With the 2015 NBA Draft just hours away, we thought it would be fun to take a look back at the top 5 Detroit Pistons draft picks since 1985. These rankings are based on the value of the pick as much as the production of the player throughout their career with the Pistons.
Did you know the draft in 1985 consisted of 7 rounds? I was only 7 years old at the time and did not recall that. How about the Pistons having 19 draft picks in the 1971 draft? That must have been painful!
Enough chit-chat, here are the top 5 Detroit Pistons draft picks since 1985, based on value and production.
#5 – Tayshaun Prince 2002 (23rd pick of the 1st round)
When the Detroit Pistons selected Tayshaun Prince in the first round of the 2002 NBA Draft, they never could have imagined they were getting a cornerstone to an eventual championship team.
While with the Pistons, Prince was the ideal complimentary player who was unselfish and gave 100% on the defensive end of the court.
Prince’s most memorable moment with the Pistons came in Game 2 of the 2004 Eastern Conference finals when he blocked a Reggie Miller shot, propelling the Pistons to a victory over the Indiana Pacers.
#4 – Grant Hill 1994 (3rd pick of the 1st round)
After a brilliant college career at Duke, Grant Hill was selected by the Detroit Pistons as the third overall pick of the 1994 NBA Draft.
In his first six seasons with the Pistons, Hill averaged 21.6 points, 7.9 rebounds, and 6.3 assists per game.
Though Hill never lead the Pistons to an NBA Championship, he did win and share the NBA Rookie of the Year award with Jason Kidd in 1995 and was All-NBA First Team in 1997.
#3 – Joe Dumars 1985 (18th pick of the 1st round)
After being drafted in the first round of the 1985 NBA Draft, Joe Dumars went on to have an amazing career with the Detroit Pistons.
Dumars was a six-time NBA All-Star and helped lead the Pistons to back-to-back NBA Championships in 1989 and 1990.
Though Dumars was a heck of an offensive player, he will always be remembered for his lockdown defensive skills. Time and time again he gave Michael Jordan fits and even Jordan admits Dumars was the greatest defender he ever had to face in his career.
#2 – Isiah Thomas 1981 (2nd pick of the 1st round)
Isiah Thomas, in my opinion, is the greatest player ever to play for the Detroit Pistons. There is no question about it that he would be No. 1 on this list if we were strictly talking about the greatest Pistons of all time.
Thomas played his college ball and won an NCAA championship at Indiana before being drafted in the first round of the 1981 NBA Draft by the Pistons.
While with the Pistons, Thomas established himself as one of the fiercest competitors in the NBA. He was the leader of the team that won back-to-back NBA Championships in 1989 and 1990. He was a 12-time NBA All-Star while averaging 19.2 points and 9.3 assists per game in his 13-year career with the Pistons.
#1 – Dennis Rodman 1986 (27th pick of the 2nd round)
When talking about the all-time best draft picks based on value and their production in the league, Dennis Rodman tops the list.
Rodman was drafted in the 2nd round of the 1986 NBA Draft and went on to have an amazing career. While with the Detroit Pistons, Rodman was the heart and soul of a team that won back-to-back NBA Championships in 1989 and 1990.
“The Worm” was probably the most tenacious defender ever to play in the NBA and he gave his all on every single play.
Rodman finished his career as a five-time NBA champion and won the NBA Defensive Player of the Year award in 1990 and 1991.