Friday Trade Idea: Bring David West to the Detroit Pistons

This is the first post in a new weekly series. Every Friday, I’ll analyze a potential Pistons trade. It might be a rumor, a deal I completely made up blindly (like this one) or one you suggest (e-mail me at [email protected] or leave a proposal in the comments).

Trade

Pistons receive:

  • David West (17.3 points, 7.4 rebounds , 2.4 assists, 0.7 blocks, 0.8 steals)
  • Ike Diogu (0.0 points, 0.0 rebounds , 0.0 assists, 0.0 blocks, 0.0 steals)
  • Sean Marks (1.0 points, 4.0 rebounds , 0.4 assists, 0.4 blocks, 0.0 steals)

Hornets receive:

  • Kwame Brown (3.8 points, 3.8 rebounds , 0.6 assists, 0.1 blocks, 0.3 steals)
  • Chris Wilcox (4.2 points, 3.5 rebounds , 0.3 assists, 0.5 blocks, 0.3 steals)
  • DaJuan Summers (2.7 points, 1.0 rebounds , 0.3 assists, 0.8 blocks, 1.0 steals)
  • Detroit’s first-round pick (top-20 protected this season, lottery-protected afterward)

Salaries

Pistons receive:

Player 2009/10 2010/11 2011/12
David West $9,075,000 $8,287,500 $7,525,000
Sean Marks $1,187,686 $0 $0
Ike Diogu $884,881 $0 $0
TOTALS: $11,147,567 $8,287,500 $7,525,000

Hornets receive:

Player 2009/10 2010/11 2011/12
Kwame Brown $4,100,000 $0 $0
Chris Wilcox $3,000,000 $3,000,000 $0
DaJuan Summers $457,588 $457,588 $0
TOTALS: $7,557,588 $3,457,588 $0

Player option

Team option

Pistons’ perspective

I realize this trade doesn’t look great for the Hornets. But it’s based on a few assumptions.

1. The Hornets can’t find takers for Peja Stojakovic, Morris Peterson or James Posey.

2. New Orleans becomes desperate to shed salary this year. That means West has to go.

3. Although the demand would increase greatly for him next year, West doesn’t draw a lot of interest because teams want to save their cap space for this summer.

The deal would save the Hornets $3,268,406 this season in salary (prorated to the end of the year). And they’d save that total amount in luxury tax payments.

They’d also save $8,287,500 next year if Wilcox declines his option and the Hornets don’t pick up Summers’ option. Wilcox could make $3 million next season.

I also think Wilcox would be a good fit with the Hornets, especially because of his ability to receive Chris Paul’s alley-oops. It’s not likely, but it’s reasonable Wilcox could have value at $3 million next year.

For the Pistons, I think this trade is a pretty clear win.

West could help the Pistons get into the playoffs this year, providing the inside scoring they sorely lack. And at 29, he’s young enough to rebuild with.

With or without this trade – barring another deal – the Pistons won’t have cap room this summer. But this deal would set the Pistons up nicely for the next summer.

They’d have only about $37 million committed to salary (assuming David West opts out). Tayshaun Prince, Rodney Stuckey and West would all be free agents. In all likelihood, Detroit would try to re-sign all three. But if something went awry in the plan, the Pistons could let them walk and have the flexibility to go a different direction.

The Pistons are in a position to take on salary right now. They’re one of the few teams in the league not saving cap room for the summer that has a relatively low payroll. The questions are whether they take advantage of their position and how desperate other teams really are.

Hornets’ perspective

For each trade, I will seek the analysis of the other team’s TrueHoop Network blogger.

Ryan Schwan of Hornets247:

“Nothing is outside the realm of possibility, but there are two things that would have to occur for the Hornets to even consider trading David West.

1. They’d have to be unable to bribe a team like the Nets, OKC, or Memphis to take on Hilton Armstrong and his expiring 2.8 Mil contract + a cash/pick sweetener. This would seem to be their preferred method of cutting salary.

2. They’d have to really fall apart from here to the All-star break. The Hornets are absolutely serious about keeping together the team as long as it can realistically reach the playoffs. The team has also been clicking of late as the they have finally adjusted to having five new rotation players. (And compensating for having Paul miss nine games)

Despite the over-reporting of the Hornets financial woes, that isn’t actually the case. Yes, the Hornets have the lowest ticket price in the league and are also in a small market, but their per game revenue is in the middle ten of the league, and their corporate endorsements haven’t really been impacted by the bad economy. Sure, they are willing to sacrifice players like Rasual Butler – and Devin Brown – for Tax relief, but those players are marginal rotation players at best.

Now – if the team collapses between here and February, then I’d expect to see every player not named Chris Paul put on the trading block. That said, I’m not sure the package you list, which gives the Hornets nothing at all useful except for space under the Luxury Tax line (not even cap space) would entice the Hornets to give up a two-time all-star who is essentially an 8 million dollar expiring contract next year. (He’s bound to opt out of his third year.)”

My response

Only one team, the Grizzlies, could absorb Armstrong’s contract without sending a player back. And even if Memphis made that deal, New Orleans wouldn’t save as much this year and wouldn’t save any money next year.

Verdict

The Pistons would do it. But the Hornets probably pass today – any maybe forever.

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Tags: Chris Wilcox DaJuan Summers Kwame Brown

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