The Detroit Pistons have been in NBA limbo for several years now, just about making or missing out on the playoffs for the last 11 seasons. The Pistons will need to make a deal to improve on their best playoff ranking, an 8th is the highest seed they’ve had since the 2007-08 season. What are some Detroit Pistons trades that can help improve the team for the immediate future?
Detroit Pistons Trades That Should Happen Before the 2019-20 Season
Old Players, Small Window
With the signing of Derrick Rose to a two-year deal, the Detroit Pistons have added another aged former superstar to pair with their current one in Blake Griffin. Andre Drummond is still only 25 and will most likely stay a part of the team. Beyond those three guys, the roster is made up of young interesting pieces with potential. To go along with a bunch of role players who will struggle to see many minutes.
One player that doesn’t fit the current timeline for the Pistons is point guard, Reggie Jackson. He is on the final year of his enormous four-year deal, for which he is owed $18 million in the 2019-20 season. Jackson is no longer fit to be a franchise point guard, despite what the Pistons initially thought several years ago. He is woefully inefficient, shooting just 42.1 percent from the field last season. Which is near the bottom among point guards who made over 300 field goals. With the installation of Dwayne Casey as head coach, the Pistons are playing a much more up-tempo, free-flowing style of basketball which does not suit Jackson’s pick and roll reliant offensive style.
A Perfect Trade Partner
One team that might be interested in trading for Jackson’s expiring deal is the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Thunder should be looking to enter a full rebuild now. So they will be looking to get rid of their longer contracts for expiring contracts. In exchange they’ll be looking for what every rebuilding team is looking for; young players and draft picks.
The treasure trove of assets they received in the trades for Paul George and Russell Westbrook is huge. They are the envy of a lot of NBA teams at the moment. While they received a lot of draft picks from other teams, their team is likely to remain semi-competitive with a core of Chris Paul, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Danilo Gallinari, and Steven Adams. This could even be a fringe playoff team in the upcoming season. This is probably not what they actually want since they still own their own draft pick for the 2020 draft. Getting rid of some of their slightly older starters may be a move that the Thunder are looking to do before the seasons starts.
First Potential Trade With the Oklahoma City Thunder
Oklahoma City Thunder Receive – Reggie Jackson, Thon Maker, and 2020 first-round pick
Detroit Pistons Receive – Dennis Schroeder and Andre Roberson
This trade would give the Pistons a new option to start at point guard. Derrick Rose should be the best option to start due to his ability to play at a fast pace. Rose has also improved his three-point shooting to a solid 37 percent. However, if Rose gets injured then the Pistons will need a back-up point guard who can do a similar job.
Although he is not as good a shooter, Dennis Schroder brings much of the same to the table. He has two years left on his deal but is a great back-up point guard who can inject high energy into a game when he’s needed. The other piece they get is Andre Roberson. He is widely respected as one of the best, if not the best, perimeter defender in the league. A defensive demon like Roberson is absolutely necessary for a title-contending team and that’s something the Pistons will need if they’re to compete with teams with All-NBA guards.
On the other end, the Thunder receive Jackson’s expiring deal, a promising young player in Thon Maker, and yet another first-round draft pick.
Second Potential Trade With the Oklahoma City Thunder
Detroit Pistons Receive – Chris Paul
Oklahoma City Thunder Receive – Reggie Jackson, Tony Snell, and Isaiah Whitehead
If the Pistons agreed to this trade, the Thunder would be over the moon. Oklahoma City would probably have to include one first-round draft pick. It would be an enormous risk on the Pistons’ part as this would basically be just an older iteration of the Lob City Los Angeles Clippers teams, with Drummond instead of DeAndre Jordan. It is a real swing for the fences and the Pistons would just be riding their luck to hope that their three stars could all stay healthy throughout a full season and playoff run.
Taking big risks has been paying off lately though, with no team exemplifying it better than the Toronto Raptors. They took a shot in trading for Kawhi Leonard and it worked out as they won the NBA title. Not many people would believe this team could actually do it. But it’s one of the only ways the Pistons could really boost their team into a championship contender within the next couple of years.
Just moving Chris Paul’s contract is enough for the Thunder to pull the trigger. They get back an expiring deal with Jackson and an inflated two-year deal for Tony Snell at $11 million per year, but that’s nothing compared to what they were paying for Paul. Isaiah Whitehead is thrown in just to match salary.
Final Potential Trade With the Oklahoma City Thunder
Detroit Pistons Receive – Danilo Gallinari
Oklahoma City Thunder Receive – Reggie Jackson and Langston Galloway
In this trade, the Pistons would get an all-star level player who can play small forward or power forward when Griffin is on the bench. This would add an outside scoring threat from deep that the Pistons desperately need. This is a move that would leave the Pistons quite shallow at point guard with Tim Frazier likely having to play back-up. Danilo Gallinari poses a lot of matchup problems for teams. He can shoot over most small forwards or post up against smaller players efficiently.
There are similarities to the 2016 Cleveland Cavaliers with Rose acting as Kyrie Irving, creating his own offense and knocking down shots. Gallinari would play a similar role as Kevin Love, getting catch and shoot jumpers and grabbing rebounds. While Blake Griffin would act as LeBron James, creating most of the offense for the team with high-level playmaking and an ability to get to the basket whenever he wants. Lastly, Andre Drummond would serve as Tristan Thompson, getting a double-double every night and providing much needed defensive intensity and shot-blocking.
For the Thunder, all the players in this deal are on expiring contracts so this is purely about getting worse. That should definitely happen if they make this deal. Langston Galloway and Jackson definitely do not match up to the impact of Gallinari.
A Lot of Options
The trades outlined above are some likely options that would suit both teams. However, it’s certainly on the Pistons to initiate talks, particularly on any trade not involving Chris Paul. There are a lot of interesting options and new additions that give Pistons fans a lot to be excited about if they do decide to pull the trigger on any of these trades.
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