Special to Sports News Highlights

(SNH) — Bad drafts have been the undoing of the Detroit Pistons, overlooking potential All-Star players and settling for duds.

Former coach Stan Van Gundy can take a bow for some of the demise. Instead of owner Tom Gores firing Troy Weaver, he hired Trajan Langdon last week to take over basketball operations and his first move was the dismissal of Weaver, who sunk the Pistons into the worst team in the league.

Gone are the days of the Bad Boys and the Going to Work Pistons.

Detroit’s entire scouting department should come into question after some of the moves it made over the last nine years.

In 2015 they drafted Stanley Johnson out of Arizona. He couldn’t shoot, pass or rebound, but other than that he was fine. Winning four high school state titles in California didn’t mean he was going to be a good NBA player.

Devin Booker was still on the board when they drafted Johnson.

All Booker turned into was one of the best shooting guards in the NBA. He torches opposing guards with his textbook jump shot. He spent most of his life in Grand Rapids, three hours from the now-destroyed Palace.

Johnson has become a nondescript journeyman with his days in the league numbered. He still can’t shoot. Booker is a perennial All-Star.

In 2016 the Pistons drafted Henry Ellenson out of Marquette. Van Gundy told the media if he didn’t mess the kid up, he would be an All-Star.

He messed the kid up.

Ellenson has played most of his career overseas and was a bust, not doing anything significant in the league.

In 2017 the Pistons took Luke Kennard over Donovan Mitchell. Mitchell’s workout was so impressive he started looking for houses in the area. The excuse was Kennard, out of Duke, was a better shooter on a team needing shooting.

Well, Mitchell is an All-Star and one of the most explosive players in the league. A true leader and a warrior, Mitchell will be a perennial star. Meanwhile, Kennard got traded to the LA Clippers and now is in Memphis languishing on the bench.

Lastly, the Pistons took Killian Hayes, a left-hand dominant non-shooting point guard out of France, in 2020 with the seventh pick. A so-so defender, Hayes had trouble going right and never showed enough shooting and ball-handling skills.

The Pistons put him on the trade block, and when they received no takers they cut him.

Taken later in the draft was Tyrese Haliburton, a 6-foot-5 point guard who has emerged as a two-time All-Star for the Indiana Pacers who is about to be paid. He led the Pacers to a series win over the New York Knicks and has a bright future.

Hayes? Who knows.

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