The Pistons had a chance to draft Carmelo Anthony in 2003, but passed him up to select Darko Milicic.
While Anthony has gone on to an All-Star career with the Nuggets and Knicks, Milicic became one of the NBA’s biggest busts.
As it turns out, Anthony wanted to become a Piston.
“That’s why I was a little bit disappointed,” Anthony told Bleacher Report, “because I really wanted to go to Detroit. You had Chauncey (Billups, his former Nuggets teammate), you had all those guys over there...Detroit, they had something going over there.
“I was told that Detroit was going to take me,” Anthony said. “Once Cleveland made the pick, I was like, ‘Oh, I’m going to Detroit.’”
Billups, now an ESPN analyst, said Anthony would be a different player now if he had been drafted by the Pistons.
“That ball-stopping mentality that Carmelo has? He wouldn’t have had that if he was a Piston,” Billups said. “We wouldn’t let him play like that. He would have been a much better player than he is now—and he’s a great player now."