Career stats: 6.1 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 1.3 bpg, 18.6 mpg in eight seasons.
The Pistons traded Darko in his fourth season to Orlando. In the three seasons prior, Milicic averaged just 5.7 mpg and 1.6 ppg. He’s improved since then. Not enough to justify his No. 2 draft selection, but his numbers have improved. Last year, as a starter for Minnesota, he registered a career-high 8.8 ppg for the season, though the Timberwolves finished with the worst record in the league.
What’s interesting about the 2004 Pistons is that they had an excellent team without that No. 2 pick. After reaching the conference finals in 2003, they won the 2004 NBA Finals over the Los Angeles Lakers with Milicic warming the bench. They reached the Finals again the next year, losing to the San Antonio Spurs in seven tough games. Detroit lost in the Eastern Conference finals the next three seasons, marking their sixth straight conference championship series appearance.
The Pistons missed a huge opportunity when they picked Darko. Carmelo, Wade or Bosh could’ve helped put Detroit over the hump after the 2004 championship season. The thought of one of these superstars with that Pistons team is scary; it could’ve potentially made them one of the best dynasties in all of sports history.
Now, is Darko the biggest NBA Draft bust? His stats are worse than Olowokandi’s, Brown’s and Bowie’s, but he still has time and opportunity to improve on that as he's only 26 years old. But the clincher is Washburn’s short stay in and minimal impact on the NBA.
Three points and two rebounds a game, while playing in only 72 games in three total years (less than one full season) is obviously poorer play than Milicic. Darko’s career isn’t over yet, but I think it’s safe to say that though he’s not quite the biggest bust in NBA history, but the biggest missed opportunity for his team.