Joe Dumars Draft History Analysis
Contribution by M. Jones
For my first contribution, i decided it was time to start a discussion and evaluation around everyone’s favorite General Manager. I am talking about the man who wore the Pistons white, blue and red for 14 years and helped lead the Bad Boys to back to back titles: Joe D. For the past few years many pistons fans have been critical of the man as the pistons have slid deeper into the NBA cellar and turned into an annual lottery pick waiting to happen just to lose to the son of the man who now truly runs the D, Dan Gilbert. I won’t get into the legitimacy of the lottery and my gut feeling that the NBA is rubbing the Cavs nuts for the whole LeBron debacle by just happening to draw that top pick repeatedly, we can revisit that in a later blog as the draft approaches. For now, my focus will be on evaluating Joe D’s draft history and his ability to draft and develop his picks over the past decade or so.
Darko Milicic (Round 1, pick 2);
Carlos Delfino (Round 1, pick 25);
Andreas Glyniadakis (Round 2, pick 58)
The draft where it has to start….the infamous 2003 blunder.
Carmelo, Wade, LeBron, Juwanna Man (Bosh) and even Captain Kirk. Ugh. Without a doubt, one of the worst mistakes by any GM in NBA history happened on this day when Dumars fell in love with a Serbian who had a great YouTube clip and ‘unlimited’ potential. I can’t decide if i should move on or dwell on this dark day in pistons history. Joe D was convinced this guy could become the key to many key victories down the road, and he ends up being no more than the human victory cigar. In retrospect, there was a lot of debate at the time whether or not a guy such as wade or melo would gel with the incredible core Dumars assembled as Rip and Tayshaun were in the prime and Motown was rolling but fuck it, we all know the story i will move on.
And then you have Delfino who showed potential for a small part while playing with Detroit and then went on to contribute to a few non-contenders down the road. Delfino is still playing pro-ball. And then there is Andres. Who you ask?? Exactly. Dumars has demonstrated a complete lack of ability to find talent in the second round of any draft he has ever overseen as you will continue to read. It was clear that in 2003, Joe D was going through a phase of foreign love like a sophomore female in college who is studying abroad and getting stuffed like a teddy bear in Paris.
Notable players passed on by Dumars in 2003:
After Darko at 2: Melo (3), Bosh (4), Wade (5), Kaman (Oooh Ahhh you wish you were a Chippewa caveman at 6), Hinrich (aka the NBA 2K create a player you have all made at 7) and David West (18).
After Delfino at 25: Kendrick Perkins, Leonardo Barbosa, Steve Blake, Matt Bonner (Ginger based god) and Kyle Korver.
Draft Grade – Clearly a big Fucking F to start off the show.
Rickey Paulding (Round 2, pick 54)
The draft after hoisting the championship, the Pistons draft picks were limited to one late 2nd rounder, and no real gems would have come from keeping their late first rounder. (Another article on his track record with trades/free agents to come at a future date). Rickey Paulding never panned out but Dumars had very little work with. As a result, this year is not applicable for grading.
Draft Grade – N/A – Hey it’s better than failing after 2003. Let’s move on.
Jason Maxiell (Round 1, pick 26);
Amir Johnson (Round 2, pick 56);
Alex Acker (Round 2, pick 60)
Back to a normal draft year for Dumars to evaluate. Jason Maxiell. The next Big Ben. He’s only 6 foot 7 but he was going to learn from the man and become a force. I have always believed that Dumars invested way too much time and MONEY in maxiell. Dumars believed so much in the dude that he pushed him into a starter role years later and tried to keep convincing someone, anyone, that he was a good pick. Well it turns out he wasn’t at all.
On to Amir Johnson, and the trend of Dumars trading guys he drafted before they developed. Looking back now, Johnson was probably a steal in the 2nd round and probably the only one you will see on this list. Too bad he’s hanging out in Toronto spending all his loonies and toonies on the new Drake albums saying ‘hell yeah fucking right doggie.’ And Alex Acker, yup i will move on again but hey he was the last pick so no big issue there.
Notable players passed on by Dumars in 2005:
After Maxiell at 26: David Lee (30), Brandon Bass (33), Monta Ellis (40), Louis Williams (45)
After Amir at 56: MARCIN GORTAT (57) YES THE POLISH FUCKING HAMMER
Draft Grade – A Firm D – …. At this rate Joe D isn’t getting that diploma
Will Blalock (Round 2, pick 60)
Similar to the 2004 draft, the Pistons draft picks were limited to one late 2nd rounder, and no real gems would have come from keeping their late first rounder. As a result, another N/A. Side note, this was Joe’s first attempt to find someone that Mason could call Will ‘the thrill’.
Draft Grade – N/A
Rodney Stuckey (Round 1, pick 15);
Arron Afflalo (Round 1, pick 27);
Sammy Mejia (Round 2, pick 57)
The first important draft of the rebuilding era for the Stones that has fallen so flat on its face. At the time, the catch phrase was ‘reload’ instead of ‘rebuild’ still but we all know the steep fall from this point. Stuckey is a tough one for me to be critical on. I was very high on this pick from day one and always thought he was going to prove everyone wrong. A high volume scorer at a time when the pistons core could not register 100 on the big board on the Palace with an aging Rip Hamilton. The reason that this pick eventually fell flat was the belief that Stuckey was a star on a good team down the road and not a 5th/6th man on a good team in the long run. Still have a gut feeling that if Rodney can escape Auburn Hills in the next 1-2 years, you will see a resurgence for him and he will live up to expectations more than he has.
To take a step back, Stuck for his career has posted about 13.5 points a game and always shows flashes every week or two. At the end of the day, the lack of ability to ever shoot much above 40% from the field and under 30% from long range are the stats that stick with you and prevent him from excelling. Still not Joe’s worst pick, and definitely not since 2003.
Now onto Afflalo. Damnit. An all-American in his final year at UCLA and a gritty player who could contribute in many ways on the court. And he was from Compton. In a battle for Compton street credit, i would take afflalo over Tayshaun and his lanky ass arms and he even gets a shout out on Kendrick Lamar’s latest album. Battle over. Joe D finally hit on a late draft pick and he’s now scoring 20+ a game and making an argument for a 2014 all-star appearance in a uniform that is not the Detroit Pistons. And Sammy Mejia. C’mon man.
Notable players passed on by Dumars in 2007:
After Stuckey: Marco Belinelli (18), Wilson Chandler (23) the man was never the same after spending time in China with JR Smith, go figure.
Draft Grade – Best of the bunch so far from a pure draft standpoint with no great talent below stuckey and the decision to get Afflalo even though he blew his load later by trading him. B+
D.J. White (Round 1, pick 29); [Rights traded for WALTER SHARPE]
Deron Washington (Round 2, pick 59)
Walter Sharpe played one season and averaged 1.0 points per game. Wow. Let’s move straight to how he messed this one up.
Notable players passed on by Dumars in 2008:
After the 29th pick: Nicola Pekovic (30). Let’s expand on this one. Did you know this man was a stand in for the Goonies movie? Turns out he is a rebound machine and now one half of the big white machine in Minnesota with K Love. Turned out to be a big fuck up, because we had Maxiell so we didn’t need a big man, right? Oh and then there is DeAndre Jordan (35), Omer Asik (36) and Goran Dragic (45). That’s 4 guys drafted late in the draft who are now very solid players and not to mention 3 are big guys which the pistons desperately needed until Dre came to town recently. Just terrible.
Draft Grade – Even though 2nd rounders are tough to call this draft by Joe was pathetic. The list of guys we could have had leave me with no option but another F.
Austin Daye (Round 1, pick 15); [Drafted BJ Mullens at 15 and traded for Daye who was at 30, also acquired Jonas]
DaJuan Summers (Round 2, pick 35);
Jonas Jerebko (Round 2, pick 39);
Chase Budinger (Round 2, pick 44) – Traded to Houston for hand job and a smile.
And we continue on. Joe Dumars clearly was trying to recreate the core he built that won the 2004 championship. Austin Daye. SMH. Austin Daye? DaJuan Summers played ok as a role player and then disappeared. Jonas banged half of Lake Orion and Auburn Hills and then decided he wasn’t ever going to develop. At least Joe D got than good ole’ fashioned in the deal from Houston.
Notable players passed on by Dumars in 2009:
After Daye via the 15: Tyler Hansbrough (16), Jeff Teague (19), Jrue Holiday (20), Ty Lawson (21) and Brandon Jennings (22).
Notable 2nd Rounders: DeMare Carrol (36) I think he sucks but he starts for the Hawks who own us this year, Taj Gibson (38), Darren Collison (42), Danny Green (47), Jodie Meeks (49) and Wesley Matthews (58).
Draft Grade – What the fuck? A deep draft that could have resulted in Lawson and Green and we come out with nothing. D.
Greg Monroe (Round 1, pick 7);
Terrico White (Round 2, pick 36)
Ok, so after years of absolutely failing Joe D is back in the top ten picks of the draft and has a chance to start again. I still remember where i was for this draft and i still remember yelling at the TV begging for Joe D to trade up two picks to get DeMarcus Cousins at 5. Fate fell into the pistons hands finally though on this day as Golden State topped even Dumars and failed hard by picking Ekpe Udoh at 6. This is Dumars best pick to date in this review as the Moose has developed into a VERY good player. I consider Monroe to be one of the most underrated players in the league today. The man can do everything on the court well and is a knock down jump shot and a pistons playoff berth away from being an all-star.
But in all fairness, with a top 10 pick it deserves a deeper dive into who else could be sporting the Motor City jerseys on Sundays.
Notable players passed on by Dumars in 2010:
Gordon Hayward (9) – Still happy with Gmo at this point.
Then you see PAUL GEORGE (10) – Must have been the two first names thing. But damnit, this guy is leading the Pacers to the best record in the land and he has developed into a top 10 guard in all of the world. Damnit again.
Luke Babbit (16) – Terrible pick but Joe’s former apprentice (Hammonds) for the bucks but just still really funny to me that this guy went so high. Milwaukee is the only team who drafts on our level year over year.
Eric Bledsoe (18) – Turned into a good player but still good with GMO.
Notable 2nd Rounders after Terrico: Lance Stephenson (40). For the record Terrico has never registered even a single stat in the NBA. Weak 2nd round besides Lance who is a starter for the league-leading Pacers.
Draft Grade – I still really like the Monroe pick. If George wasn’t in the draft it would be an A, but i have to downgrade it to a B knowing we could have an elite wing player who is about to hit his prime in the next few years.
Brandon Knight (Round 1, pick 8);
Kyle Singler (Round 2, pick 33);
Vernon Macklin (Round 2, pick 52)
Well this is an interesting one for me. I was a huge fan of the Knight pick on draft day and for his rookie season. A one year college player who i thought could develop but he’s already off the roster in 2014. For once we see Dumars getting some value in the second round with THE bucket man. Singler is a solid contributor to the current team, even though the current record in nothing to brag about. I think he will still be on the roster once things finally get turned around and i envision 20,000+ strong in the Palace chanting ‘bucket man’. Macklin created some hype in the D League but still has never shown anything in the NBA so he is probably never going to at this point.
Notable players passed on by Dumars in 2011:
After Knight at 8 – Kemba Walker (9), Klay Thompson (11) DAMNIT, Kawhi Leonard (15), Iman Shumpert (17), Tobias Harris (19), Kenneth Faried (22), Reggie Jackson (24) and Jimmy Butler (30).
Notable 2nd Rounders after Singler at 33: Chandler Parsons (38) and Isiah Thomas (60).
Draft Grade – Was ok with it at the time, but who wouldn’t honestly take essentially any of those guys listed above over Knight (and by association Jennings) today? Not many of you. Thompson, Faried, Jackson, Parsons and Thomas would all look pretty damn good in the Stones uniform these days. Given the fact that i thought Knight was a steal on draft day and he was later swapped for Jennings who can hoop, i will let Joe get away with a C+ here.
Andre Drummond (Round 1, pick 9);
Khris Middleton (Round 2, pick 39);
Kim English (Round 2, pick 44)
Finally a true bright spot. Andre is one of the best centers in the league at a very young age and will only continue to develop. Joe D hit the jackpot on this one and now has the piece he needs to build a contender once again. Middleton and English are both already no longer affiliated with the Pistons, so i consider those wasted picks.
Notable players passed on by Dumars in 2012:
After Dre at 9 – After closer review of the 2012 draft after the 9th pick, it is clearly one of the weakest drafts in years. Again a pure home run here for Joe D, which may have saved his job.
Draft Grade – A+. Yes an A+, trust me the rest of the draft is terrible at this point.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (Round 1, pick 8);
Tony Mitchell (Round 2, pick 37);
Peyton Siva (Round 2, pick 56)
This is toughest to rate so far given that we are not even at the all-star break yet for the rookie season of the draft class. I was surprised by the pick on draft day, but i have seen a few flashes from KCP that suggest there may be some light at the end of the tunnel here. He is currently on a roster full of guys who shoot like they will never touch the ball again with J Smooth, Jennings, Stuckey and Will the Thrill. Mitchell showed big flashes in summer league but is having trouble getting on the court. Siva seems like he should see some time but the backcourt, like always under Dumars’ rule is log-jammed. Still worth analyzing the early results to see if there was a miss here.
Notable players passed on by Dumars in 2013:
After KCP and 8 – It starts with Trey Burke at 9. I watched nearly every game of his career at Michigan and was disappointed we passed on Trey Trey. He has started to turn around a terrible Utah team, so probably a mistake here all bias aside. Then you have Carter-Williams at 11 who has been lighting the NBA on fire and may be on the way to rookie of the year honors. Can’t forget to give Timmy a shout out at 24 too, he is starting to play well for the Knicks and will benefit if they can ever rid themselves of the debacle that the resigning of JR Smith was this offseason. Just watch out Timmy, this dumb asshole may untie your shoes in practice of straight-up bring the glock to work Gilbert Arenas style. Probably too early to judge the 2nd rounders just yet, but no obvious misses at this point in time.
Draft Grade – B. Outside of MCW and Trey, no obvious screw up just yet. Let’s give KCP sometime before throwing Joe D under the bus AGAIN.
Overall there are definitely more failures than success stories to speak of. And though I realize the drafts are crap shoots at times, there are successful NBA GM’s that are very effective and reload over and over just ask the Spurs. Joe D has been on borrowed time for years now, but has hung on by throwing nearly a dozen coaches under the bus. In this guy’s opinion, he has made more of a case for replacement than extension. Tom Gores (and his hair) should be on the recruiting trail now unless some drastic happens.