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Detroit Pistons

The Detroit Pistons is another in a long line of ex-NBA Champs that have fallen into the Lottery blues.  They have the 9th pick and are represented by Robbie Bolton who selects:

Rodney White, PF, 6'8", Charlotte

Draft History

  • 1990 - Lance Blanks, G, Texas (26)
  • 1991 - Doug Overton, G, LaSalle (40)
  • 1992 - Don MacLean, F, UCLA, (19)
  • 1993 - Lindsey Hunter, G, Jackson State (10) Allan Houston, G, Tennessee (11)
  • 1994 - Grant Hill, F, Duke (3); Jevon Crudup F, Missouri (48)
  • 1995 - Theo Ratliff, F, Wyoming (18); Randolph Childress, G, Wake Forest (19); Lou Roe, F, Massachusetts (30); Don Reid, C, Georgetown (58)
  • 1996 - Jerome Williams, F, Georgetown (26)
  • 1997 - Scot Pollard, F, Kansas (19); Charles O'Bannon, F, UCLA (32)
  • 1998 - Bonzi Wells, G, Ball St. (11); Korleone Young, F, Hargrave Military Academy (40)
  • 1999 - Melvin Levett, G, Cincinnati (54)
  • 2000 - Mateen Cleaves, G, Michigan State (14); Brian Cardinal G, Purdue (44)

Team Needs

Swing Guard, Small Forward, Center

They could use a third guard who can play the point and is big enough to play the 2. What team doesn't need a center who can provide some offensive post-production, d-up Shaq, and be a shot-blocking presence in the lane???? The pistons are no different than about 20 other teams in need of quality production from the 5 spot. They also need depth and more athleticism at small forward position.

Team Overview:

Other than Jerry Stackhouse receiving his second straight all-star birth and nearly winning the scoring title, there was not much to get excited about with this year's squad. Ben Wallace was a bright spot dominating the boards and playing out of position at center and Brian Cardinal showed flashes towards the end of the season for Bill Lambeer-like potential. Mateen Cleaves displayed some good floor general qualities. The team made a good deal in getting Corliss Williamson from the Raptors. So far I've been nice in trying to look on the bright side for a change. On the down side, the Pistons have a shooting guard who only resorts to passing when held at gunpoint. Usually, he just assumes the rest of the team can get their shots on by getting his rebounds. They get very little point production from the 1. They need an athletic 3. They have no player who can provide offensive production in the post, and like the other 20 teams in the NBA they lack an intimidating shot-blocking presence.

Point Guard

Mateen Cleaves, Chucky Atkins

Atkins started the season off solid, but then his shooting went south and with that, this abilty pull the double teams away from Stackhouse. Mateen has become a good distributor and a solid pass-first point guard. The question will be, whether or not he can develop a good enough shot to become a good NBA staring point guard. My hope is that he will be able to because he is a hard worker who is committed to Detroit and wants to become a better all-around player. But if you've ever watched him shoot, you have to wonder if there is any hope for it.

Shooting Guard

Jerry Stackhouse, Dana Baros, Michael Curry

Jerry, Jerry, Jerry. Those were are number 1, number 2, and number 3 options on offense. His outside shooting has proved dramatically since he was a rookie, he's a second time all-star, he wants to be in Detroit, and he's still young. But there is grumbling from those within the organization that he doesn't get his teammates involved enough and has a poor attitude, and they would ship him out in a heartbeat if they thought that they could get equal value (meaning another young, all-star). Baros is not a bad third guard, a good shooter, and will probably benefit next year with the new zone rules. He can play the point and the 2, but is a little small to be guarding most shooting guards. Curry will probably be a Pistons assistant coach someday. He's a great locker-room guy and a tough defender, but not much after that.

Small Forward

Corliss Williamson, Judd Bucheler, John Wallace, Billy Owens

All of these guys have been cycled through here throughout the season, Williamson with the most success. Bucheler is a journeyman who can shoot and the Pistions are over-paying him. (It would be nice if he and his salary could be packaged in a larger deal to another team). Wallace would probably be a good fit if he would ever start playing some D. The guy is a scorer and can put it in the basket, but lacks heart on the defensive end. Maybe new Coach, Rick Carlisle, will be able to get him to be a little more defensive minded. Owens is too old and should retire. He spent most of his time on the IR.

Power Forward

Ben Wallace, Joe Smith, Brian Cardinal, Kornel David

The surprise play of Ben Wallace lessens the loss of Grant Hill somewhat. Many just thought that Atkins and Wallace were just throw-in's so Detroit could get something out of this trade, but VP Joe Dumars actually took Orlando's best post-defender, rebounder, and back-up point guard. Unfortunately, he had to play out of position at center much of the time and guard much bigger players. I'd like to see what he would be able to do if the Pistons land a center and enable Wallace to play his natural position. Smith turned out to be a good pick-up for one season, but he is more suited for the three because of his soft game. Cardinal showed some potential towards the end of the season when he finally got off the IR. He should be a solid back-up at this position for years to come. David came over in a trade and seldom made it off the IR.


Mikki Moore

After Montross was dealt to the Raptor's in the Jerome Williams deal, Moore was left as the only 7-footer on the roster. Unfortunately for the Pistons, Mikki Doesn't play like he's seven foot and Ben Wallace spent most of his time at the 5. There's talk that Moore will be moved to the 4 next year.


Curry, Cleaves, Stackhouse, Bucheler, Moore, B. Wallace, Atkins, J. Wallace


Corliss Williamson, Joe Smith, Billy Owens, Kornel David, Brian Cardinal, Dana Baros

* The Pistons will try to re-sign Williamson. Baros and Cardinal will be re-signed if they don't demand too much money, but probably not till after all of the big free-agents have been signed. Minnesota is ready to take you back with open arms, Joe. Go to your home.

My Selection

Rodney White, SF, Freshman, UNC-Charlotte

White reminds me a lot of a Shawn Marion-type player. However, he's still very young and has to develop, but Jerry West has called him the best player in the draft and reportedly MJ is trying to get him and has actually toyed with the idea of picking him number one. The Pistons are looking for a 3 who can score and is athletic enough to get out on the break and play good D. White seems to fit all the categories and then some. I'm terribly surprised that he is still on our draft board. (Thank you Golden State for picking Zach Randalph!!)

Other Players Considered

Shane Battier - SF, Senior, Duke

Surprised he is here. There is some talk that he might be taken number one. Detroit will think long and hard about him if he is here. They'd like another experience rookie like Mateen, but Battier hasn't as of yet come in for an interview and private workout. Maybe he's trying to say he doesn't want to come back home to Detroit or maybe he just figures that he won't fall this far.

Desagana Diop - C, Oak Hills HS

Definitely, has an NBA body, but still very young and learning the game. Could be a great player one day, but is probably at least a few years away from fulfilling that potential.

Brendan Haywood - C, Senior, North Carolina

He's been in to interview and workout with the Pistons, and they like him, but not this high. If Vancouver had deferred this year's pick to them, they may have used this one on him. But I think the priority is still small forward.

Who Team Will Probably Take

Who knows??? This draft is looking to be very difficult to predict. The NBA should make the shift holding the free agency signing period prior to the draft. The Pistons are looking to take a small forward with the 9th pick unless they make a deal or something crazy happen like on of the top three high schooler's falling to no. 9. If Jason Richardson or Rodney White is there, Detroit will nab them. There's a chance one of them could slide that far, but not both. If both are gone, look for Joe Johnson. Pau Gasol has an outside shot of being taken, but I think much like Sakalidis last year team's will be scared away by the unknowns about his contract situation.

Other Off-Season Moves Team Should Make

They need to strike gold in free agency going for whichever position they don't fill in the draft (center or small forward. Webber would be nice, but I'm not holding my breath on that one. Detroit will be players this off-season seeing that they are one of the few teams that has the cap room to make some deal and/or broker some deals. Williamson should be re-signed, as should Baros and Cardinal if possible. It wouldn't surprise me in the least if they tried to move Stackhouse this summer. We shall see.