The Detroit Pistons sit at 27-30 as they enjoy the NBA All-Star break. Detroit’s below .500 first half of the season as them pitted as the eighth seed in an underwhelming Eastern Conference, behind the likes of the Chicago Bulls and Indiana Pacers.
As the Pistons hope to return to the NBA Playoffs many questions if the current roster has the ability to do so. It seems as if the Pistons are going to need to explore the trade market before the trade deadline comes to an end on February 22nd at 3:00 PM. Here are five trades the Pistons should consider making.
Trade Idea One: Detroit trades Aron Baynes, Reggie Bullock, and a 2017 2nd round pick to the Atlanta Hawks for Tim Hardway Jr and Tiago Splitter
Why Detroit agrees to this trade:
Tim Hardaway Jr is having a fantastic season for the Hawks. The 24-year old specializes in coming off the bench and scoring bunches, something Detroit desperately needs. He is averaging 13.1 points and 2.2 assists per game. Hardaway Jr’s biggest knock is his shooting efficiency. He is shooting only 44.6 percent from the field and a below average 34.9 percent from behind the arc.
Why Atlanta agrees to this trade:
The big men behind Dwight Howard in Atlanta’s rotation, Mike Muscala and Kris Humphries, are better suited as stretch bigs who can spread the floor on offense. The Hawks do not have a true defensive minded center besides Howard. Aron Baynes would bring that presence to Atlanta. Bullock would go to the Hawks as a replacement for Hardaway Jr, as a defender that possesses a nice shooting stroke. The second round pick would be added by Detroit to sweeten the pot.
What will raise Hardaway Jr’s price is his fantastic play in the month of February. Moving into the starting lineup for the injured Thabo Sefolosha, Hardaway Jr has averaged 19.5 points and 4.3 rebounds in the Hawks’ eight games before the All-Star break in February.
The Pistons would absorb the contract of the injured Tiago Splitter to make the deal more enticing for Atlanta and financially make the deal possible. Detroit gets the scorer they need, while Atlanta adds depth on the wing and inside.
Trade Idea Two: Detroit trades Reggie Jackson and Marcus Morris to the Denver Nuggets for Danilo Gallinari and Will Barton
Why the Pistons agree to this trade:
The Pistons sorely lack scoring in every area. Danilo Gallinari would enhance Detroit’s scoring ability right away. The Pistons rank 29th in the NBA in free throw attempts per game. Andre Drummond averages the most free throw attempts per game for Detroit, at 4.4. He is shooting 43.9 percent from the charity stripe, not ideal. Gallinari, a career 86 percent free throw shooter, is averaging six attempts at the line per game this season.
The Pistons, who shoot only 33.5 percent from the three-point line, desperately need to add shooting to their roster. Gallinari has been a knockdown deep-range shooter his entire career. This season the 6’10” forward is shooting 38.6 percent from three on nearly five attempts per game.
Averaging 17.8 points per game this season, Gallinari brings another scoring threat to a team that needs help scoring the ball more than everything.
Adding Will Barton to a bench that would have some moving parts, would help ease the burden of the unit as a whole. Bringing in Gallinari, it makes sense he would start at power forward, which would move Jon Leuer back to the bench, where he began the season. With Detroit sending Marcus Morris to the Nuggets, they then have an open starting spot at small forward. Detroit can go in numerous directions with this open spot, but it makes sense that Stan Van Gundy would move Tobias Harris back into the starting lineup.
Barton can off the bench and take over the role that Harris had with the second unit. He would be the primary scorer
with distributors such as Ish Smith and Stanley Johnson alongside him. Leuer moving to the bench would give Detroit a big man that can shoot and play inside with the second unit.
Trading Reggie Jackson would leave a hole at the point guard spot for Detroit, but his name has been featured in trade talks throughout the season with the likes of the Minnesota Timberwolves and Orlando Magic, making it seem plausible Detroit would move Jackson for the right deal.
This trade would move multiple parts for the Pistons, which makes this trade less than likely to happen, but it would help Detroit add scoring to a team in desperate need of that.
Why Denver agrees to the trade:
The Nuggets have been involved in trade talks with many teams throughout the season. With many assets that they have reportedly shown interest in moving, including Danilo Gallinari, it makes sense for Denver to finally start making some moves. They already have traded disgruntled center Jusuf Nurkic to the Portland Trail Blazers for Mason Plumlee, and since, it has been widely speculated that they will continue to make more roster moves.
The Nuggets may want to replace Emmanuel Mudiay, who many are saying is not turning into the point guard the Nuggets hoped he would. Jackson is a good scorer and capable distributor. Mudiay could come off the bench for Denver, as he has before this season, while Jackson would take over the starting point guard spot.
Denver also would be getting a defensive minded small forward in Marcus Morris, who currently is playing his basketball of the season. He is out of the shooting slump that he was dealing with in December and early January and has returned to being the capable shooter he was last season with Detroit.
This is a longshot of a trade for both sides. Denver likely is not ready to replace Emmanuel Mudiay just yet and Stan Van Gundy does not seem interested in losing either of Jackson or Morris, especially when Morris, as noted, is playing his best basketball of the season, and Jackson is starting to show flashes of the point guard he was last year.
Trade Idea Three: Detroit trades Aron Baynes and Darrun Hilliard to the Boston Celtics for Kelly Olynk and James Young
Why Detroit agrees to this trade:
Stan Van Gundy has publicly admitted that Aron Baynes is likely worth more than the player option he has at the end of the season and will likely opt out. Early speculation is that Baynes could command around $10 million annually. Detroit already has Boban Marjanovic stashed behind Baynes in the rotation if what Stan Van Gundy predicts, happens.
Detroit has tried to use Jon Leuer as a stretch five this season, but the experiment has not worked. Leuer is just too small to handle the girthier stretch fives such as Kevin Love. Olynk is measured at 7’0″ and 240 pounds. His build is much better equipped to deal with stretch centers. He brings a nice shooting touch, shooting 37.9 percent from three this season. The former Gonzaga center is averaging 9.5 points, 4.8 rebounds, and two assists per game.
Why Boston agrees to this trade:
The Celtics biggest weakness right now is rebounding. While Al Horford is a good center, and one of the best in the NBA, his lack of rebounding destroys the Celtics at times. He also does not have much help behind him for support on the boards. As a team, Boston ranks 28th in rebounds per game, grabbing only 41 boards per game. Aron Baynes immediately addresses this issue.
Baynes is averaging four rebounds in only 15.5 minutes per game. Olynk, who averages 4.8 boards, plays 21.5 minutes per game. Baynes has a solid total rebounding percentage of 14.4 percent when he is on the court, and has a much better offensive rebound percentage, at 8.7 percent, compared to Olynk’s 4.7 percent.
Baynes gives the Celtics a defensive minded center off the bench who helps address their biggest weakness.
Darrun Hilliard and James Young are only included in this trade to help make the trade financially possible. Plus, bring James Young back to Detroit, where he balled in high school.
Detroit being able to add a stretch center, while Boston brings in some help for rebounding makes this trade beneficial for both teams.
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