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Category → Trade Idea

Memphis Grizzlies center Hasheem Thabeet is reportedly available, could the Pistons pull off a trade?

David Aldridge of NBA.com had this interesting note in his most recent column:

But one mame that is eminently available is Memphis’s Hasheem Thabeet, who isn’t one of the ’10 free agent signees but is getting shopped hard by the Grizzlies, who have their center of the future in Marc Gasol. So the Grizz are looking to cut bait with the second pick in the ’09 Draft, Video who’s already had an NBA D-League stint, as soon as possible.

Hmm … maybe you can trade him for Tyreke Evans? I kid, I kid Chris Wallace.

But Thabeet would undoubtedly be an intriguing pickup for the Pistons.


Pistons receive:

  • Hasheem Thabeet

Grizzlies receive:


Data from ShamSports.com

Pistons receive:

Player 2010/11 2011/12 2012/13 2013/14 2014/15
Hasheem Thabeet $4,793,280 $6,471,183 $8,444,893 $0 $0
Total $4,793,280 $6,471,183 $8,444,893 $0 $0

Grizzlies receive:

Player 2010/11 2011/12 2012/13 2013/14 2014/15
Chris Wilcox $3,000,000 $0 $0 $0 $0
DaJuan Summers $762,195 $1,059,293 $0 $0 $0
Total $3,762,195 $1,059,293 $0 $0 $0
  • Player option/ early termination
  • Team option

Pistons’ perspective

Thabeet, of course, was the No. 2 pick in the 2009 NBA Draft, taken one spot after Blake Griffin and ahead of players like Evans, the Rookie of the Year, Steph Curry and Brandon Jennings. He hasn’t played much in Memphis because, frankly, he’s not polished offensively, his footwork isn’t great all the time, he can be a bit … uh … soft and Memphis has great frontcourt players in Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol absorbing most of the minutes at those spots.

But his positive attributes, especially from the Pistons’ perspective? Thabeet is really big and still young. He also blocks shots and rebounds. For his career, he’s averaging 9.3 rebounds and 3.4 blocks per-36 minutes. He would immediately be a defensive upgrade over Jason Maxiell or Chris Wilcox or Charlie Villanueva because he can protect the rim, and he’d also be a potential long-term building block. Thabeet could be a great compliment to Greg Monroe up front, since Monroe is not a shot-blocking presence at this point in his career. The best part is Thabeet would have a full season to sit behind Ben Wallace, get beat up a little in practice and learn from one of the best defensive big men of this era.

So, the question is not about fit. Thabeet would obviously be a fit. But do the Pistons have what it takes to pry him from Memphis?

Grizzlies’ perspective

I think it’s pretty obvious what the Grizzlies want in return: to be free from the nearly $10 million in salary Thabeet is owed for the rest of this season and next season. Memphis has to find enough room to re-sign Marc Gasol, possibly Zach Randolph and figure out whether they are going to extend O.J. Mayo or trade him. They also have smaller decisions to make on players like Sam Young, a promising second round pick last year, and Demarre Carroll, who both are in line for possible extensions.

The Grizzlies have a lot of salary already committed to Rudy Gay and Mike Conley, they’d be silly not to try and lock up Gasol and it’s pretty clear Randolph has been a good fit with the franchise, so bringing him back makes some sense too. Thabeet’s money would be better used in that capacity than in being invested in a seldom-used project center sitting on the bench.

Wilcox and Summers give Memphis two contracts they can shed at season’s end, and allows them to save about $1 million this year in salary. Plus, they get a second round pick that could be pretty decent considering the Pistons currently look like a team that won’t win many games.

I have no idea what the market for Thabeet is. On the one hand, he was the second pick in the draft just over a year ago. On the other, he’s been pretty bad and is the highest draft pick ever assigned to the D-League. Maybe Memphis is hoping to get a first round pick for him, in which case it would be a bad move for the Pistons, even if they had lottery protections on it. But if the Grizz just want salary relief, the Pistons can definitely make a trade happen and see if Thabeet can become a competent NBA player given consistent minutes.

Trade Idea: Maybe the Pistons could actually trade for Chris Paul after all (UPDATE: Offer gives Pistons victory in Chris Paul trade contest)

Update: My bid for the Pistons won Ryan Schwan of Hornets 247.com’s Chris Paul trade contest. See “Hornets’ perspective” below for more details.


Pistons receive:

  • Chris Paul (18.7 points, 4.2 rebounds, 10.7 assists, 0.2 blocks, 2.1 steals)
  • Emeka Okafor (10.4 points, 9.0 rebounds, 0.7 assists, 1.5 blocks, 0.7 steals)

Hornets receive:

  • Tayshaun Prince (13.5 points, 5.1 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 0.4 blocks, 0.7 steals)
  • Rodney Stuckey (16.6 points, 3.8 rebounds, 4.8 assists, 0.2 blocks, 1.4 steals)
  • Greg Monroe (16.1 points, 9.6 rebounds, 3.8 assists, 1.5 blocks, 1.2 steals)
  • Austin Daye (5.1 points, 2.5 rebounds, 0.5 assists, 0.4 blocks, 0.4 steals)
  • Chris Wilcox (4.5 points, 3.4 rebounds, 0.4 assists, 0.4 blocks, 0.4 steals)
  • 2012 first-round pick
  • 2014 first-round pick
  • 2011 Denver Nuggets second-round pick


Data from ShamSports.com

Pistons receive:

Player 2010/11 2011/12 2012/13 2013/14  2014/15
Chris Paul $14,940,153 $16,359,805  $17,779,458 $0 $0
Emeka Okafor $11,795,000 $12,792,500 $13,790,000 $14,787,500 $0
Total $26,735,153 $29,152,305 $31,569,458 $14,787,600 $0

Hornets receive:

Player 2010/11 2011/12 2012/13 2013/14 2014/15
Tayshaun Prince $11,148,760 $0 $0 $0 $0
Rodney Stuckey $2,767,126 $3,868,443 $0 $0 $0
Greg Monroe $2,798,040 $3,007,920 $3,217,689 $4,086,454 $5,479,934
Austin Daye $1,803,720 $1,929,600 $2,958,077 $4,135,391 $0
Chris Wilcox $3,000,000 $0 $0 $0 $0
Total $21,517,646 $8,805,963 $6,175,766 $8,221,845 $5,479,934
  • Player option/ early termination
  • Team option
  • Qualifying offer

Pistons’ perspective

Yes, just a couple months ago, I penned a post titled, “Pistons have NO chance of trading for Chris Paul.” A lot has changed since then. Mainly, Chris Paul has indicated a desire to leave New Orleans, and Detroit drafted Greg Monroe.

I still think the Pistons landing Paul is an extreme long shot, but let’s look at what it would take.

First off, would New Orleans even trade Paul? Ken Berger of CBSSports.com has the scoop on Paul’s meeting with the Hornets yesterday:

The Hornets are concentrating on Eastern Conference teams as trade partners in the event they decide it isn’t feasible to enter the 2010-11 season with their franchise player wanting out. And despite Monday’s optimistic spin, that is where things are headed, sources say.

Although Berger doesn’t mention the Pistons among the teams the Hornets are eyeing – and Paul didn’t include them on his list – they are in the Eastern Conference. So, that’s a plus.

The first move for Joe Dumars would be calling someone close to Chris Paul – as close as possible, to avoid Paul’s people squashing the idea based on Detroit’s reputation (the city’s, not the team’s) – and see if he would be receptive to joining the Pistons. I think winning is the biggest force behind Paul’s demands (although it may not be the biggest reason those close to him are pushing a trade, too), and Dumars could sell him on the fact that he already put together one championship team.

If Paul wouldn’t be content with a trade to Detroit, that’s the end of it. If he would be, Dumars should call the Hornets.

I think this a competitive offer the Hornets would have to take seriously if they’re actually willing to deal Paul.

Tayshaun Prince is a very good player, and Rodney Stuckey is already solid and still has potential to grow. Plus, both have expiring contracts, which would give New Orleans a lot of flexibility.

Greg Monroe and Austin Daye are talented players with skills in drove, and with a combined seven years left on their rookie contracts, they’re extremely affordable.

Chris Wilcox is 27, but talented enough that many believe he could still find his niche in the league. (For the record, I don’t.) Mostly, he’s there to make the numbers work, but for filler, he’s not bad.

Those two first-round picks could be valuable if Paul doesn’t help the Pistons win any more than he helped New Orleans. Even if he does, two picks are two picks.

Besides acquiring a player with a non-guaranteed contract (like Erick Dampier), this trade would save the Hornets about as much money this year as possible in a trade giving up only Paul and Okafor. And given Okafor’s hefty contract, the savings in future years would be significant, too.

By trading Paul, the Hornets would almost certainly be rebuilding. I doubt anyone will trade someone near Paul’s talent level to get him (meaning nobody like LeBron James, Dwight Howard or Kevin Durant will be on the move). This trade would give New Orleans a lot of young talent, draft picks and cap flexibility to start over.

But trading for Paul is tricky. Not only do you have to give up enough to satisfy the Hornets, you must have enough left to build a competitive team before Paul becomes a free agent in two years. I think this trade would give the Pistons a real shot doing that.

Check out this lineup:

For everyone who says Hamilton needs to play next to a traditional point guard, he’d get one. He and Gordon would be the team’s main scorers, and Paul would certainly help there, too.

The front line would do the dirty work/rebounding/etc. Plus, Paul could get those three their share of easy baskets.

Perhaps best of all, it would be a good group defensively. With a pair of athletic shot blocker in Wallace and Okafor, Hamilton could even play a fair share of his minutes at small forward.

The Pistons would have a solid reserves unit with Gordon, Charlie Villanueva, Jason Maxiell, Will Bynum and the mid-level exception (Josh Howard?).

I think that’s the type of team that could make a run deep into the playoffs. That’s only a ‘could,’ though, and there are long-term questions.

What happens when Wallace retires? Maybe Jerebko could take over that role, but Wallace is a big reason I think that team could do damage. Those would be mighty big shoes to fill.

How big of a burden would Okafor’s contract be? He’s overpaid, no doubt. But he’s still productive and plays a critical position. Obviously, the salary cap has yet to be determined for future seasons (and it’s especially unpredictable given the Collective Bargaining Agreement is set to expire), but if the new CBA is similar to the current one, I think the Pistons could avoid paying the luxury tax – even with this trade.

How costly will giving up those draft picks be? I designed the offer with 2012 and 2014 picks because those are the years Paul and Okafor will likely be free agents. If there are any years the Pistons would rather have the extra cap room than the picks, it would be those. So, the risk is still there, but I think it’d be hedged a little bit.

And of course, the big question: What if Paul leaves in 2012? That’s the risk I think you take to get a player whom I think has a good shot at becoming the second-best point guard of all time.

Hornets’ perspective

Ryan Schwan of Hornets247.com solicited Chris Paul trade ideas from several TrueHoop Network members and ranked them in reverse order. Guess which offer he listed last – or to be clear, won the competition. Yup, this one.

OK, the Pistons were 1B of the two teams in the “Let’s talk Business” group. The Magic were 1A – on the condition the Hornets could flip Jameer Nelson and Vince Carter. I think that’s much easier said than done, so I’m declaring the Pistons the winner.

Schwan on this offer:

It’s freakish that I’m picking the Pistons offer as one of the best ones.  I didn’t think they’d have enough talent to swing it, honestly.  Still – Monroe fills the hole at center, Prince/Daye fill the hole at the 3, and Stuckey is the perfect combo guard behind Collison and Thornton.  Oh – and since what’s left in Detroit won’t be world-shaking, the picks they are offering should at least still be mid-rounders.

My response

It surprised me, too, that the Pistons could be in position to land Paul. Even if the trade isn’t made, it’s just further evidence Monroe was an excellent draft pick. Without him, Detroit wouldn’t be in the discussion.

I’m not stunned by Schwan’s lack of confidence in a post-trade Pistons team. They’d be far from a sure thing. But like I said above, I think the players would complement each other well

A Hornets partisan believes this offer deserves consideration. That’s a good sign. Dumars, get on the phone.


Make no mistake: this trade wouldn’t put the Pistons out of the woods yet. Paul can become a free agent in two years, and whoever acquires him must spend that time convincing him to stay. There is no guarantee the Pistons can do that.

Because they don’t play in a destination city, the Pistons must show Paul they can win a title with him. And even then, it might not be enough.

This trades calls for the Pistons to give up a huge amount of young, affordable talent – plus draft picks and taking Emeka Okafor’s contract. If Paul leaves in two years or decides he doesn’t want to be in Detroit a year from now, the trade could set the Pistons back nearly a decade.

But I think Henry Abbott of TrueHoop said it best:

Here’s a rule of thumb I’ve developed to help you through it: If you’re getting Chris Paul, it’s a good deal.

The Detroit Pistons can’t trade Tayshaun Prince for Josh Smith

Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press broached the idea of a Tayshaun Prince-for-Josh Smith swap in his article today:

The Hawks overpaid to keep Joe Johnson and could decide they can’t afford Josh Smith and Grand Ledge’s Al Horford. The Pistons asked about Smith in the summer of 2008, and Tayshaun Prince’s expiring deal could entice the Hawks to part with the 6-foot-9 guard/forward.

Since the Hawks turned down the trade in 2008, Smith’s value has risen and Prince’s has decreased. The trade is less likely today than it was then, and it was a no then.

In this year’s TrueHoop Network Awards, Smith had a wonderful showing:

  • Most Valuable Player (eighth)
  • Defensive Player of the Year (second)
  • Most Improved Player (fifth)
  • All-NBA third team
  • All-Defensive first team

That’s not the résumé of someone traded for Tayshaun Prince, who didn’t receive any votes in any category. (For more on why Smith had such a great season, read Bret Lagree of Hoopinion’s explanation how Smith stopped shooting 3-pointers, which allowed him to take advantage of his passing skills.:

The Hawks gave Joe Johnson that massive contract because they knew had to keep him to contend. If they didn’t keep him, there was little point in paying guys like Smith and Horford. Johnson’s contract doesn’t make those guys more likely to be traded in the short term. Rather, it makes the Hawks more likely to keep them.

In short, not happening.

Trade Idea: Rip Hamilton could give the Toronto Raptors needed scoring and Jose Calderon could give the Detroit Pistons stable point guard play


Pistons receive:

  • Jose Calderon (10.3 points, 2.1 rebounds, 5.9 assists, 0.1 blocks, 0.7 steals)
  • Reggie Evans (3.4 points, 3.8 rebounds, 0.3 assists, 0.1 blocks, 0.5 steals)

Raptors receive:

  • Rip Hamilton (18.1 points, 2.7 rebounds, 4.4 assists, 0.1 blocks, 0.7 steals)
  • Chris Wilcox (4.5 points, 3.4 rebounds, 0.5 assists, 0.4 blocks, 0.4 steals)


Data from ShamSports.com

Pistons receive:

Player 2010/11 2011/12 2012/13 2013/14 2014/15
Jose Calderon $9,000,000 $9,780,992 $10,561,983 $0 $0
Reggie Evans $5,080,000 $0 $0 $0 $0
Total $14,080,000 $9,780,992 $10,561,983 $0 $0

Raptors receive:

Player 2010/11 2011/12 2012/13 2013/14 2014/15
Rip Hamilton $12,500,000 $12,500,000 $12,500,000 $0 $0
Chris Wilcox $3,000,000 $0 $0 $0 $0
Total $15,500,000 $12,500,000 $12,500,000 $0 $0
  • Fully unguaranteed if waived on or before Aug. 15, 2012

Pistons’ perspective

Unlike many people out there, I don’t believe it’s imperative that the Pistons trade Rip Hamilton. But in the event that they do, I also don’t believe that a comparably talented big man is coming back in return. There really just aren’t many out there who would help.

Even an all-baggage team guy like Zach Randolph, who is again having some off-the-court problems, is not a guy who can easily be obtained. He has an always valuable expiring contract and Memphis has Rudy Gay and O.J. Mayo on the perimeter, so Hamilton probably isn’t high on their wish list.

So if a good big man is likely out of the question, and if Hamilton is dealt, the Pistons should try to net a competent point guard in return. Calderon is a great shooter — nearly 50 percent from the field, 40 percent from three-point range and 90 percent from the line for his career. He’s very steady running an offense with nearly a 4-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio for his career. And if you have any doubts that the Pistons could use a more willing passer in the backcourt, just compare Calderon’s assist percentage (assists per 100 possessions) to the Pistons’ guards last season: Will Bynum led Detroit at 28.2 percent. Rodney Stuckey, who played the bulk of the team’s PG minutes, was at 24.7 percent. Calderon’s was at 33.8 percent last year, and that was the worst mark he had since his rookie season. His two previous seasons in Toronto, he was over 40 percent.

He does have downsides. Namely, he’s pretty terrible defensively, although you have to admire the way he didn’t get rattled when Kevin Garnett was pulling his annual ‘pick on men much smaller than me’ tricks a year ago. Replacing Hamilton with Calderon undoubtedly makes the Pistons backcourt a little worse defensively, but with Stuckey’s progression as a defender a year ago, the benefits Calderon will bring to the offense might be worth it.

The other piece in the trade is Evans, who has an expiring contract. But while that is the most appealing part of what Evans brings, he might also fill a need. The Pistons have been searching for a veteran big man in free agency. I have my doubts they’ll be able to find one — veteran bigs tend to be in demand and tend to end up chasing rings on good teams. Detroit, as a rebuilding project with serious roster questions, doesn’t fit that mold, so getting a guy like Evans, a hard-nosed (Chris Kaman may describe him differently) hustle player and rebounder, via trade might be the best bet for Detroit. Evans has injury concerns, but if he’s semi-healthy, he’d be an adequate presence off the bench for Detroit.

Raptors’ perspective

Since I have impeccable timing, I began writing this post the day before Calderon was reportedly traded to Charlotte. I sent out e-mails to the guys at Raptors Republic, asking for their take on whether or not this was an offer they could see the team be interested in. Then, about a half hour after sending, it was reported that Calderon-to-Charlotte was official, so my first PistonPowered trade idea post looked ruined.

But shortly after the reports, Michael Jordan perhaps sensibly thought pairing a defensively challenged PG signed long-term with Larry Brown was not the best match, and backed out of the Calderon deal.

The general consensus in Raptors land is that GM Bryan Colangelo is pretty clearly looking for salary relief (the Charlotte deal would’ve been for expiring contract Tyson Chandler) in any deal for Calderon, which makes my little Hamilton scenario a bit more far-fetched, but two of the guys from Raptors Republic had brief replies when they thought Calderon was headed out of town to Charlotte. Here were the responses I got:

"I don’t think the Raptors would have any interest whatsoever in Rip Hamilton since we have two guys in Weems and DeRozan that are being bandied about as the future here.  Hamilton’s contract is very similar to Turkoglu’s, if not worse, and I just don’t see Colangelo taking that on."

And …

"I would have liked to get Richard Hamilton truth be told, but getting Diaw and Barbosa looks to be a better fit (given the euro style we want to play)."

My response

I disagree vehemently with the Turkoglu comparison. Contract-wise, Turkoglu is signed for one more year than Hamilton (he has a player option for 2013-14). He also appears to be rapidly declining and had a lousy season in Toronto. Hamilton is still a 20 points per game scorer, efficient and keeps himself in great shape. There’s no question that his contract is a much better value than Turkoglu’s.

That being said, I can certainly appreciate that Toronto wouldn’t be looking to add long-term deals or guys who would play in front of their promising Weems/DeRozan combo. I’m not sure a team is willingly going to give the Raps a starting center with an expiring contract for a solid but flawed and fairly expensive PG like Calderon now that the Chandler trade fell through, however.

The Verdict

There probably wouldn’t be much interest in this trade by either team, but as I’ve pointed out, I view the Pistons’ current personnel better suited to run a more free-wheeling offense, and a point guard like Calderon would go a long way toward making them a more exciting team to watch.

Quick trade idea about moving up to No. 3 (to get DeMarcus Cousins)

From Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports:

New Jersey Nets general manager Rod Thorn remains uncertain whether he wants to hold onto the third pick to draft Derrick Favors and is aggressively entertaining trade bids, league sources said.

“Rod doesn’t love that spot right now,” a source with knowledge of the Nets’ thinking said. “He’s willing to get out of there and go down.”

The Detroit Pistons would love to get to No. 3 and draft Kentucky center DeMarcus Cousins, sources said, but the two teams haven’t been able to get anywhere on a possible package. The Pistons engaged Sacramento on the fifth spot, but Kings GM Geoff Petrie wants to take Cousins and keep him.

Wojnarowski also wrote the Pistons are no longer actively looking to move up. I think there’s a decent chance this is a ploy.

So what’s a New Jersey trade that could work? Here’s what I came up with:

Rodney Stuckey, Jason Maxiell and No. 7 for Devin Harris and No. 3

The trade adds $2,800,178 to the Nets’ cap room ($1,213,8474 for the difference in players’ salaries, $1,112,700 for the difference in draft picks and $473,604 for removing a roster charge).

Sebastian Pruiti of Nets Are Scorching’s thoughts:

I could see that working. Maxiell is a guy who can backup Brook, Stuckey comes in for Harris. But they are only doing this if Monroe is their #1 guy.

Trade Idea: If the top six picks go as expected, it might be wise for the Pistons to trade out of the first round, and Ty Lawson would be great bait


Pistons receive:

  • Ty Lawson (8.3 points, 1.9 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 0.0 blocks, 0.7 steals)
  • Coby Karl (4.0 points, 2.6 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 0.1 blocks, 0.4 steals)

Nuggets receive:

  • Chris Wilcox (4.5 points, 3.4 rebounds, 0.4 assists, 0.4 blocks, 0.4 steals)
  • No. 7 pick in 2010 draft


Data from ShamSports.com

Pistons receive:

Player 2010/11 2011/12 2012/13 2013/14  2014/15
Ty Lawson $1,546,560 $1,654,440  $2,544,529 $3,610,686 $0
Coby Karl $854,389 $1,091,100 $0 $0 $0
Total $2,390,949 $2,745,540 $2,544,529 $3,610,686 $0

Nuggets receive:

Player 2010/11 2011/12 2012/13 2013/14 2014/15
Chris Wilcox $3,000,000 $0 $0 $0 $0
No. 7 pick $2,331,700 $2,506,600 $2,681,400 $3,405,378 $4,566,612
Total $5,331,700 $2,506,600 $2,681,400 $3,405,378 $4,566,612
  • Team option
  • Qualifying offer
  • Fully unguaranteed if waived on or before Aug. 15
  • Would hold value of $0 for trade purposes

Pistons’ perspective

Yesterday’s Kings-76ers trade killed my Pistons-Kings idea. Pistons followers seem split on what the trade means about Detroit’s chances of getting DeMarcus Cousins with the seventh pick.

Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press believes Cousins is more likely to slip. I know Patrick Hayes of Full-Court Press thinks the Kings will take Cousins.

Put me firmly in the this-makes-Cousins-slipping-to-7-less-likely camp. The Kings’ net change in centers is zero. Plus, by swapping Spencer Hawes for Samuel Dalembert, the Kings have a safe option at center. I think that means they’d be more likely to take the risk on Cousins.

A trade similar to original idea with Francisco Garcia instead of Andres Nocioni could still work. But Garcia has an extra year on his contract, so that wouldn’t be as appealing to Detroit.

A move with Sacramento, Philadelphia, Minnesota or even New Jersey is still possible, but the Kings-76ers trade means the Pistons are more likely to stay at No. 7, so let’s discuss what that means.

The rumors have been rampant that Detroit wants to move up to get Derrick Favors or Cousins. But I want to introduce the trade-up corollary:

If the Pistons really are keen on moving up (and I think they are), that indicates they’re not particularly high on anyone likely to be available at No. 7. Maybe they’re just that infatuated with Favors and Cousins. But in all likelihood, that’s only part of the puzzle.

After Favors, Cousins and Greg Monroe, there seems to be a pretty significant drop in big men.

Cole Aldrich, Ed Davis, Patrick Patterson, Ekpe Udoh and Hassan Whiteside represent the next tier of bigs, and they’re likely to go between Detroit’s pick and the next 10 to 15 picks. In my opinion (and because we don’t have much indication about what the Pistons want – other than they probably aren’t high on Davis – let’s stick with my opinion), there isn’t much to differentiate the value of those five players.

Aldrich is the safe pick. Whiteside has the upside (hey, that rhymes). Davis, Patterson and Udoh fall in between. But their values (odds of success multiplied by upside) all seem similar.

Unless you like one of those guys well above the rest, if you’re the first team to draft one of them, it’s not a great pick. But if you get the last of the group, that’s probably good value. Unfortunately, the Pistons position at No. 7 dictates they’ll probably fall on the low-value side of that scale.

If the first six picks of the draft are John Wall, Evan Turner, Favors, Wesley Johnson, Cousins and Monroe, who would Detroit take? The consensus next-best player available is Al-Farouq Aminu. But another combo forward isn’t ideal, and Aminu doesn’t exactly exude the toughness Joe Dumars says he wants.

So, what are the options?

Maybe Detroit could trade down to a team that wants Aminu or another forward (like Cameron Haywood). Or maybe the Pistons could trade down to a team that has its sights set on a particular second-tier big man. But as I said before, that doesn’t seem likely.

So, that leaves one more option: trade out.

Finally, to the actual trade I’m proposing.

Chad Ford reported the Nuggets have been offering Ty Lawson for a top-10 pick. I’ve previously used this space to champion trading for Lawson, so I won’t rehash it all here.

Jeremy Wagner of Roundball Mining Company isn’t a fan of trading Lawson, but understands this would be a win-now move. If the Nuggets are looking for an immediate impact, Jeremy thinks Aldrich is probably their target (and I agree).

The most common trade partner mentioned with the Nuggets is the Pacers, who hold the 10th pick and desperately need a point guard. A trade with the Pistons would mean Denver would have to pay the pick more, which could be a slight drawback.

But given that the Jazz may lose Carlos Boozer in free agency, they could target Aldrich at No. 9. So, if the Nuggets want Aldrich, they’d be safer trading with Detroit than with Indiana.

Wilcox would also offer more size for the Nuggets, who are looking for depth down low. His expiring contract could help facilitate another trade, too.

The Pistons would waive Karl, and given his dad coaches the team, Denver probably isn’t in too much danger of him signing elsewhere (assuming the Nuggets want to keep him, and I think they do.)

Nuggets’ perspective

From Jeremy Wagner of Roundball Mining Company:

From a Nuggets fan’s standpoint obviously the seventh pick is more exciting than the tenth pick, but ultimately Denver will be targeting the same player regardless of which pick they acquire. I would be concerned about what additional assets the Nuggets might be forced to give up to pull off a swap with Detroit.

I believe Lawson would be a good fit for Detroit. The knock on Lawson is his lack of size.  Most observers believe his small stature equates with poor defender, but that is not the case. As you would expect, he moves well laterally and can stay in front of his man. I was also impressed with how well he fought over screens, especially for a rookie. Obviously, he can be taken advantage of in the post by larger point guards although he is strong and does a good job fighting for position.

Offensively, Lawson is known as a fast paced player, and he does excel in transition. He is also very effective in a half court game, which makes him so valuable as a point guard. His perimeter offense was much better than expected. Even so despite his strong percentages (according to Hotspots on NBA.com, he shot at least 40% from every section of the floor save two, both were behind the arc and he still shot 33% from those two areas) he is a tentative shooter. Part of that is due to the fact he prefers to pass than shoot. It was announced Tuesday that Lawson will be on the Nuggets summer league roster and he was quoted as saying he wants to work on being more assertive.

Lawson is a 22-year-old point guard with a great feel for the game and tremendous ability who played very well as a rookie. He is already a legitimate starting point guard and I am excited to see how much better he can become. The Nuggets may have come out of the Billups for Iverson deal better off than the Pistons. If this trade becomes a reality, it might not make up for that transaction, but I suspect the tables will be turned.

My response

Jeremy’s analysis just intensifies my desire to get Lawson. I’ve written Detroit should be more focused on a big man than a point guard this summer, and I still believe that.

But Lawson would give the Pistons a quality backcourt, and Dumars has talked about how important that is to him.


This trade depends on whether the Pistons value any of the second-tier big men above the rest, and who knows whether they do? But if they don’t and Lawson really is available, in my mind, this trade is better than reaching at No. 7.

Trade Idea: Trading up two spots to get DeMarcus Cousins


Pistons receive:

  • Andres Nocioni (8.5 points, 3.0 rebounds, 1.0 assists, 0.3 blocks, 0.4 steals)
  • No. 5 pick in 2010 draft
  • Sacramento’s second-round pick in 2013 or 2014 (Kings’ option in 2013)

Kings receive:

  • Tayshaun Prince (13.5 points, 5.1 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 0.4 blocks, 0.7 steals)
  • No. 7 pick in 2010 draft


Pistons receive:

Player 2010/11 2011/12 2012/13 2013/14  2014/15
Andres Nocioni $6,850,000 $6,650,000  $7,500,000 $0 $0
No. 5 pick $2,812,200 $3,023,100  $3,234,000  $4,097,478  $5,433,256
Total $9,662,200 $9,673,100 $10,734,000 $4,097,478  $5,433,256

Kings receive:

Player 2010/11 2011/12 2012/13 2013/14 2014/15
Tayshaun Prince $11,147,760 $0 $0 $0 $0
No. 7 pick $2,331,700 $2,506,600 $2,681,400 $3,405,378 $4,566,612
Total $13,479,460 $2,506,600 $2,681,400 $3,405,378 $4,566,612

Team option

Qualifying offer

Pistons’ perspective

Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski provided the basis of this trade Sunday:

Sources say the Kings are also still open to trade possibilities, and Detroit and Utah are two teams eager to move up in the draft. The Pistons’ Tayshaun Prince could be intriguing to the Kings, who are eager to add a veteran small forward to the roster.

Zach Harper (Cowbell Kingdom) and I discussed the particulars last night, and we both believe this version makes the most sense.

Nocioni is overpaid, and you probably hate him. But he only has one more guaranteed season than Prince.

He’s a good defender, and he would inject some of the much-need toughness Joe Dumars has talked about finding. If he didn’t shoot so much, Nocioni would be a great role player. And his ability to swing to power forward makes him more ideal for this roster than Prince.

But really, he’s the bullet Detroit would have to bite to get DeMarcus Cousins. Dumars has been rumored to want to move up, and Cousins is often mentioned as the target. Cousins could be the Pistons’ starting center for the next 10 years, or he could flame out of the league in a few years. With the fifth pick, I think the risk presents a great value.

It appears the first four picks of the draft will be John Wall, Evan Turner, Derrick Favors and Wesley Johnson. That means Cousins would likely be available at No. 5.

I know one conclusion could be: if the Kings are willing to do this trade, they’d probably pass on Cousins, so Detroit would be better off staying at No. 7. But Golden State would likely take Cousins at No. 6. Logic like this doesn’t fly (from Vincent Goodwill Jr. of The Detroit News):

Although there’s a spot between Detroit and Sacramento, you can just about "X" the Golden State Warriors out of the equation. Don Nelson is running the show, and the last time he took a big man with a top-10 pick was in 1998, when he drafted the portly Robert "Tractor" Traylor from Michigan–then subsequently traded him for the big man he really wanted, Dirk Nowitzki.

I don’t understand how taking Stephen Curry over Jordan Hill last year proves the Warriors won’t take Cousins. That’s the only time Nelson has had a top-10 pick since 1998. It’s hardly a pattern.

I e-mailed Rasheed Malek of WarriorsWorld.net last night, and he believes Golden State would likely take Cousins if he’s available at No. 6. The Warriors need an interior presence, and Cousins would provide that. Besides, it’s not like Nelson’s future with the Warriors is guaranteed, so there’s no point of passing on the best player available for someone who fits his small-ball system.

If the Pistons want Cousins – and indications are they do – a trade like this is probably necessary to get him.

Kings’ perspective

Zach Harper of Cowbell Kingdom:

The Kings have two missions in retooling the roster this summer: 1) get better defensively and 2) cut long-term salary for the upcoming Collective Bargaining Agreement. This trade seems to solve both of these issues in one fell swoop and it’s almost too easy.

Tayshaun Prince seems to be the perfect mentor for guys like Donté Greene and Omri Casspi. A year under his tutelage could be invaluable. With the strides Donté Greene made between his rookie and sophomore years, being shown the ropes by Prince could help him go from very good role player to 10-year starter. For Omri, Prince could help curb some of the confidence in practice every day and make him learn how to be creative and crafty in the way he attacks the best defenders in the league.

Also, having his expiring contract at the trade deadline when contenders will be looking for a dynamic defender to complete their championship run could be even more valuable. With the year of contract lopped off the future, the Kings would get maximum roster flexibility. It would put the Kings nearly $30 million under the cap heading into the potential lockout and allow them to go on a deadline spending spree or a free agency spending spree once the CBA is hammered out.

The real question is whether or not the Kings can justify passing on DeMarcus Cousins if he’s there. He has the potential to be a huge bust because of attitude problems or to be the best player in the draft. Is giving that opportunity to find out worth some financial freedom and a defensive role player with the seventh pick (Udoh or Whiteside most likely)? How do you sell that to your fans in good conscience?

My response

Maybe the Pistons aren’t as public about it or maybe they’ll be ill-suited for the new NBA, but I’m glad they’re not overly concerned about cutting payroll.

I don’t think it was a coincidence Chauncey Billups was traded to his hometown of Denver. Prince is from California, and I think Dumars would try to accommodate him, too.

Prince’s attitude wavered at time this season, but I think it would improve in California. He still looks up to Ben Wallace and Richard Hamilton in Detroit. I think he would embrace being a leader with the younger Kings.

Zach also brings up one reason I’d hesitate to make the trade. Prince could have big value to a contender at the trade deadline.


If the Pistons love Cousins and the Kings don’t (which both seem very possible), this trade makes a ton of sense for both sides.

Nine potential Kwame Brown trades

Happy Trade Deadline Day!

I’ll be traveling until about 1 p.m. today, but I will try to check in when I can. Graham will likely handle some updates, too. So, don’t worry. We’ll provide full coverage of today’s happenings.

Maybe I can even get lucky and get a head start. As I said before, I think trading Kwame Brown makes the most sense for the Pistons. With that in mind, here are nine potential deals with Brown as the centerpiece.

When I have them, my fellow TrueHoop Network blogger’s thoughts are included.

A couple ideas were ruined as I was preparing this post. (Wouldn’t Brown for Al Thornton and Sebastian Telfair have made sense?)

Oklahoma City Thunder

  • Brown and DaJuan Summers for Nenad Krstic

I’d be a huge fan of this deal. Krstic is a solid defender and a capable inside scorer. He’s under contract next season, which is why Detroit seems to have a chance of prying him from the cap-conscience Thunder.

Royce Young of Daily Thunder:

I think it makes sense. Krstic is OKC’s most expendable rotation player. However, I could see Presti sitting pat because I think he might be a little worried about screwing with chemistry and I don’t know how Kwame Brown would fit in. But overall, I think it works. Summers would be a nick pickup because currently, OKC doesn’t have anyone behind KD on the depth chart. Thabo and Jeff Green can both slide to that spot, but no one officially plays small forward behind Durant.

Orlando Magic

  • Brown for Brandon Bass

The Pistons pursued Bass in the summer, but he signed a four-year, $18 million deal with Orlando instead. He hasn’t played as well as the Magic had hoped, but do they have enough buyer’s remorse to deal him for an expiring contract already?

Zach McCann of Orlando Magic Daily:

To gain an expiring contract and save a few bucks down the line, it makes sense. But the Magic would never, ever do it.
1. They feel Bass for 4 years, $18 million is a solid deal (even if they aren’t using him).
2. Making that trade would be Otis Smith admitting he made a mistake with the Bass signing. And I don’t see him throwing himself under the bus that way.
That’s my opinion, anyway.

Atlanta Hawks

  • Brown for Mo Evans, Jason Collins and a pick

Atlanta would be offering a sweetener in the form of a draft pick for Detroit taking Evans, who is under contract next season. Collins’ contract expires after this season.

Bret Lagree of Hoopinion:

It makes sense for next year (Evans is, I believe, a sure bet to exercise his player option) but I’m struggling to think of who the Hawks would get to replace Evans in the rotation. The organization is really wary of change and, despite the Mario West fixation, I don’t think they want to give him a bigger role, thank goodness.

Toronto Raptors

  • Brown for Marcus Banks and a pick.

Like the previous trade, the Pistons would get a sweetener for taking an unfavorable contract that ends after next season.

Sam Holako of Raptors Republic:

I don’t mind that trade so much since Belinelli could defend the PG and Turkoglu could become the playmaker in the even of a Calderon injury.

San Antonio Spurs

  • Brown and a pick for Roger Mason

I’m not sure if this makes any sense for the Pistons. Maybe if Richard Hamilton is traded for a non-shooting guard and Detroit becomes in the market for a backup shooting guard. Mason’s contract is also expiring.

Graydon Gordian of 48 Minutes of Hell:

I’m not sure it makes sense for the Spurs. With Duncan, Blair, McDyess, Bonner and Ratliff, the Spurs aren’t in dire need of frontcourt depth, although it is an interest of ours. In my opinion, we’d be trading a guy we could use situationally in the playoffs for a guy who would never see the court come the postseason. Although the pick sweetens the deal, I’m not sure it’s enough.

Dallas Mavericks

  • Brown for Matt Carroll and a pick

Carroll’s contract has three years left, so this would likely be a first-round pick. I covered this deal – with Richard Hamilton and Josh Howard included – in a Trade Idea post.

Denver Nuggets

  • Brown for Malik Allen, Anthony Carter, Johan Petro and Joey Graham

The Nuggets would like to add another defensive-minded big man, but I think Brown probably makes too much to fit. The small plus for Detroit would be saving a couple hundred thousand dollars. The Pistons would have to cut at least two of the players they’d receive in this trade.

Jeremy Wagner of Roundball Mining Company:

I do not think the Nuggets would even consider that.  It would add too much payroll and they are not going to add payroll unless it makes them considerably better.

Miami Heat

  • Brown for James Jones and a pick

Similar to previous suggestions, the Heat would offer a draft pick to clear cap room. Jones is under contract for the next three seasons, but his deal is only partially guaranteed. So, this wouldn’t be as bad a hit to Detroit’s cap as it looks.

Memphis Grizzlies

  • Brown and a protected first-round pick for Mike Conley

Like the trade with the Spurs, I’m not sure what this accomplishes for Detroit. After Pistons drafted Rodney Stuckey 15th in the same draft Conley went second, they bragged about how Stuckey was nearly as fast as Conley but a lot bigger.

But Chad Ford reported Conley is available for an expiring contract a first-round pick. Conley is talented, and the Pistons seem interested in loading up on talent regardless of position. At some point that plan will change. I’m not sure if it has yet.

Could the Pistons trade with Golden State?

The Pistons have a lot of pieces on the block, and so do the Warriors. So, I thought a trade between those two teams could make sense. But with so many possibilities, I had no idea where to begin. Reader Ryan Strauss sent this idea to get the ball rolling:

Detroit gets: Anthony Randloph, Vladimir Radmanovic, CJ Watson

Golden State gets: Rip -OR- Tay

This would give us some size and some youth.  Watson is obviously another guard and could well walk, but certainly talented enough to try to work in.  Golden State could take back Rip for a locker room guy though I think Tay’s contract would be more appealing – if need be, I would be willing to throw in Daye or Summers to get the deal done.

I forwarded that idea to Rasheed Malek of WarriorsWorld.net and asked about Tayshaun Prince for Andris Biedrins. Here’s Rasheed’s response:

1.  Prince for Biedrins- is a deal that would be pretty good for both sides.  The Warriors need an athletic 3 who can run the floor, defend and do a little bit of everything- which is exactly what Prince can bring them.  Biedrins gives the Pistons a legitimate Center who will rebound, block shots and finish inside and do the dirty work needed to win games.  The Warriors in particular Don Nelson has kinda soured on Biedrins which is not all Biedrins fault as injuries and a severe workload has been the root for his ill.  Biedrins needs to dedicate this summer to improving his offensive game as from the time he entered the league to now, there’s been minimal improvement on that end.  With no National team responsibilities this off-season, it should allow him to rest up and come back at full strength next season.

2.  From everything GM Larry Riley has said, Monta and Steph Curry are the only "Untouchables" on this roster.  Which means the Warriors would be willing to move Anthony Randolph in that right deal which really means you take Corey Maggette off our hands and we’ll toss in Anthony Randolph.  The Warriors will not move Anthony Randolph by himself or for the sake of trading him, unless a team is willing to absorb a big money contract from the Warriors, Randolph isn’t going anywhere.  Richard Hamilton would not be someone the Warriors would bring in simply because they’re quite happy with their starting backcourt and doesn’t make sense to bring in another Guard who makes big money when the pressing need for this team is a legitimate big man who can score but more importantly rebound.

Could the Detroit Pistons facilitate an Amar’e-to-Miami deal?

First off, a few assumptions:

  • The Suns would like a young power forward and expiring contracts for Stouedmire (evidenced by their interest in trading him to Cleveland for Zydrunas Ilgauskas and J.J. Hickson).
  • Phoenix would rather get Michael Beasley than Hickson.
  • The Heat may be reluctant to include Dorell Wright, who has been playing well lately.
  • The Suns don’t want to take back Jermaine O’Neal’s contract because they’d have to trade someone else back to Miami.

Enter the Pistons.

Here’s what I came up with:


The Pistons would also receive a draft pick.

Originally, I was thinking Detroit could receive the Marcus Banks trade exception instead of Cook. But I’m pretty sure it doesn’t work under the cap rules. Maybe you know better than me, but can an exception be traded for a single player in a three-team trade where that player goes to the third team?

Phoenix and Miami perspectives

Michael Schwartz of Valley of the Suns and Mathew Bunch of Hot Hot Hoops sent me some feedback on the deal.

Schwartz likes Beasley a lot more than Hickson, but he didn’t seem convinced the Suns feel the same way.  He said O’Neal would work in the trade if the Heat take Jason Richardson, but I don’t think they would. He also said Beasley would have to be included in any deal with Miami.

But Bunch doesn’t think Beasley will be traded, citing the Heat owners Mickey Arison. So, something would have to give if the Heat really are serious about getting Stoudemire. Bunch also said, if push comes to shove, Miami wouldn’t hesitate to include Wright – which would mean the Pistons wouldn’t be necessary in the trade.

Extreme version

I also came up with a crazy version of how the Pistons could help the deal work, an all-in type of trade for Miami: