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Monday Trade Idea: Dumping Jason Maxiell

Every Friday (well, that’s the goal), I’ll analyze a potential Pistons trade. It might be a rumor, a deal I completely made up blindly (like this one) or one you suggest (e-mail me at danfeld11@gmail.com or leave a proposal in the comments).


Pistons receive:

  • Adam Morrison (2.7 points, 1.4 rebounds , 0.6 assists, 0.1 blocks, 0.1 steals)

Lakers receive:

  • Jason Maxiell (5.2 points, 3.9 rebounds , 0.5 assists, 0.5 blocks, 0.4 steals)


Pistons receive:

Player 2009/10 2010/11 2011/12 2012/13
Adam Morrison $5,257,228 $7,897,484 $0 $0
TOTALS: $5,257,228 $7,897,484 $0 $0

Lakers receive:

Player 2009/10 2010/11 2011/12 2012/13
Jason Maxiell $5,000,000 $5,000,000 $5,000,000 $5,000,000
TOTALS: $5,000,000 $5,000,000 $5,000,000 $5,000,000

Player option

Qualifying option

Pistons’ perspective

Since he signed a contract at the beginning of last season, Jason Maxiell has been slipping. He just doesn’t look as intense or sharp on the court.

It may be the contract extension, but there certainly could be other factors. The Pistons lost the stable leadership of Chauncey Billups and brought in Michael Curry as coach. He hasn’t exactly improved under John Kuester, either.

With the years and dollars left on his contract, Maxiell probably isn’t the best fit in Detroit. If a team offers an expiring contract or a semi-usable player with just one season left after this, Detroit would have to consider a deal.

With Maxiell’s salary removed from next year’s payroll, the Pistons would have room to re-sign Ben Wallace and Will Bynum and use their mid-level exception.

But the only teams likely to have interest are contenders that will be over the cap this summer. The Lakers fit that role, and I think a change in environment could help Maxiell.

At his best, Maxiell is a valuable reserve who can score in the post, with a mid-range jumper or on putbacks. He can rebound and defend a little, too.

But he hasn’t been his best in a while. Speaking of being off your game, the Lakers’ have Adam Morrison’s expiring contract. Rumor is they’re shopping it for immediate help, and I imagine they have their sites set higher than Maxiell. But I’m not sure how much more they could get.

Lakers’ perspective

For each trade, I will seek the analysis of the other team’s TrueHoop Network blogger.

Kurt Helin of Forum Blue & Gold:

“The Lakers are not looking to take on a lot of salary — they already have the highest payroll in the game (since the Knicks started actually managing the franchise) — but they will consider a good value. While the Lakers have a dominant front line right now, a little more depth is one thing they want (not as much as a quality point guard, but it is a need).

Maxiell, especially the one from the three years before this season, can be that guy. The Lakers would simply want hustle, rebounds, and defense for 20 minutes a game. Right now, particularly when Gasol is out, Josh Powell gets those minutes and Jason is an upgrade there.

The Lakers are shopping around Morrison’s contract, it is something they will move for a piece they think improves the team.

I would have scouts taking a close look at Maxiell, to see why his game has not progressed this season, why the setback. (This is something Piston fans probably understand better than I do.)

If it is something that a change in situation and a defined roll could change, the Lakers would have to consider it. Again, due to money they may follow through on something like this, but they would consider it.

As a side note, Piston fans should not look at Morrison as any more than an expiring contract. Do not think about him the rookie, he is just not that player right now, his confidence is shot and teams have the book on how to defend him.

If he gets an open look, he can still hit the shot. He can spread the floor.

But, he cannot create his own shot and teams will run him off open looks and force him to move, then it comes apart. Also, he is not a good defender at all.

This is not a case where he is right on the edge of turning the corner and becoming the player people had thought. This would be an expiring contract and little else.”

My response

I wouldn’t expect anything from Morrison. But if Detroit is acquiring an expiring contract for Maxiell, I’d rather it be a 25-year-old former No. 3 pick than some old, injured 35-year-old.


The Pistons would make the trade. Barring an injury or a rotation player becoming less productive, the Lakers would pass.



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  • Jan 26, 20109:40 am
    by brgulker


    Trading for a contract that expires in 2011 makes a lot of sense to me, especially because that’s when Tay expires as well.
    If we can manage to do that with Max and Rip, we’d have a large chunk of change for 2011 and be one of the only major players.
    The other thing to consider is that you might get some buyer’s remorse from other GMs who spent big money this summer … if we can shed enough salary, we might be able to absorb contracts that others simply want out of.
    Only thing is, I have no idea who’s available that year in terms of FAs… that might make for an interesting analysis.

    • Jan 29, 20104:24 am
      by Dan Feldman


      You can check out a full list of potential 2011 free agents. But a few highlights, and these are just the players who could unrestricted free agents:

      • Kendrick Perkins
      • Mo Williams
      • Carmelo Anthony
      • Nene
      • J.R. Smith
      • Shane Battier
      • Troy Murhpy
      • Zach Randolph
      • David West
      • Samuel Dalembert
      • Leandro Barbosa
      • Jason Richardson
      • Tim Duncan
      • Tony Parker
      • Caron Butler
  • Jan 26, 201011:01 am
    by T-rav


    I wouldn’t be opposed to this trade,  but it tells me we’d have to wait another year for this team to make an impact in the east.  But I have a trade that i have been thinking about.   Al Jefferson for Ben Gordon and someone else to match the salary of Jefferson.  I’d rather put Tay or Rip in place of Gordon, however i think the only way the wolves would accept it would be for younger talent.  And i don’t think Rip and Gordon would be able to both stay on the team since they have similar contracts.  If Ben Wallace doesn’t retire, we’d have a really good front court.  Wallace is still a defensive machine now that he’s back with the Pistons and Jefferson could provide some much needed low post scoring that has really been lacking since…..Corliss Williamson of the championship year. 

    However if thats not possible, I would look to trade maybe both rip and gordon for a really good Point Guard.  I’d do this because i think that Stuckey showed this year that he would be a much better Shooting guard that Point Guard.

    • Jan 29, 20104:32 am
      by Dan Feldman


      T-rav, I don’t think Dumars is going to trade Gordon this season. You don’t trade free agents you just signed. It’s a sure-fire way to have future free agents avoid your team.

      The Pistons probably won’t be contending next season. At some point, it might make sense to trade assets that can help a team next year for long-term benefits. If you try to contend next year and don’t, you must stuck for the long-term.

  • Jan 26, 20106:45 pm
    by Marcus Taylor


    Personally, I like Maxiell. In an up-tempo game, he could be very valuable. I think not getting consistent minutes have stunted his growth as a player, as he hasn’t seemed to have a set role for the last two years. I want to blame the coaches, but Joe D. is the one that keeps bringing these guys in. I think we need someone that has the vision to put together a roster with an up-tempo pace is needed in the front office. Get rid of Rip and Tay for some athletic big men and a back up PG, and find a real coach.

  • Jan 29, 20105:08 am
    by Dan Feldman


    Marcus, Patrick Hayes of Full-Court Press took an interesting look at how Maxiell has played when he gets big minutes. Maybe it’s because the games have come out of nowhere, but playing most of the game hasn’t suited him.

    And the Pistons have obviously been very successful under Dumars. Why should they fire him to get a GM who supports a faster tempo? Isn’t winning more important than how fast your team plays?

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