The many reasons Detroit didn’t trade for Glen Davis

Have you been completely wrong about a player? Had no idea how good (or bad) he was?

I saw Marc J. Spears’s report saying the Pistons quickly turned down a trade of Jason Maxiell and a first-round pick for Glen Davis, Gabe Pruitt and J.R. Giddens, and I didn’t understand why.

I figured Davis was better than Maxiell. And a first rounder is more valuable than Pruitt and Giddens. So, it seemed like the deal should at least be considered.

I had heard a lot of positives about Davis. And whenever I watched the Celtics, he seemed to play well.

But I was completely wrong about him.

Jason Maxiell is a lot better than Glen Davis

Davis’s numbers are awful.

Here’s a statistical comparison from the last two years:

Maxiell 16.3 14.2 0.578
Davis 10.9 11.9 0.517

Davis is three years younger than Maxiell. But Davis’s numbers went down in each of these categories from his rookie season to last.

And neither has good defensive number. Opposing power forwards have a PER of of 18.2 against Davis and 19.5 against Maxiell.

For more reading on whether Davis is any good, check out this Zach Lowe post on Celtics Hub.

Roster size

Another drawback is this trade would have given the Pistons two more players. Including the rookies who will likely be on the team next year (Austin Daye, DaJuan Summers, Jonas Jerebko and Deron Washington), Detroit has 14 players.

This trade would put the Pistons over the limit of 15. With the economic downturn, I expect the Pistons to have 13 players, maybe 14. But definitely not 15. Even in better times, Joe Dumars usually liked to carry 14.

(On a related note, with the Sekou Smith report that “it’s just a matter of time before Wallace returns to the Pistons,” I think something is up.

Simple solution is the Pistons don’t sign Ben Wallace. Then they’re left with 14 players.

But if they sign him, I think a trade that trims the roster is coming. I just can’t see Detroit having 15 players.)


When Maxiell signed a four-year, $20 million deal last year, it made a lot of sense. At worst, he was a high-end reserve. At best, he was a starter. Either way, he was worth $5 million per season.

But Maxiell clashed with Michael Curry last year and wasn’t as productive as we had seen in past years. Curry wasn’t pleased with Maxiell’s rebounding (which is actually better than Davis’s). At this point, Maxiel doesn’t seem like a great value.

If this trade had done through, Davis could have earned between $2,312,290 and $4,495,623 next year. The high end is way too much, but the low end might be reasonable. I think his contract would have been closer to high end, though.

Last year was rock bottom for Maxiell. Davis seemed to be in a good situation with Celtics (despite this), and he didn’t produce.

Even though he costs a little more, I’d rather take my chances Maxiell will rebound (figuratively and literally) under John Kuester than pick up Davis.

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