Sheed to the Spurs?


ESPN’S Marc Stein detailed some trade rumblings in his column today, and one involved the Pistons:

5. San Antonio’s desire to acquire one more big man (preferably a floor-stretching big man) to counter the Lakers and Boston is no secret.

The surprise stems from the rumbles I’ve heard about Detroit free-agent-to-be Rasheed Wallace, he who is chief among the Pistons unsettled by the realization that big changes are undoubtedly coming in that locker room, having legit interest in joining the Spurs to team up with his 2005 NBA Finals nemesis Tim Duncan.

Don’t see a real trade possibility here — given that the Pistons are unlikely to take back anything other than expiring contracts for the expiring deals possessed by Wallace andAllen Iverson unless they have a chance to trade for someone like Stoudemire or Chris Bosh– but it’s something to file away for free agency.”

Wallace would be a perfect fit with the Spurs. He takes pride in his defense, and his ability to stretch the floor would be perfect for their offense. And, most importantly, a change of scenery would re-energize him.

But as Timothy Varner of 48 Minutes of Hell pointed out, it’s pretty tough to find a workable deal between Detroit and San Antonio. Here are a couple trades that might make the most sense, and they’re not all that feasible:

Rasheed Wallace for Manu Ginobili and Kurt Thomas

First of all, I doubt the Spurs would make this deal. Ginobili is too important to them.

This trade gets the Pistons the best player possible, but they already have a log jam at shooting guard. It probably wouldn’t make sense for Detroit without also trading Allen Iverson or Richard Hamilton for a big man.

Both Ginobili and Thomas have two years left on their contracts, so the Pistons wouldn’t lose any cap space for the free agent class of 2010.

Rasheed Wallace for Kurt Thomas, Matt Bonner, Fabricio Oberto, Jacque Vaughn and draft picks

This deal probably makes more sense. It’s basically Wallace for spare parts and draft picks. All their contracts will be up by 2010, but Vaughn is the only one whose is up this year.

A caveat: Pistons president Joe Dumars probably wants to save cap room for 2010, not for this summer. But if he wants the space right now, this trade doesn’t make any sense.

The deal obviously comes down to the draft picks. Detroit gave up two first-rounders to acquire Wallace. The Spurs are in a similar position to the Pistons in 2004, so two first-rounders might make sense here, too.

San Antonio doesn’t have its 2009 first-round draft pick. But it’s probably beneficial for the Pistons to not have to pay an extra rookie until after 2010.

And the last time Detroit traded an aging big man for a distant draft pick, it was quite a steal. The Pistons traded Otis Thorpe to the Vancouver Grizzlies for a future first round pick in 1997. Six years later, that pick turned into the second-overall pick in the best draft in NBA history.

OK, maybe it wasn’t such a steal.