More Misery for Pistons Fans: Worst Draft Picks of the 2000s

In the wake of the 2014 lottery snub, we've decided to soothe Pistons fans' dejection by going back and examining the worst Pistons picks of the 2000s. While the Van Gundy era is expected to turn a new leaf for the organization, here are a few times when we didn't need Cleveland around to waste a perfectly good first round pick.

Rodney White

Year: 2001

Pick: 9th overall (Charlotte)

White's arrival in Detroit coincided with new coach Rick Carlisle, who played White in only 16 games during his rookie campaign - averaging 3.5 points in 8.1 minutes.


White was traded to Denver for a first round pick. He averaged 7.7 points over 186 games with the Nuggets. His stale performances as a Nuggets starter in 2002 did however, qualify Denver for the draft pick which yielded Carmelo Anthony. Yes, the same pick that the Pistons botched in 2003! Hey, speaking of:

Darko Miličić

Year: 2003

Pick: 2nd Overall (Serbia)

Hard to believe it's been 11 years since President Joe Dumars unleashed his big plans for Darko. He passed on a few guys you might have heard of. Carmelo Anthony. Dwayne Wade. Chris Bosch. Kirk Hinrich.

How'd that end up for us?

First Year Statline:

Minutes: 4.7/game

Rebounds: 1.3/game

Points: 1.4/game


Miličić and Carlos Arroyo were traded to Orlando in 2005 for a first round pick (who would become Rodney Stuckey) where he finally got some playing time.  There, he averaged around 22 minutes and almost 8 points per game. He also spent notable time accomplishing virtually nothing exciting in Memphis and Minnesota.

Mateen Cleaves

Year: 2000

Pick: 14th overall (Michigan State)

Hot off of a National Championship, Cleaves was a crowd favorite in his home state when the Pistons selected him at 14th overall. When he arrived, his production didn't transition to the big leagues as many had hoped.

First Year Statline:

5.4 points/game

2.7 assists/game


The Pistons did acquire veteran Jon Barry and a first round pick from Sacramento for Cleaves. He spent the rest of his professional career bouncing around cities, D-Leagues, and overseas. He finally hung up the shoes in 2009, and returned home to be hired by Fox Sports Detroit as a studio analyst.


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