During the 2010s, the Detroit Pistons had one of the worst decades in the NBA. Here’s why:
The Pistons were one of two teams that did not win a playoff game in the 2010s (the Kings did not make the playoffs in the 2010s). The Pistons were swept by the best team in the Eastern conference the two times they made the playoffs. In 2016, the Cavs won four games, but the Pistons did make it interesting with two single-digit losses. But, in 2019, the Pistons closest game was sixteen points. All in all, the second-worst playoff resume of the 2010s.
In the 2012 NBA Draft, the Pistons drafted the only two all-stars (touch on both later) they had drafted since 2001. But, other than that, a rough decade for drafting too.
Greg Monroe (R:1 P:7)
He was a solid Piston for the five seasons he played in Detroit. But, he was drafted two picks before Gordan Hayward and three picks before Paul George.
Terrico White (R:2 P:36)
“Who’s he? I don’t remember him playing in the NBA.” Same here. He was drafted 36th (four picks before Lance Stephenson) and never played in the NBA.
Brandon Knight (R:1 P:8)
When a player’s run on a team can get summed up by this clip:
It’s rough. Then, the fact he was drafted a pick before Kemba Walker and three picks before Klay Thompson added to the misery.
Kyle Singler (R:2 P:33)
He was crowned Bleacher Report’s worst player in the NBA at the end of the 2015-16 season.
Vernon Macklin (R:2 P:52)
I wouldn’t have added him to the list because he was drafted 52nd. But, four picks later, E’Twuan Moore was selected. So, I needed to add him.
Andre Drummond (R:1 P:8)
As the best Piston of the decade, he was the best draft pick of the decade too. Drummond was their best-picked player also. He was drafted before Meyers Leonard and John Henson, so they picked the right guy. Might have been the best move of the decade by this Pistons team.
Khris Middleton (R:2 P:39)
Drafting an All-Star in the second round would have been amazing if only they kept him past his rookie season. They weren’t able to get his best out of him, which could have been their worst move of the decade. I’ll get into it later.
Kim English (R:2 P:44)
Nothing to say here. Not drafted above any great player. So, decent pick, I guess.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (R:1 P:8)
I’d say he would be a good pick being the best shooter they drafted this decade but, he was drafted before some great talent. KCP was drafted before CJ McCollum and Giannis Antetkunmpo. But, you could also say the same thing about Anthony Bennett and Ben McLemore. Yeah, that draft was messed up.
Tony Mitchell (R:2 P:37)
Nothing insane here.
Peyton Siva (R:2 P:56)
Spencer Dinwiddie (R:2 P:38)
Another great pick they weren’t able to get the most out of before getting rid of him. Nothing new here. Also, a good stretch of picks in the second round:
38) Spencer Dinwiddie
39) Jerami Grant
40) Glenn Robinson
41) Nikola Jokic
Stanley Johnson (R:1 P:8)
Terrible pick. He went two picks before Justice Winslow and five picks before Devin Booker. Don’t think much explanation is needed on a guy who had a poor ethic when they drafted him and should have been realized in the pre-draft scouting.
Darrun Hillard (R:2 P:38)
Picked before two picks before Josh Richardson and Pat Connaughton, who both played three times as many games as Darrun. Another terrible pick.
Henry Ellison (R:1 P:19)
After making the playoffs the first time in the decade, the Pistons waste another pick. Henry has only played 81 games in his career. As every Pistons fan, one would hear updates on this guy dominating games in Grand Rapids and the Summer League. Also, he was drafted a pick before Malik Beasley and two before Caris LeVert.
Michael Gbinije (R:2 P:49)
Another worthless second round pick. Nothing came after besides Oakland great Kay Felder. (Note: Saw him live almost single handly beat Michigan State at the Palace)
Luke Kennard (R:1 P:12)
Quickly became a lousy pick after Donovan Mitchell, who went one pick after, had a ROY-type season. Also, the pick after him was All-Star Bam Adebayo. If Luke Kennard is the future of the team, it’s not going to be a bright one.
2018 & 2019 are too early to tell right now. But, I think this is enough trash picks by the Pistons to say they failed at drafting in the 2010s.
Ben Gordon and 2013 1st Round Lottery-Protected Pick to the Bobcats for Corey Maggette
The pick ended up being the ninth pick in the 2014 Draft, Noah Vonleah. The Pistons could have picked up a solid player like Zach Lavine or Gary Harris but probably would have ended up being another crappy pick, as seen above. They made the move to clear up cap space. It makes sense for a 25-41 season.
Brandon Knight, Khris Middleton, and Viacheslav Kravtsov to the Bucks for Brandon Jennings
It’s fair to say Brandon Jennings was not the best player in the trade. Definitely, not worth 22-year-olds Khris Middleton and Brandon Knight. Tough look for the Pistons.
DJ Augustin, Kyle Singler, and 2019 2nd Round Pick to the Thunder for Reggie Jackson
I can tell you one thing, Reggie is not a great point guard. Another story, they beat the 73-9 Warriors as Reggie Jackson arrived as a Piston. My brother, mother, and I watched history occur at the Palace as Reggie Jackson saw it from the bench in street clothes. Must have been the most significant victory of his NBA career.
2020 2nd Round Pick to the Suns for Reggie Bullock, Marcus Morris, and Danny Granger
I didn’t say all trades were bad trades (yet). The Pistons for sure won this trade having players the caliber of Marcus Morris, and Reggie Bullock were great assets to have on an eighth seed team.
Ersan Ilyasova and Brandon Jennings to the Magic for Tobias Harris
Another great trade. Sure, Ersan is a good player with the Bucks now, but Tobias was a great player in Detroit. He’s going to be a great player on my favorite team, 76ers, for years to come (hopefully).
Spencer Dinwiddie to the Bulls for Cameron Bairstow
Yep. Another terrible trade. Zero games played with the Pistons by Cameron.
Marcus Morris to the Celtics for Avery Bradley
Celtics win the trade when it comes down to the nitty-gritty. I don’t think Morris nor Avery would be good Pistons unless they were winning, which is their struggle. Winning is everything with Morris and Bradley.
Avery Bradley, Tobias Harris, a 2018 1st Round Pick, a 2019 Second Round Pick, and Boban (Yep, he’s a one name athlete) to the Clippers for Blake Griffin, Brice Johnson, and Willie Reed
The trade is tough to look at, Tobias and a 1st might be worth the same as Blake Griffin right now. If that. I don’t know who would trade for him with the insane contract and injury history. Also, the first-round pick became Miles Bridges. Thus, this trade was another L for the Pistons.
The Final WORDS
All in all, the Pistons had the worst decade by any team in the NBA. But, as people say, it’s all about the future. The team has to actually get worse to get better. If they want to be great, they will have to build through the draft which, hopefully, flips their luck this upcoming decade.