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3-on-3: Joe Dumars’ drafting

Modeled after ESPN’s 5-on-5, Patrick and I will answer three questions about a Pistons-related topic.

For each 3-on-3, we’ll be joined by a guest contributor. Today, that’s Matt Moore of CBSSports.com. Hardwood Paroxysm and NBC Sports’ ProBasketballTalk.com.

1. Who was Joe Dumars’ best draft pick?

Dan Feldman: Tayshaun Prince. Picking Prince 23rd in any draft would have been a steal, but 23rd in the 2002 draft is special. None of the 12 players picked before him ever amounted to much in the NBA. To find a near All-Star in that barren wasteland is special.

Patrick Hayes: Mehmet Okur. Since 1990, Okur is one of just 17 players who weren’t first round picks to make an All-Star team. Dumars’ strength in drafts has been finding talent late, and although Okur had his best years after leaving Detroit as a free agent, finding an All-Star big man in the second round is probably the best value pick Dumars has made.

Matt Moore: Tayshaun Prince. Greg Monroe is my first answer, because I hate obvious answers. But come on. Prince will have his jersey in the rafters. Total production, championship ring, highlight reel play (The Block).

2. Who was Joe Dumars’ worst draft pick?

Dan Feldman: Darko. I’m convinced nearly every other would have drafted Darko with the No. 2 pick in 2003, but that doesn’t completely absolve Dumars. The next three picks – Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade – became stars, and even the No. 6 pick, Chris Kaman, made an All-Star game. Dumars could have picked a name out of a hat and done better.

Patrick Hayes: The entire 2009 draft. Taking Austin Daye at No. 15 over Ty Lawson, Jrue Holiday, Darren Collison, Jeff Teague and Eric Maynor will always be the high-profile miss from this draft, but taking DaJuan Summers in the second round at No. 35 when DeJuan Blair was still on the board was worse. Add giving away a pretty solid player in Chase Budinger to Houston, and not even finding Jonas Jerebko at No. 39 can salvage this mess of a draft.

Matt Moore: /desperately searches for a way around the Darko pick. /still searching. /seriously, gotta find one. /it’s here somewhere, I know it. / Nope. Darko.

3. How do you rate Joe Dumars’ total draft record?

Dan Feldman: Excellent. Darko, Rodney White and Mateen Cleaves were high-profile busts, but even with them included, Dumars has done a quality job. He’s been hurt in the draft by the Pistons’ extended run of success – even good picks in the 20s probably aren’t game changers – but with more high picks coming, I’m convinced the draft will be a reliable source of talent for the rebuilding Pistons.

Patrick Hayes: More good than bad. He’s missed on a couple of high profile picks, but he’s consistently found legitimate rotation players all over the draft – Okur, Brian Cardinal, Tayshaun Prince, Amir Johnson, Arron Afflalo, Rodney Stuckey, Jason Maxiell, Jerebko, Carlos Delfino and Greg Monroe give him enough quality over the years to make a case that he knows how to identify talent in the draft. Whether he knows how to develop it is another discussion.

Matt Moore: Really well, actually. Darko busted but still starts in this league all these years later. Jerebko, steal. Afflalo, steal. Knight, quality. Monroe, future All-Star. Delfino, capable player. Dumars can draft. He just never puts himself in a position to draft multiple picks to reform the team.

What do you think? Share your answers in the comments.


  • Feb 6, 20124:12 pm
    by neutes


    1. There have been plenty of elite players taken in the 20′s, so Prince doesn’t wow me enough. Bad draft considered I still can’t go there. He’s been a great pick, but not his best. On top of that the team didn’t even think that much of him. It took Mcgrady talking about the 2nd round of the playoffs before the Pistons were even forced to play Prince. Amir Johnson was taken with the 56th pick, and he’s arguably the best player drafted by Dumars other than Monroe still playing in the NBA. I’m going with Amir.

    2. I could go with Knight (simply considering importance of needing to get it right), but since I don’t want to be crucified I’ll go the easy route – Darko.

    3. Dumars wasted multiple draft classes. The 2009 draft mentioned by Patrick. The 2008 draft. 2004 and 2006 he didn’t have a first rounder, so he got nothing out of either. Like I said in the previous post I consider him average.

  • Feb 6, 20124:37 pm
    by frankie d


    best: amir.  tay and okur are nice options, but to get a guy like amir right at the bottom of the draft was special.
    too bad, joe doesn’t know what to do with guys once he gets them.
    worst: walter sharpe. they need a big guy, cause they’d recently lost ben wallace and  deandre jordan is sitting there.  sure, he had an up and down year at texas a&m, but he was young and obviously still maturing, both physically and mentally.   i was following the draft very closely that year, and there was discussion of jordan going in the lottery.  to have a chance at an athletic near-seven footer who’s a freak athlete, who was, i think only 19 or 20….well, that is what second round picks are for.  who cares about the possible problems with choosing him.  you take a gamble on that guy, if you are ever going to gamble on a player.  joe didn’t.  instead he picks another wing player – when the team had lots of wing guys – but he picks one with an incredibly checkered past, including a bullet in his gut.  if joe picked sharpe because he was the best player on the board, that pick illustrates the folly of rigidly sticking to that formula.  and what made it worse is that he had two cracks at him, because he traded out of the first round to pick him.
    total draft rating:  b-/c+.  some very nice pick ups, some for real value late, as noted.  but you cannot ignore the busts, the cleaves, the whites, the darkos and for me, the blind adherence to the “best player on the board…”philosophy that has helped lead to one of the most poorly constructed rosters in the league.  
    remember…drafting is supposed to help build your team, not accumulate players for a fantasy league.

  • Feb 6, 20124:40 pm
    by Jacob


    1. Prince. Okur is a close 2nd but he’s had his best years away from Detroit. Prince was a starter on a championship team and had the signature play of that championship run (the block). Also consider the mediocrity of the 2002 draft class and finding Prince at 23 puts him on top.
    2. Really hard to argue against Darko but I’d have to go with Rodney White for these reasons: 1) Every GM in the league would have picked Darko at No.2; 2) Darko is still playing in the league 8 years later; 3) White played a total of 16 games for the Pistons; and 4) Joe Johnson, Richard Jefferson, Zach Randolph, Brendan Haywood, Gerald Wallace, Tony Parker, Gilbert Arenas, Brian Scalabrine….oops scratch that last one….were all picked after Rodney White.
    3) Pretty good. The odd thing to me is that he’s had infinitely more success drafting outside of the lottery than in so far. That’s partly because for a string of years they weren’t picking in the lottery but I think we should revisit this question in 4 years when Monroe, Knight, (Davis? Drummond? Hopefully one.), will have had sufficient time to make a judgement on. Then we can evaluate a better sample of his lottery picks in addition to his other picks. My guess is that his drafting will look even better then.

  • Feb 6, 20124:45 pm
    by RandomGuy313


    Ouch PH!! It is almost a shame that those point guards listed after Austin Daye are comma separated because the punctuation alone does not emphasize the hammer blows each of those names resonated in me.

  • Feb 6, 20126:00 pm
    by Max


    1. Monroe is best player taken and Prince is best value.
    2. White is worst taken and Darko is worst value.  He did turn Darko into Stuck who I would at least prefer to Kamen.
    3. He has done very well as compared with other GMs and has rarely made a pick I didn’t agree with on draft day.
    BTW: Daye is doesn’t yet and I’d be fine if we had gotten Jerebko with the 15th pick that year so I don’t agree at all that it was his worst draft.  Rodney White is the no brainer.

  • Feb 6, 20126:05 pm
    by ryan


    I’m not going to break it all down because I’d just be rewriting Jacob’s comments. RG313 also makes a very good point I was livid when we drafted Austin Daye. So between the two of them they’ve pretty much nailed it.
    I will say that I think Joe Dumars needs to be careful of two things. He needs to make sure to develop the players he has because here we are talking about all his solid picks and at the same time most of them helped other teams far, far, far, far more than they helped us. He also needs to build a team that fits together and not just by drafting versatile players but by truly developing a balanced roster.

  • Feb 6, 20127:08 pm
    by frankie d


    i have to lobby for walter sharpe.
    rodney white was a bad choice, yes, but he at least played for 4 years in the league and averaged 7 points a game.  horrible lottery pick, but he could play at the nba level to some degree.  the facts state that truth.
    but walter sharpe?  taken just outside the first round, the second pick of the second round?
    taken before mario chalmers, omar asik, luc mbah a moute, sonny weems,  joey dorsey,  chris doughlas roberts, goran dragic, bill walker, mailik hariston,  and most importantly, deandre jordan? and the guy, nikola pekovic, who was the first pick of the second round, was picked between the spot dumar traded from in the first round, to his second round pick, is the starting center for the timberwolves.  all of those guys are either solid starters or rotation players or have been in the last few years.  that was a great set of second round picks.  
    and dumars picks sharpe.
    a guy with narcolepsy?
    a guy who had been kicked off almost every team he’d ever played on?
    a guy who’d been shot?
    a guy who played one year with detroit, appeared in 8 games and then has not played in an nba game since? 
    yea, white was a bad pick considering the options.  but he played for a number of years.
    yea, darko was a bad pick considering the options, but he’s still playing 8, 9 years later and is a mediocre/decent nba player.
    but walter sharpe?
    a total waste of a draft pick when a player who could make this current team relevant – jordan – was sitting there waiting to be picked.   and when there were several starters and several rotation players picked right after him.

    • Feb 6, 20127:23 pm
      by Max


      Most 2nd round picks utterly fail and some a lot of them don’t even make the NBA.  You have better odds of making money in a casino then you do of picking 2nd round picks who will impact the league at above a 50% rate and I’m being generous because the odds are much worse. Dumars has done very well in the 2nd round in general, but I don’t know how you can take a 2nd round pick so seriously when I barely notice when future 2nd round picks are included in trades.

      • Feb 6, 20128:14 pm
        by frankie d


        it doesn’t matter what generally happens.  what matters is the set of circumstances when a general manager makes a pick.  context is everything.  and if you look at that year’s draft, lots of
        players were picked in the second round – as i’ve noted – who have contributed a lot.  it was a very strong draft.  so the sharpe pick has to be looked at in that context.  
        heck, the white pick was not even the worst pick in the lottery the year he was picked.  eddie griffin probably has to rank as the worst pick of the lottery, with white and kedrick brown not far behind.   and of course, eddy curry and kwame brown have their own seperate category for non-acheivement.  that was a year that has to rank with some of the worst draft years in memory.   it has to rank up there with ’86, the year lenny bias and chris washburn and roy tarpley and william bedford were drafted.
        again, the draft with sharpe was exactly the opposite.   that 2008 draft was so full of talent that teams  grabbed solid starters midway into the second round.  and in that context, dumars picked a guy who plays a total of 20 minutes over 8 games and then he’s gone.
        imho, it doesn’t matter if he’s a first or second round pick…when there is talent available, and a guy blows it like joe did that year, it can’t simply be dismissed as just another second rounder.

        • Feb 7, 20121:05 am
          by Max


          It does matter because you could point out the 2 or 3 2nd round picks that really hit every couple of years and say 28 screwed up and thus, no GM could live up to such a standard.

          • Feb 7, 20121:56 am
            by frankie d

            if a particular year has a high percentage of second round picks that make it, that is what is relevant.
            the fact that generally, the odds are against those picks, is really not relevant.
            if, on the other hand, as happened in 2008, 10+  second round picks who were drafted played and contributed, that is what is relevant.
            how basic is that?
            why would anyone want to argue any differently?
            to do so is simply ridiculous.

          • Feb 7, 20122:21 am
            by Max

            Taking a look at 2008.
            #2 Michael Beasley was a terrible pick.
            #8 Joe Alexander—absolute bust
            From 11 to 20 the only picks that were great values were #17 Hibbert and #18 McGee.  The rest are made up a group of players that either suck or have shown enough to make you think they could be good in the future, but none have been consistent.
            #21 Ryan Anderson looks like a great pick but the jury is very much out on #22 Courtney Lee and #23 Kosta Koufos.
            #24 through #27 were unusually great picks for this section of the draft and Ibaka, Batum, G Hill and D Arthur were taken back to back, but the next three picks were busts unless Donte Green turns it around.
            That’s the first round and so, after the 10th pick of Lopez, only 7 of the next 20 picks in the first round  have so far proven to be good draft picks.
            If I could go back in time, I would pick DeAndre Jordan, who was considered an extremely raw and long term project at center, 8th in the entire draft when he was actually picked 35th.  Do you take this to mean that 22 GMs screwed up the first round by not picking him?

    • Feb 8, 20123:15 pm
      by Dan Feldman


      “a guy with narcolepsy?
      a guy who had been kicked off almost every team he’d ever played on?”

      The logic, as I understood it, was the Sharpe’s narcolepsy had gone undiagnosed for most of his life and caused many of his problems. Properly diagnosed and treated, Sharpe would theoretically move past his troubles and become a productive player. Obviously, it didn’t work out that way.

  • Feb 6, 20127:18 pm
    by C-Foe


    Great topic Dan and Patrick.
    1.  Tayshaun Prince.  Like Ryan said, Jacob’s comments state it best.  I’ll make Affalo my second pick.
    2.  Rodney White.  Again, Ryan’s comments state it best but I’ll add my 1 cent about Darko.  The arguments against Darko started because of how well the players drafted around him played.  However he was the only player who didn’t start the majority of the teams games because he wasn’t drafted to immediately help the team.   This is not to say that Darko is blameless but I think he was in a unique situation.  I often wonder if he went to a team looking for immediate help then would we still have this debate.
    3.  Like Max, I agree that Joe Dumars has done well compared to other GMs.
    Lastly, that “highly regarded” 2003 lottery draft class has only one player who led the team that drafted him to a championship (Dwayne Wade).   He had Shaq (championship winning center) and Pat Riley (championship winning coach).  Cleveland had a lot of success with LeBron and got to the Finals but no trophy.  Also, Wade is the only lottery player still with the team that drafted him.  So IMO most draft picks are crap shoots, it doesn’t guarantee success or a championship.

  • Feb 6, 20127:20 pm
    by Laser


    1. Okur probably. Or Prince. Both great picks.

    2. Looking a lot like Daye.

    3. Simply put, nothing special. I give him no grief over drafting Darko, no credit for drafting Monroe. Because it’s what anyone else would have done in his position. When he’s gone outside the box, he’s probably about average.

    What he does with the picks once he’s made them is another story. He’s fucking atrocious at capitalizing on good picks. Gives them away, fails to develop them. His track record with young talent is so bad, it basically makes the question of how well he drafts completely moot. Because when he hits, he’s just picking out great talent for other teams to fleece us of.

    • Feb 7, 201212:24 am
      by tarsier


      If you give him no grief for Darko, how can he be merely average? He comes out to well above average including Darko and not including Monroe. You know, basically the point of the previous article. Your last point I certainly agree on. Joe’s been awful with guys after drafting them. This is part of why I have long been saying I really hope he is moved to the scouting staff.

  • Feb 6, 20127:30 pm
    by Max


    @Laser….aren’t you willfully ignoring, when you speak of development that while Dumars picked some gems late in the draft that they had very big obstacles on this squad in terms of established all stars who they weren’t going to beat out for a lot of time and more importantly, that those obstacles no longer are there and so his most recent draft picks are getting time and developing here.   You can pick cling to Daye’s struggles getting minutes right now but Knight, Monroe, Stuckey and Jerebko are all averaging a lot of minutes this year and they represent a draft pick each year for the last four.

    • Feb 6, 201211:38 pm
      by Laser


      @Max: Fair warning, I don’t have much patience for you. You gleefully ignore everything Joe Dumars has ever done wrong and support him to an extent that I question your ability to think for yourself. So I’m predispositioned to think I’m talking to a brick wall who doesn’t have any interest in criticism of Joe and would, in fact, kiss him on the lips if given the chance.
      That said: In terms of player development, Joe had a decent stretch where his draft picks were low and his team was competing for championships, which limited the opportunities of his draftees to develop and contribute. But in the time since the team has ceased to be competitive with even average NBA teams, he’s been a miserable failure at addressing this issue. I’m not just talking about his player development either when I refer to what happens to these guys once they get here.
      Stuckey got the minutes he needed, but Joe put WAAAAY too many eggs in that basket, and his baffling over-commitment to Stuckey probably had more to do with the team’s demise than any other single offense by Dumars. So there’s a knock right there. If he properly and conservatively evaluated Stuckey, we wouldn’t have the bleakest future in the league.
      We all know about Darko. Okur was a great pick, but he walked for absolutely nothing because Joe picked Rasheed over him. In hindsight, this was a bad move. It wasn’t exactly a slam-dunk at the time.
      Carlos Delfino was a good draft pick who was underappreciated and given away for nothing. Same goes for Afflalo. Either one of these guys would be starting for us right now if they weren’t traded for second rounders.
      Amir Johnson fell between the time when we were competitive and when we weren’t, but the bottom line is that he was at one time a highly-valued prospect. Joe neither traded him nor properly developed him, and in the end he dumped Amir for less than $2 million in cap space. Another waste.
      Maxiell was a good pick who contributed to the team, but he ended up as an albatross after signing that 4 year $20 million contract he’ll never live up to.
      Tayshaun might even end up in a similar boat, given the contract he just signed. If Joe keeps Tay on the roster and allows him to retire a Piston, it will be an unforgivable move done for posterity’s sake alone. It’s a feather in Joe’s checkered cap, but it really represents what happens even in the best cases for Joe’s draftees: They stick around, have an impact, and become overpriced underperformers who sit on the books forever and fuck up the team’s cap. We absolutely can not afford to pay him $8 million a year well into his thirties on a rebuilding team that’s already locked into too much long-term veteran salary. If Tayshaun is traded in the near future and Joe gets some value for him, this will be a total success story, but this team doesn’t have the luxury of overpaying old veterans just so Joe can say he drafted a career Piston. It’s fucking deplorable.
      Monroe and Knight look like they’re going to continue to be developing properly, but this is a stark change in the team’s established philosophy, and the team is left with very few options or else I’m 100% certain this would not be the case. As recently as last year, the team didn’t have a fucking ghost of a chance of making the playoffs, and we were still playing Rip and T-Mac big minutes while Austin Daye remained untested and DaJuan Summers rotted in obscurity.
      Daye should have been tested by now. We should know who he is, what he can contribute. But we don’t. He’s going on three seasons, and his confidence and development certainly aren’t going in the right direction.
      But yeah, Joe sucks at this sort of thing. A great GM goes on instinct with these things and they work out more often than not. Joe hasn’t nailed it yet. Even the best draft picks either get flushed down the toilet, or Joe taints them enormously.

      • Feb 7, 201212:32 am
        by tarsier


        Wait how was picking Sheed over Okur a bad move?

        • Feb 7, 20129:29 pm
          by apa8ren9


          It wasnt a bad move.  It was an obvious choice because the Pistons werent going to pay Rasheed 10+ million and pay his backup 10+ million with Ben still there.  That’s not how they do business, plus they just won the championship and they made it back to the finals and lost in game 7.  End of story.

          • Feb 7, 20129:31 pm
            by apa8ren9

            My bad, that came of kind of snarky as I read it again. Just reminiscing.

          • Feb 8, 20123:26 pm
            by Dan Feldman

            “Okur was a great pick, but he walked for absolutely nothing because Joe picked Rasheed over him. In hindsight, this was a bad move.”

            If the goal is championship or bust, I guess hindsight says re-signing Sheed was a mistake. Maybe Okur doesn’t win another title, but at least there’s a chance.

            I just don’t think the goal is championship or bust. Under Sheed, the Pistons won a lot of games, advanced deep in the playoffs and sold a lot of tickets. I doubt they would have accomplished more with Okur.

      • Feb 7, 20121:19 am
        by Max


        I’m more insulated than most most on this board as I’ve always lived in New York and have had little access to the Detroit media and even only discovered this site at a fairly recent date–so I’ve been thinking for myself all along and I’m pretty conversant with both the history of the league going back to the 50s and its current status.  I can also tell you that I annually win a lot of money with my BBall knowledge as I play in about 5-10 fantasy leagues a year and have rarely gone a year without winning multiple leagues or at least placing 2nd or winning points or something—one way or the other I profit in my opinion of basketball so I’m a lot less Pistons centric then you might imagine and I make sure I have some awareness of every player in the league.
        I don’t know how old you are but you seem spoiled and impatient and have probably not spent enough time comparing how other dynasties and near dynasties ended up and what they had to go through to turn it around.   I do believe that no GM could live up to what appear to be your standards over time unless he was running the Lakers.
        Your Prince point is part of why I think you must be a young man because men of Dumars age and position of power aren’t thinking about legacies yet and you must think he’s close to done when he probably has another decade or three of being a high level executive in the NBA if he wants to be.
        Finally, I wouldn’t kiss Joe Dumars if it meant the Pistons would go on a better run than Russell’s Celtics.

        • Feb 7, 20121:31 am
          by Max


          I would admit though that growing up in NY as a Pistons fan has turned me into a snarling defender of all things Pistons, but there have always been Pistons I disliked and moves I disagreed with.  The difference might be that I am not reactionary and don’t believe in nit picking and monday morning quarterbacking like a lot of people do.

  • Feb 6, 20128:36 pm
    by frankie d


    btw, when i think of “worst draft pick” i don’t think of the worst player picked. i think of the pick that illustrated the worst judgment at the time the pick was made. that is why, even if darko was obviously a flawed pick, i don’t think he was the worst pick, because the guy has had a long, though mediocre nba career. he’s a player, even if he is a mediocre player.
    rodney white…even though he obviously was not a better player than joe johnson, who was picked right after him, he did play 4 years in the league and he averaged 7 points. a poor nba career, but an nba career, nonetheless.
    similarly, when i think of the “best” pick, i don’t think of the best player chosen – tay probably fits that definition; monroe may end up being the best – but which pick was the best pick under the circumstances. that is why i chose amir. to pick an 18 year old high school kid with the 56th pick in the second round and to have that kid turn into a solid nba starter with an established career which will probably go on for another 7 or 8 years…well, imho, that is a great pick. joe dumars’ best. especially under the circumstances. picking amir at that point in the draft is infinitely more impressive than having monroe and knight fall into his lap in consecutive drafts. those were no-brainers.
    amir took a lot of thought and skill.

  • Feb 6, 20129:05 pm
    by gmehl


    1) Best pick – Tayshaun
    2) Worst pick – Daye (I wanted Lawson)
    3) Dumars draft record – I think Joe has a good draft record finding gems late where i think his strength as a talent scout is best utilized but when he has the pressure of picking earlier i am afraid he gets blinded by all hoopla of what other people are saying. As someone mentioned earlier i don’t think Joe’s draft record is his biggest problem but rather how those picks were managed/utilized afterwards that is. He can definitely see something in players that other scouts can’t late in the draft but seems to struggle with the early round picks. Unfortunately when he should of been picking for talent over position and also not gambling on upside so much early on in his GM career he has definitely learned things the hard way. Another big problem with Joe is he is very stubborn and to proud sometimes to admit his mistakes and move on earlier which has set him back some. Gores seems to have employed a lot of advisers for Joe which i think he was obviously lacking to succeed the last couple of years.

    • Feb 7, 201212:41 am
      by tarsier


      Sorry to pick on you for this. But I’ve been really entertained lately by how many people write “should of.” You do realize, don’t you, that when you hear people say “should of,” they are actually saying “should’ve” which is short for “should have”? “Should of” doesn’t mean anything. It just sounds like two words because the “d” sound is a plosive, which is a type of stop. So making most other consonant sounds immediately thereafter requires a brief pause.

  • Feb 7, 20121:37 am
    by Max


    BTW: I like Afflalo, believed in him, thought he had great chemistry with Stuck and hated to see him go, but a lot of people on this board way overrate him as a result of being unhappy he is gone.  Other names like Delfino and A Johnson are often inflated in the same way and these guys are no better than C level NBA talents and even Afflalo is no better than a C+.  Anyone  remember Dumars defining the 2004 group as saying he won with 4 or 5 Bs.  Well, Afflalo doesn’t approach those guys, he will never be an all star and so he’s no better than a C+.  These were not the franchise altering moves they are made out to be and if all three of those players were just added to this team, they still would not be very good and none of them, despite what some have said, clearly beat out any of the starters.

    • Feb 7, 20122:09 am
      by frankie d


      …whatever…anything to justify horrible personnel moves.
      i’ll take afflalo over any current piston guard.
      if amir was here, he’d be starting with monroe on the front line.
      delfino would be a top 8 rotation player and darko would be an excellent back up center, playing 20 minutes a game.
      those guys do not grow on trees.
      and if they are so freakin easy to acquire, why hasn’t the team acquired those types of players?
      why doesn’t the team have a good, defensive guard who can guard the bigger 2′s?
      why doesn’t the team have a seven foot back up center who can come in and rebound and block shots?
      why doesn’t the team have a wing player like delfino who can play good defense and still hit a 3 point shot every once in a while?
      again, if they are so freakin common, why is detroit scrambling to get those kinds of players?

      • Feb 7, 20122:31 am
        by Max


        Amir’s lower body is to weak to ever be an effective starter in the NBA.  When Joe picked him, he was probably hoping he would grow or fill out but he can’t even win the job consistently in Toronto so I don’t know why you think he’d fair any better here.   Afflalo versus Stuckey is a debate and anyone who thinks differently is nuts.  They might be starting the two of them if they were here this year but if you go by by scenario and we are just adding the three players to this roster without losing anything, I don’t know that the team would be treating Knight any differently and so it would come down to Stuck versus Afflalo and Aaron was never ahead of Stuck when he was here and has so far disappointed a bit this year.  Delfino and Johnson would be in the rotation but how many games do you think this team really wins out of 66 this season with this lineup?
        Personally, they would still look like a non-playoff team to me.

      • Feb 7, 20122:34 am
        by Max


        And I ignored your Darko reference because he was traded for Stuck which was a great move.

        • Feb 7, 20128:20 am
          by neutes


          How great of a move was it though? Without Stuckey they never trade Billups for AI. Without clearing Billups from the cap they never sign Gordon and CV. The Darko trade trade started it all if you think about it. And it’s not like Stuckey is even an average player so I wouldn’t call it that great.

          • Feb 7, 20128:35 am
            by Max

            What, what, what?   I think it all started when Isiah punched Laimbeer.  If he hadn’t broken his hand, we’d still have Isiah and he’d have like 25000 assists by now.   Why did he have to hit him?  Why? It all goes back to that terrible day and you know, who needed Grant Hill?–because he was a below average player even before he got hurt so they should have stuck with Isiah.  Also, if Isiah had stayed, the wouldn’t have had to sign Bison Dele and Dele never would have died.   It all started on that day with the punch.

        • Feb 7, 20129:05 am
          by Patrick Hayes


          Trading Darko for Stuckey doesn’t make that move a wash, it just makes it slightly less terrible. Would you trade Stuckey for Wade? Bosh? Anthony? What makes the Milicic pick bad is the extremely high value of the players who went immediately after him.

          • Feb 7, 20124:01 pm
            by Max

            Picking Darko was a mistake everyone would have made–Wade and Bosh were not even real possibilities.  If they had not picked Darko, it would have been Melo, plain and simple.  When you say anything else, you might as well nit pick every draft and almost every pick could have gone better.   Stuckey would not have been worth the 2nd pick in that draft to be sure but if I recast the draft in order of what I know now and make Stuck available, I would take Stuckey seventh, behind, LBJ, Wade, Bosh, Melo, West, Perkins and right in front of Mo Williams, Boris Diaw and Chris Kamen.   So however you wanna argue about it, instead of getting 2nd pick value, they got 6-10 value or so (Perkins is arguable though I put him ahead) from one of the greatest drafts ever.   Not exactly a bust like many a team makes in the first top 10 picks every year.

          • Feb 7, 20124:12 pm
            by Max

            @Patrick……..it’s also not about making it a wash when I say it was a great movie because on the day it happened Darko no longer approached 2nd pick value.  I think it’s a little silly to relegate the judgement of one move to the context of another that happened years earlier and gives a GM no ability to make up for bad moves.
            Also, my post was more in reference to how he was hypothetically constructing the team and I feel like he must have forgotten to sub Darko out for Stuck.

      • Feb 7, 20129:03 am
        by Patrick Hayes



        Delfino is still one of the more under-appreciated players in the league. He’s better than Prince right now.

        • Feb 7, 201212:51 pm
          by tarsier


          Seriously? He is a decent defender, but nothing special on that end. And he is a BAD offensive player. On his career, he is a 40% shooter. Sure, that is deflated by all his 3s. But he’s not exactly an Anthony Morrow type of deep shooter anyway. Also, he doesn’t take care of the ball. He doesn’t get a ton of turnovers but that is because his usage is so low. He has a 1.6 assist:turnover ratio. I don’t like Prince because he is on a worse contract, thinks he is better than he is, and is generally terribly suited to playing on young Detroit-esque team. But on a talent basis, he is still well ahead of Delfino.

          • Feb 7, 20121:39 pm
            by Patrick Hayes

            Seriously. More athletic/younger/better defender than Prince. Better 3-point shooter. Gets to the line a bit more than Prince on a per-minute basis. Gets way more steals. The difference in their assist and turnover rates is pretty minimal this season. Delfino also has a better rebound rate for his career. I’d definitely rather have Delfino than Prince right now. I don’t think they’ve had equally good careers or anything like that, but I think Delfino is the better player right at this moment.

          • Feb 7, 20129:03 pm
            by apa8ren9

            I agree with you about Delfino.  All you need to know about Delfino and whether or not we made the right move with him was told in that game 7 in the playoffs against Atlanta when they had chance after chance after chance to score 1 bucket and couldnt do it.  If he couldnt come up big there then what makes him a player that we need to fret over.  We need players that will come up big in big spots.  He didnt get to show that in Detroit but he had his chance in Milwaukee and came up empty.  Delfino is just another player, not a building block or major piece to a championship team.

          • Feb 7, 20129:04 pm
            by apa8ren9

            my response was agreeing with @tarsier about Delfino

          • Feb 8, 201212:11 am
            by Max

            Delfino never stays healthy throughout a full season and Prince has only missed signifigant games in one season.  I hate players who get injured though Kandor has resurrected some of them in Det.

        • Feb 7, 20124:02 pm
          by Max


          I think you’re off your rocker.

          • Feb 7, 20124:38 pm
            by frankie d

            i agree wholeheartedly about delfino.
            definitely one of the most underrated all around players in the league.
            when he was with detroit, he was the only piston who could guard wade.
            will never forget a game the year miami won the title.  detroit had basically owned miami, seemed to have a real psychological advantage on them, going back years.  delfino had come into the game and done a great job on wade, basically guarded him one on one and kept him under control.
            then flip did what he always did and brought his starters in, sitting down the bench guys like delfino, and wade got off.  scored something like 14 or 15 straight points in the last 5 minutes of the game, to help give miami a 2 point win.  that game was, imho, almost directly responsible for miami winning the title that year, as they won 15 of the next 16 games and had so much confidence as a result of that win.
            delfino proved then that he had incredible defensive versatility.
            even now, when milwaukee faces a hot wing scorer, during the course of the game, they will try to cool him off by putting delfino on him.
            one of joe d’s worst moves.  
            i also recall when he was traded to toronto.  the reason given was that he wanted to be traded, and joe responded that he was glad to accomodate him.
            that is called hubris.

  • Feb 7, 20122:33 am
    by Max


    And I’m not justifying moves when I call them bad…….I’m just resisting the urge to fill them with helium.

  • Feb 7, 201210:48 am
    by leonelreo


    How can anyone say there’s a worse pick than darko’s? not in Dumars’ history, but in the whole NBA history? OK, it’s not a very bad player, but, just like patrick said:
    “What makes the Milicic pick bad is the extremely high value of the players who went immediately after him”
    Can you imagine Wade in a Pistons uniform, in 2004? Or Anthony, or Bosh? I don’t want to think about it… would start crying…

    • Feb 7, 20124:07 pm
      by Max


      There is a fallibly in talking about who immediately went after a certain player because it suggests they were viable options when in many cases they were not.   I could say for instance that Greg Oden was a worst pick than Darko since it seems like he will ultimately have a better career and that the Pistons choice was only between Darko and Melo.  Durant is better than Melo and Darko is healthier than Oden so on both fronts, it was a worst pick.  However, I would never say that either Darko or Greg Oden was one of the worst picks because most GMs would have done the same thing and if not they were the rare exception who would have passed the grenade to the very next GM who would have licked his chops and come away from the draft as a short lived braggart.

  • Feb 7, 20124:23 pm
    by sebastian


    Joe should trade the 2012 1st round pick to the T-Wolves for Derrick Williams. Then WE can say that Joe has been a good drafter.

  • Feb 7, 201210:23 pm
    by Max


    You can call it hubris if you want but I just think it’s Pistons culture.  How many players since Davidson bought the team asked out and weren’t accommodated rapidly?   I can’t think of any and the Billups trade was definitely at least partially about accommodating his declared desire to finish his career in Denver.

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