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Best Pistons trade of all time?

Matt Watson(!) of Detroit Bad Boys delves into the question: “What’s the best trade the Pistons ever made?” He identifies four legitimate candidates:

  • Bill Laimbeer
  • Mark Aguirre
  • Ben Wallace
  • Rasheed Wallace

Mark Aguirre-for-Adrian Dantley was fine, but I’m not convinced the Pistons wouldn’t have won those two titles anyway. Rasheed Wallace put the Pistons over the top in 2004, but he flamed out in the playoffs too often afterward.

If you’re counting the Ben Wallace trade – all three players involved were free agents heading to their new team regardless – that’s the clear winner. Wallace defined the second-best era of Pistons basketball, and Chucky Atkins was a solid starter for a while. Meanwhile, due to injury, Grant Hill became wildly overpaid.

But I wouldn’t count that sign-and-trade, which was a trade only by technicality. In terms of real trade, that Bill Laimbeer deal was an absolute steal. The foolish Cavaliers had no idea they had such a good player on their hands, and Laimbeer fit perfectly in Detroit.


  • Aug 28, 201212:01 pm
    by labatts


    Couldn’t agree with you more.  Specifically on why you put the Laimbeer trade over the Ben trade.  I noticed that you did not put the Corey Maggette trade on there…

  • Aug 28, 201212:46 pm
    by Bill


    Who knows? Maybe that Maggette trade gets up there because he goes off this year and leads the team to a title……….ok the peace pipe is being put away now. That trip was a little too wild lol.

  • Pingback

    Aug 28, 20122:54 pm
    by Court Vision | The Point Forward


    [...] Two different views of the best trade in Pistons [...]

  • Aug 29, 20127:37 pm
    by Max


    The best trade should have been Otis Thorpe for what eventually became the 2nd pick in one of the best drafts ever but……..

    • Sep 5, 20129:35 am
      by G


      I need a moment…
      Ok, I can’t help myself. Suppose the Pistons take Carmelo instead of Darko (it was either Melo or Darko, so don’t try to say “Wade” or “Bosh”). Do you think they win the 2004 Championship? Do they get ‘Sheed? Who ends up starting, Prince or Melo? And do you think Melo would’ve held Detroit hostage and made a break for it, like he did with Denver?

      I say probably (if not 2004 then the next year or the one after that), yes, Prince for at least the first 2 years, and most definitely. Factor in that the Billups/Iverson trade would never have happened, no Charlie V/Ben Gordon, and the Pistons look more like the Spurs and less like… Charlotte. At least until Melo heads off to NY.

    • Sep 5, 201210:42 am
      by G


      It hurt my soul to think about that…

  • Aug 30, 20124:31 pm
    by John V


    The Laimbeer trade had the best results but you can’t discount the craftiness of trading the most popular player in the league (Grant Hill), for 2 nobodies. I call it it tie betwix the two.

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