Joe Dumars’ Draft History Shows Need For Improvement


Thursday’s NBA draft will the twelfth of Joe Dumars’ career as the Piston’s GM, but so far his draft history leaves much to be desired (especially when it comes to first round picks).

Dumars has made ten first round selections since becoming the Piston’s GM in 2000, but of those ten picks, only Tayshaun Prince has gone on to become a sure-fire NBA starter (although Greg Monroe appears to be as well). Here’s what Joe D’s draft history looks like in graphical form:

I used average win shares (as reported on per season as a stat to try to capture how much value each player has provided since being drafted. It’s probably not exactly correct, but the ranges get us in the right ballpark.

Of particular concern to me is Dumars’ success rate on picks in the top half of the first round. Greg Monroe certainly looks like the real deal (although the jury is still out on him), but there’s not another sure-fire starter among Dumars’ six top-15 picks.

Rodney Stuckey has turned into perhaps a decent player after four years in the league, Austin Daye hasn’t proven anything at all yet, and no one can argue that Mateen Cleaves, Rodney White, and Darko Milicic were anything but busts.

The good news is that Joe D hasn’t busted on a first round selection in a number of years. The red dots on the graph represent Piston picks from the beginning of Dumars’ tenure as GM through the Darko Milicic (2003) draft. The blue dots are everything since then (2004-present). It seems that the draft (and subsequent bust) of Milicic spurred a change of philosophy. The pre-Darko draft years (red dots) contained 50% international players, but Dumars has selected only one such player in the years since (Jonas Jerebko).

Excellent Picks

  • Mehmet Okur (38th overall in 2001)
  • Tayshaun Prince (23rd overall in 2002)
  • Greg Monroe (7th overall in 2010)

Average(ish) Players

  • Carlos Delfino (25th overall in 2003)
  • Jason Maxiell (26th overall in 2005)
  • Amir Johnson (56th overall in 2005)
  • Rodney Stuckey (15th overall in 2007)
  • Arron Afflalo (27th overall in 2007)
  • Jonas Jerebko (39th overall in 2009)

Role Players

  • Brian Cardinal (44th overall in 2000)
  • Austin Daye (15th overall in 2009)


  • Mateen Cleaves (14th overall in 2000)
  • Rodney White (9th overall in 2001)
  • Darko Milicic (3rd overall in 2003)
  • Andreas Gliniadakis (58th overall in 2003)
  • Rickey Paulding (54th overall in 2004)
  • Alex Acker (60th overall in 2005)
  • Will Blalock (60th overall in 2006)
  • Sammy Mejia (57th overall in 2007)
  • Walter Sharpe* (32nd overall in 2008)
  • Trent Plaisted* (46th overall in 2008)
  • Deron Washington (59th overall in 2008)
  • DaJuan Summers (65th overall in 2009)

Too Soon To Tell

  • Terrico White (36th overall in 2010)

*Drafted by Seattle for Detroit

You don’t really ever expect much value out of the second rounders, so I’m not worried about all of those picks. But I would expect more than a handful of quality players in eleven years worth of selections.

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