Guest Author Max DeMara Tells us his Thoughts on the Pistons Draft

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Don’t Criticize Dumars Over Responsible Draft


By Max DeMara


In this shoot first, ask questions later landscape that we as fans sometimes occupy, it’s important to take a step back when analyzing the Pistons 2008 draft class.


Rarely, outside of the top players available and lottery picks, are there budding superstars just waiting to be selected in the middle and late stages of the first round. There are exceptions, as in any draft, but the majority of these players are projects waiting to be molded in Europe, the developmental league, and their NBA team’s bench. Fans are completely consumed by sexy names of college players they have been exposed to by CBS, ESPN and big time tournament play. They become agitated when teams pass on these players for projects or lesser known talent from small schools. Such was the case last night as the Pistons picks rolled in.


First, they selected D.J. White at pick 29 in the first round. He didn’t last long in the Pistons organization as they spun him off to Seattle for two more picks in the second round. Fans wondered why Joe Dumars would make such a move, trading a reigning Big Ten player of the year winner for essentially what many assumed would amount to lesser talent. Detroit product Chris Douglas-Roberts slipped into the second round and the Pistons passed on him for Walter Sharpe, a 6-9 question mark from UAB. Later, they passed on super talented but injury plagued Bill Walker for BYU center Trent Plaisted. Near the end of the draft, they selected Deron Washington, a hard-nosed defensive minded Hokie. Some fans were left to wonder why the Pistons would pass on Douglas-Roberts and other big name talent for lesser known players. The answer is simple; these players fit their system, are affordable and can be groomed to become solid contributors.


The Pistons track record with the draft (with the exception of the Darko fiasco) is extremely solid. They have developed Tayshaun Prince, Rodney Stuckey, Aaron Afflalo, Jason Maxiell and Amir Johnson to become solid NBA talent. Each of these guys had something to prove, coming in with chips on their shoulder and several question marks but also having the reputation for being hard working players and good teammates. Nothing about this latest edition of Pistons draft picks is different. Each one of these players can be developed.

One or two may even come out of the woodwork to surprise us in the future and be solid NBA talent. If not, there has been little money invested in them with no guaranteed contracts going to second round picks. It’s a brilliant win-win situation for a team who drafts and develops as solidly as the Pistons.


Anyone who seriously thought the Pistons summer of changes hinged on the draft alone was mistaken. The fun will take place over the next few months as the Pistons look to shake up their roster and make the important changes within trades and free agency. This draft was simply a way for the team to play around and take some fliers on super talented but misunderstood prospects.


Joe Dumars drafts with a low risk, high reward philosophy. Drafting as low as they do every year, this is something that Pistons fans should surely appreciate.