Mike Payne of Detroit Bad Boys wrote an interesting piece exploring whether the Pistons should trade Brandon Knight:
The problem is that Detroit may not want to wait four years to develop Knight, and the reasons are numerous. First, Knight may not end up being as good a point guard as Rodney Stuckey was last year. The Pistons have Stuckey on contract for three years, so sticking to Stuck may be a wise option. Second, properly building around Monroe with immediate contributors is terribly important, lest Detroit find themselves in the position of teams like Orlando and Denver with trade demands on the wall. Last, if Knight doesn’t develop signs of a passing game in a year or two, his trade value will plummet. If he can be moved, he should be moved at the highest sign of value– which may be prior to the 2012 NBA trade deadline.
My stance on Knight hasn’t changed since the Pistons drafted him. He was the right pick, but far from a certain NBA success. He’s not immediately a productive NBA point guard, but he has the tools to get there.
So, of course, I have no problem with the Pistons trading Knight if they get a good offer. He’s done nothing to warrant being untouchable.
But I think a point that Payne’s column – well worth reading in its entirety – misses is that Knight taking time to develop might actually help the Pistons. Even if Knight hit his peak form tomorrow, I don’t think the Pistons would have enough talent to compete for a title. They’d likely need to hit again in the draft and have all their young players develop perfectly. Because the latter is extremely unlikely, barring getting Anthony Davis or someone of his caliber, they’ll probably need to hit twice in the draft.
The higher a team picks, the more likely it is to draft a good player. The worse a team plays, the more likely it is to land a high pick.
A project like Knight could keep the Pistons in the cellar long enough to secure more high draft picks, and once (if) he’s ready to contribute, ideally, the Pistons would then have enough talent to contend.
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