that one.

Hayes was eventually taken 7th by your Detroit Pistons, joining their Holy Trinity of draft misses that looks even worse now that he has been released and can't find a job.

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In retrospect, putting Hayes ahead of Anthony Edwards borders on lunacy, but every draft is a crapshoot and big swings often lead to big misses.

O'Connor had James Wiseman at #5 on his big board, who eventually went 2nd to the Warriors. He pretty much nailed Saddiq Bey at #16 and had Isaiah Stewart (whom the Pistons traded a first-round pick to get) ranked 30th.

Hayes is now out of a job, Bey has been traded to Atlanta and Saben Lee plays for the Suns, while Stewart remains the only of the original young core still on the Pistons roster.

I applaud O'Connor for going against the grain, and this is a year when every Mock Draft is going to be wrong, as there is no consensus about anything.

He's sticking his neck out there for a point guard again, hopefully, this one will work out better for him so he can shed the "Killian Hayes guy" monicker.

And the Detroit Pistons hope to continue their run of productive NBA Drafts with another high pick in 2024.