Instead, Detroit infamously went with Darko Milicic, who turned out to be one of the biggest busts in League history.
Brown says Milicic’s pre-draft workouts raised several red flags.
“At the time I got the job, they told me they were gonna draft Carmelo,” Brown said.
Despite a 50-32 record in 2002, Detroit had the No. 2 pick in the 2003 NBA Draft after acquiring it in a trade that sent forward Otis Thorpe to the Memphis Grizzlies in 1997.
“What I had understood, we were going to draft Carmelo and then all of a sudden they decided on Darko,” Brown said.
Brown says he wanted to bring in one of the other top prospects to play against Milicic, but it never happened.
“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.’
“We brought Darko in twice and he couldn’t go through a workout with me without getting totally exhausted,” Brown said.