The Detroit Pistons are on the clock! The franchise as the number one overall pick for the first time since 1970. While many in Detroit are nervous that team will get another bust. Others believe that the number one pick is going to change the franchise forever. So let’s bring back the good memories to all Pistons fans. Here is the list of the top 10 best draft selections in Pistons history.
10. Dave DeBusschere
Dave DeBusschere is a player that many young Pistons fans have not heard of. DeBusschere was selected has a territorial pick by his hometown in 1962. Even though his career in Detroit was not as great as his championship years with the Knicks, he still helped the Pistons appear twice in the playoffs. He averaged 16.1 points and 11.2 rebounds per game. For one season, he was a player for Detroit but was a player-position coach for the 1964-1965 season.
9. Lindsey Hunter
Lindsey Hunter was one of the greatest bench players in Pistons history. Hunter was drafted 10th in the 1993 draft by the Pistons. Hunter started his career in Detroit. He moved around for a few seasons until returning to Detroit in 2003. Where he helped the Pistons win the Finals in 2004.
On the floor, Hunter was an incredible shooter and tough defender. He ranks third in 3-pointers made and fourth in steals all-time in the franchise history.
8. Kelly Tripucka
Kelly Tripucka is one of the most underrated drafts picks in Pistons history. Tripucka was 12th in the NBA draft back in 1981. In his rookie year, he was Eastern Conference player of the week and was on the all-rookie first team. He averaged the most points by any rookie that season with 21.61 points per game. In 1984, he helped lead the Pistons back to the playoffs for the first time since 1967. Today, Tripucka works in sports radio.
7. Tayshaun Prince
Tayshaun Prince was one of the critical pieces to the Pistons championship in 2004. The Pistons took Prince with the 23rd pick in 2002. Prince never won as an all-star player in the eyes of the league. But to the Pistons and the city of Detroit, he was everything. Prince did anything he could to help the team succeed. From knocking down key threes to not backing down in the paint. Prince is most famous for his incredible come from behind block on Reggie Miller in the 2004 playoffs.
6. Grant Hill
Grant Hill is one of the greatest what if’s in Pistons history. The Pistons drafted Hill with the number three pick back in 1994. Hill was co-rookie of the year in 1995 alongside Jason Kidd. Hill was on the rise throughout his time in Detroit. In his first six seasons as a Piston, Hill was averaging 21.6 points, 7.9 rebounds, and 6.3 assists per game.
But during his sixth season in 2000, Hill would sprain his ankle seven days before the playoffs. He never overcame that injury, and later the franchise would trade him to Orlando for Ben Wallace. If Hill never got hurt, he could have become not only the most outstanding Piston in history. But he could have been an all-time great player.
5. Dave Bing
Dave Bing is one of the most outstanding leaders on and off the court in Pistons history. The Pistons drafted Bing with the second overall pick in 1966.
He was known for being of the most athletic and explosive players on the court during his era. Not only was he a great playmaker, but also he was a bucket. In his rookie year, he led all rookies with 20.01 points per game and was the most efficient player in his entire rookie class. In his rookie season, he was named rookie of the year in 1967. Bing ranks second all-time in Pistons history for most points made.
After his playing career, he started a steel and mental company called Bing Group. From 2009 to 2013, he was the mayor of Detroit.
4. Bob Lainer
Bob Lainer was the last number one pick ever drafted by the Pistons back in 1970. He ranks second in rebounds, third in points, and fourth in blocks all-time in Pistons history. Lainer led the Pistons to playoffs four-times but only made it to the second round. He went to the all-star game seven times as a Piston. Including winning the MVP of the all-star game in 1974.
3. Dennis Rodman
Dennis Rodman was the biggest steal in Pistons history. The Pistons drafted him in the second round in the 1986 NBA Draft. Rodman, aka “The Worm,” was one of the best defenders in Pistons history. He was known for fighting for rebounds on the court and blocking shots down in the paint. Rodman never backed down from anyone and could get in the heads of some of the greatest players who ever lived. In 1990 and 1991, he was named Defensive Player of the Year.
2. Joe Dumars
Joe Dumars is one of the best shooters in Pistons history. He was taken with the 18th pick in the 1985 NBA Draft. Dumars is the Piston’s all-time leader in 3-point shots made with 990 made threes. Also, Dumars has played the most games in Pistons uniform, with 1,018 career games. He averaged 27.3 points per game and shot 57.6% from the field during his Finals MVP run in 1989.
After his career, Dumars worked in the front office as president of basketball operations. He was executive of the year in 2003. He assembled the “Goin to Work” championship team back in 2004.
1. Isiah Thomas
Isiah Thomas is the best draft pick in the history of the franchise. The Pistons took Thomas second in the 1985 draft. On the court, Thomas was one of the most ruthless and intimidating players on the court. His ability to take over games and winning mentality was a key to the Pistons two championships in 1989 and 1990. Also, he was the MVP in 1990.
Thomas is the Pistons all-time leader in points, assists, steals, and free-throws. And in 1996 the Pistons retired his number 11 jersey. Thomas is one of the greatest players to play in a Pistons uniform.