The 2021 NBA Draft is on Thursday at the Barclay Center in Brooklyn, New York. The Detriot Pistons have the number one pick, the first time they had a two pick since 03. In that particular draft, they had the opportunity to select future Hall of Famer Carmelo Anthony. Instead, they elected to draft Darko Miličić.
Darko won a championship with the Pistons the next season, but Carmelo Anthony has had the better overall career. Larry Brown, who was the coach of the Pistons in 2004 that won that championship.
“What I had understood, we were going to draft Carmelo and then all of a sudden they decided on Darko,” Brown said, per Syracuse.com.
“All I asked is why don’t you bring in Carmelo, or (Dwyane) Wade or (Chris) Bosh and let them workout against Darko?” Brown said. “Any smart agent is gonna say, ‘No, I’m not going to let my guy workout against somebody else.’”
Apparently, Brown’s alarm was going off about Miličić before they took him with the second pick.
“We brought Darko in twice and he couldn’t go through a workout with me without getting totally exhausted,” Brown said.
The Pistons are now back and have another opportunity to right that wrong. They are slated to pick the consensus number one pick, Cade Cunningham, out of Oklahoma State University.
I recently spoke with 19-year veteran Jamal Crawford and asked him if Detriot could be dropping the ball by trading the number one pick?
“It just depends on how you look at it. It is amazing and what people don’t truly understand is we see players go somewhere, and we say they missed this person, which is true. However, that person may not have had the same opportunity in a different situation. So, maybe he would not have looked like that in the first part of his career. So, I’m not sure I think Cade is unbelievable, and I think Jalen is unbelievable,” said Crawford.
“I don’t know which one they need for more. I think fit and who will be around those players and how they envision those players’ short-term, midterm, and long-term goals. I think all of those things come into play when you are going somewhere else. I remember when I was a rookie and a lottery pick. I didn’t play much, but I saw people who were either in front of me or behind. That I didn’t think were as talented as me, they were getting a lot of acclaims early. They made the rookie and sophomore games, which I did not make; they may have made the all-rookie team, which I did not make.”
He added, “So, if you look at it like that, Crawford is a bust, but that was not my route. Now, you look back, and you can say I’m one of the better players in the whole draft. So, it just depends on where you go and the fit around you.”
Jamal Crawford was the eighth pick by the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2000 NBA draft and was later traded on draft night to the Chicago Bulls. Crawford last played for the Brooklyn Nets during the 2020 season.