2011 NBA Draft still hurts a decade later


Every NBA team has a draft or two (or ten) they’d love to do again, including the Detroit Pistons.

The NBA Draft is a dice game, although it’s pretty easy to see where teams went wrong with the knack of hindsight.

You can review every Pistons draft to see who they should have taken and some years will stand out more than others, especially the disastrous 2003 draft where the Pistons sadly picked. Darko Milicic on Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.

But the 2011 NBA Draft was almost as bad, as the Pistons passed up the opportunity to draft a few future Hall of Fame members who still dominate the league now.

The Pistons won the title after drafting Darko, so while it would have cost them a shot at getting more titles, they were still very good.

The 2011 NBA Draft was really what started a decade of horrific basketball that the Pistons are just starting to emerge from.

Detroit Pistons: 2011 NBA draft set franchise back

The Pistons rescued Knight of Brandon with the 8th pick in the 2011 NBA Draft. At first glance, you might not think it’s even close to their worst pick, as Knight has had a pretty good career that included an All-Rookie team and a season for the Suns during which he averaged just under 20 points per game.

It’s not really about who the Pistons took in this draft, but who they didn’t, as Knight is out of the league while several of his draft class are still playing at a high level.

After Knight was picked 8th, Kemba Walker went with the next pick. Walker still plays at a high level for the Boston Celtics and is a four-time All-Star.

Klay Thompson, one of the greatest shooters in NBA history, picked number 11.

A guy called Kawhi Leonard finished 15th and has since won two Defensive Player of the Year awards, two titles and two MVPs of the Finals while also becoming one of the best two-way players in the league. OUCH.

Nikola Vucevic went 16th, Tobias Harris made three picks later and Jimmy Butler was picked with the 30th overall pick, a mistake made by every team in the NBA except the Chicago Bulls.

How would the last decade have been if the Pistons had taken Kemba Walker? Kawhi Leonard? Klay Thompson?

It’s safe to say a few teams would love to have this draft, as the Timberwolves took on Derrick Williams with second pick, Jazz reached Enes Kanter with number three, while Tristan Thompson, Jonas ValančiÅ«nas, Jan Veselý and Bismack Biyombo are went 4-7 just before Knight. This could be the all-time lineup of “worst draft picks” you could find.

With several players from the 2011 NBA Draft still dominating the league, it’s safe to say that the Detroit Pistons wish they could do this again and that it still hurts the franchise ten years later.


About Kimberly Alley

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