The Detroit Pistons made moves before the trade deadline came to a close. Detroit made two trades, with six players involved in the moves. Let’s take a look at the last three days for the Pistons.
On Tuesday afternoon, the Detroit Pistons traded point guard Brandon Jennings and forward Ersan Ilasyova to the Orlando Magic for forward Tobias Harris. Then, after standing pat on Wednesday, the Pistons made a move early Thursday afternoon, acquiring Donatas Montiejunas and Marcus Thornton from the Houston Rockets. There were talks that the Pistons were still in the market and wanted to acquire a backup point guard before the deadline ended, but Detroit stood pat. This does not mean Detroit still will not add a point guard, as they could reach a free agent deal with a buyout player beginning on March 1st. Now, I’ll delve into each trade and talk about each player’s value to the Pistons.
Orlando Magic recieve- Brandon Jennings and Ersan Ilyasova
Detroit Pistons recieve- Tobias Harris
This move is a win-win for both teams. Detroit gains a 23 year old combo forward, who reeks potential. Harris possess’ limited weaknesses that should fix themsleves in Stan Van Gundy’s system. Harris has averaged 13.7 points and 7.0 rebounds per game this season with the Orlando Magic. Harris’ three-point shootign has dropped this season after shooting 36% from behind the arc last season. He is currently shooting just over 31% from distance this season. This is a part of Harris’ game that shoul improve under Van Gundy’s system. Harris also struggles as an iso defender, as players shoot over 50% from the feild against him in isolation situations. There is room for Harris to grow, and he will have that opportunity in Detroit with a group that will surround him well.
Houston Rockets receive- Joel Anthony and 2016 1st round pick
Detroit Pistons recieve- Donatas Montiejunas and Marcus Thornton
When Detroit made the move to bring in Tobias Harris, everyone thought Detroit was done making moves. Stan Van Gundy laughs at your assumption. Van Gundy is never satisfied. He sent rarely used center Joel Anthony along with a top-8 protected 2016 first round pick.
“It’s a calculated risk, a little more risk than some of the other deals we’ve had, but with a very high reward”(Detroit News)
This quote by Stan Van Gundy sums the move up. Donatas Montiejunas is a risk the Pistons took a chance at. He’s been dealing with back injuries for some time, and he’s only played in 14 games this season. Van Gundy does make a point when he praises the reward. Montiejunas can be a very good option for Detroit. A 7’0 big man that can shoot will do that. Van Gundy said Detroit could use Montiejunas as a pairing with Drummond at times, likely against bigger lineups. Montiejunas is a high-risk, high-reward type player, and if he pans out, Detroit will certainly have won the trade.
The Pistons also added sharpshooter Marcus Thornton. He’s a 28 year old wing that could likely also play some point guard. Standing at only 6’4 he is a limited player on defense, so Detroit will need to play him with a good perimeter defender as a pairing. Thornton will help the woeful Pistons bench, and could see some big minutes because of his ability to shoot the ball. This move also foreshadows what is to come of Jodie Meeks, who’s time in Detroit is limited.
The trades made by the Pistons should help stabilize Detroit’s future, while also helping Detroit make their playoff push. They currently are the 9th seed in the Eastern Conference with a record of 27-27. Pistons GM Jeff Bower and Stan Van Gundy are putting together a stellar core group in Detroit, with seven players who are 26 or younger that will be players Detroit builds around.
The future is bright for Detroit, and the moves the Pistons have made at the deadline have made the future even brighter.
Featured image via: USA Today