Five Trades the Pistons Can (And Should) Make
Rescently there have been rumors about the possibility of trading point guard Reggie Jackson. Coach Stan Van Gundy even confirmed that the team had recently had conversations with the Timberwolves regarding such a trade. However, it doesn’t look like that move is going to happen. But that got me to thinking; what moves should happen? So here are the five trades that I think the Pistons should be strongly considering in the coming weeks.
Reggie Jackson for Elfrid Payton and Serge Ibaka
This is probably not the move Pistons fans wanted to see in terms of bringing in a new point guard. In fact, Payton is a downgrade in many ways to Jackson. However, Payton does upgrade defense and efficiency overall. The real prize of the deal is Ibaka. He’s in the last year of his contract, so Orlando will likely be looking to get some kind of value for him. He’s a quality stretch power forward who provides rebounding and shot blocking. Plus with trading Jackson it opens up some cap space to resign KCP and even Ibaka in the offseason. So the Magic get a creator to kick start their offense and Detroit gets improved defense and an upgrade at the power forward.
Reggie Jackson and Stanley Johnson for Eric Bledsoe
Now this is the point guard move that fans want to see. Bledsoe has imerged as a very good player over the last couple of years and would be a significant upgrade over Reggie. He can score, pass, shoot the three and create turnovers on defense. So what would make the Suns willing to trade a potential star for a less talent point guard and a wing player who is still unrefined offensively? Bledsoe has never played a full season. His career high of games played was 81 in 2015. His next highest games played total Is this year with 45. So this move is a big risk. Trading away an established player and a second year guy who still has great potential for an injury prone point guard who can take this team to higher levels. This is a move that could either doom or save the Pistons season.
Marcus Morris, Aron Baynes, Ish Smith, Shabazz Muhammad, MIN 2017 2nd round pick and DET 2017 1st round pick to NYK, Reggie Jackson to MIN, Carmelo Anthony, Tyus Jones, and Ricky Rubio to DET.
There are a lot of moving parts to this deal, but they all seem like they would work well for every team involved. The Knicks have been actively shopping Carmelo over the last few weeks and have struggled to find a trade partner. Adding several quality role players as well as a first and early second round pick seems like a great haul for a team everyone knows is trying to sell. For Minnesota, they have talked to Detroit about acquiring Jackson in the past. They get their point guard of the present and keep their point guard of the future. That’s why this is a smart deal for the other two teams. Here’s why it makes sense for Detroit.
First of all, they are getting the best player in this deal with Anthony. He is still one of the better scorers in the game who can creat his own shot and hit open threes. The Pistons need a scorer like that, even if the offense has to run through him. That’s also why adding Rubio makes sense. He’s a point guard who would be happy to pass it off to isolation scorers like Harris and Anthony. His passing and court vision can only help the bigger stars on the roster. On top of that, Rubio is a significantly better defender than Reggie Jackson. So the Pistons improve their perimeter defense and their scoring all at once.
Reggie Bullock and a 2nd round pick for Tim Hardaway Jr.
It’s been rumored that the Hawks are looking to move Hardaway for a 2nd round pick. I think this is a move Detroit should make. He’s a great shooter off the bench and would add an additional scorer to the second unit to go with Harris. The only down side of this move is that Hardaway is on the last year of his contract. However, he might have some insentive to resign with the Pistons next year. He played his college ball right down the road at the University of Michigan, so he should feel fairly comfortable with the area. Of course his father, Tim Hardaway Sr., is an assistant coach with the Pistons so that could be appealing to him as well. If the Pistons can bring him in and sign him to an extension then this is a great under the radar move.
We can’t rule out the possibility that the Pistons just don’t get it together this year and are all but out of the race by the trade deadline. If that’s the case then Detroit needs to take a long hard look at the roster and decide who will be a key part of their long term plans. Anyone not on that list should be shopped and the Pistons should try to acquire as many future assets as they can. It’s hard to say at this point who potential trade partners will be, but I can speculate on what Pistons might be moved.
Aron Baynes is expected to decline his player option and hit free agency after this year. He could be on the move to a contender who needs some interior toughness. Marcus Morris could be traded as well. He’s a versital forward who can shoot from and defend the perimeter; plus his contract is very team friendly. John Leuer is a good shooter from the power forward spot. His contract is a little rich, but a team my be willing to pay for him if they believe Leuer is the missing piece off the bench. Ish Smith is very good in terms of back up point guards. The extended look we got at him running the offense with Jackson out will only increase his trade value. Reggie Bullock could also be moved as a three point shooter on an expiring contract.
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