This is one of the most exciting times of the year for NBA fans. The All Star break is upon us and the trade rumors are really starting to heat up. In some cases, teams have already started making moves (such as the Raptors acquiring Serge Ibaka). I response to this latest move, I felt like a good time to fire up the old trade machine to see what deals could be out there for the Pistons. Here is one move I found interesting.
Atlanta gets – Reggie Bullock, Brian Roberts, Treveon Graham and Detroit’s 2nd round pick
Charlotte gets – Reggie Jackson, Tobias Harris and Detroit’s first round pick.
Detroit gets – Kemba Walker, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Tim Hardaway jr.
The Hawks have been rumored to be shopping Hardaway for several weeks, seeking a 2nd round pick in return. He is on the final year of his contract and Atlanta would want to get value back for him if they feel that he won’t resign with the team. This gets them the draft pick the seek and they add a few low level guys who won’t clog up their books.
The Hornets are starting to fade out of the playoff picture, currently seven games under .500. It’s time to take a look in the mirror and really decide if this is the core of players that is going to get them to the next level. I believe it is not. If Charlotte’s front office feels the same way, it is time to jump start the rebuild. Their most valuable asset is undoubtedly Kemba Walker so it is logical that he is included in any major move made. In this scenario, the Hornets get a point guard who has shown he can score and run an offense, get a much improved scorer at the small forward position and get what could be a lottery pick. They also get out of Michael Kidd-Gilchrist’s contract which at this point looks like a rich deal for a player that isn’t going to develop as a scorer.
The Piston’s also get out of a contract that isn’t looking great right now (Reggie Jackson) and replace him with a far superior player. Walker is an All Star caliber point guard to run their offense and make things happen. They also add shooting depth off the bench in the form of Hardaway jr. These two moves will help the Pistons offense, specifically their three point shooting, as they look to make a playoff push. The addition of MKG isn’t all bad for them either. He is a proven defender and will improve the depth if nothing else. He could be the starting small forward or more likely come in as a defender and hustle player off the bench. This move does cost them this year’s batch of draft picks, which is not something Van Gundy will give up easily, but it greatly improves this team for the immediate future and locks up one of the better point guards in the east to run a Pistons offense that has been fairly poor this year. It’s a gamble that the Pistons can make the playoffs and assure that those lost draft picks won’t be high ones.
New projected Pistons lineup
PG- Walker / Smith
SG- Caldwell-Pope / Hardaway
SF – Johnson / Kidd-Gilchrist
PF- Morris / Leuer
C- Drummond / Baynes
This projected gives the Pistons a very strong perimeter defense. Walker, Caldwell-Pope and Johnson are all very strong defenders; as is Kidd-Gilchrist off the bench. This gives the Pistons a defensive identity that they haven’t really had in the past (despite being a pretty good defensive team overall). It also provides good three point shooting with Walker and Hardaway off the bench (both of whom are very good shooters from deep). The small forward position doesn’t really bring much offensively at this point, but Johnson has shown some ability in his shooting. That would have to continue to develop for this deal to pay off in the long run. Whether it’s Johnson or Kidd-Gilchrist who are on the floor, both guys bring hustle and defense and there would be little drop off between the starter and the man off the bench at this position. The interior doesn’t really change, so rebounding, defense scoring, etc. shouldn’t really change much in that department. The only expected difference is that Harris would no longer be there is play power forward, so that would mean more minutes for Morris, Leuer and possibly even rookie Henry Ellenson if those above him on the depth chart are in foul trouble.
Overall, every team in this deal gets something they want and have to give up a nice piece to get it. Atlanta ships out a good player in the form of Hardaway to get the draft pick they are looking for. Charlotte gives up one of the better point guards in the game, but get a first round pick and a much improved scorer at the small forward. Detroit give up their entire 2017 draft class and arguably their best player this year in Tobias Harris, but get an improved floor general and a great upgrade in their shooting with Walker and Hardaway. The money works. The motives behind the deal makes sense. The only question I have is would you pull the trigger on this trade? I know I would.
Featured image: MLive.com