Monday Trade Idea: Dumping Jason Maxiell

Every Friday (well, that’s the goal), 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:

  • Adam Morrison (2.7 points, 1.4 rebounds , 0.6 assists, 0.1 blocks, 0.1 steals)

Lakers receive:

  • Jason Maxiell (5.2 points, 3.9 rebounds , 0.5 assists, 0.5 blocks, 0.4 steals)

Salaries

Pistons receive:

Player 2009/10 2010/11 2011/12 2012/13
Adam Morrison $5,257,228 $7,897,484 $0 $0
TOTALS: $5,257,228 $7,897,484 $0 $0

Lakers receive:

Player 2009/10 2010/11 2011/12 2012/13
Jason Maxiell $5,000,000 $5,000,000 $5,000,000 $5,000,000
TOTALS: $5,000,000 $5,000,000 $5,000,000 $5,000,000

Player option

Qualifying option

Pistons’ perspective

Since he signed a contract at the beginning of last season, Jason Maxiell has been slipping. He just doesn’t look as intense or sharp on the court.

It may be the contract extension, but there certainly could be other factors. The Pistons lost the stable leadership of Chauncey Billups and brought in Michael Curry as coach. He hasn’t exactly improved under John Kuester, either.

With the years and dollars left on his contract, Maxiell probably isn’t the best fit in Detroit. If a team offers an expiring contract or a semi-usable player with just one season left after this, Detroit would have to consider a deal.

With Maxiell’s salary removed from next year’s payroll, the Pistons would have room to re-sign Ben Wallace and Will Bynum and use their mid-level exception.

But the only teams likely to have interest are contenders that will be over the cap this summer. The Lakers fit that role, and I think a change in environment could help Maxiell.

At his best, Maxiell is a valuable reserve who can score in the post, with a mid-range jumper or on putbacks. He can rebound and defend a little, too.

But he hasn’t been his best in a while. Speaking of being off your game, the Lakers’ have Adam Morrison’s expiring contract. Rumor is they’re shopping it for immediate help, and I imagine they have their sites set higher than Maxiell. But I’m not sure how much more they could get.

Lakers’ perspective

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

Kurt Helin of Forum Blue & Gold:

“The Lakers are not looking to take on a lot of salary — they already have the highest payroll in the game (since the Knicks started actually managing the franchise) — but they will consider a good value. While the Lakers have a dominant front line right now, a little more depth is one thing they want (not as much as a quality point guard, but it is a need).

Maxiell, especially the one from the three years before this season, can be that guy. The Lakers would simply want hustle, rebounds, and defense for 20 minutes a game. Right now, particularly when Gasol is out, Josh Powell gets those minutes and Jason is an upgrade there.

The Lakers are shopping around Morrison’s contract, it is something they will move for a piece they think improves the team.

I would have scouts taking a close look at Maxiell, to see why his game has not progressed this season, why the setback. (This is something Piston fans probably understand better than I do.)

If it is something that a change in situation and a defined roll could change, the Lakers would have to consider it. Again, due to money they may follow through on something like this, but they would consider it.

As a side note, Piston fans should not look at Morrison as any more than an expiring contract. Do not think about him the rookie, he is just not that player right now, his confidence is shot and teams have the book on how to defend him.

If he gets an open look, he can still hit the shot. He can spread the floor.

But, he cannot create his own shot and teams will run him off open looks and force him to move, then it comes apart. Also, he is not a good defender at all.

This is not a case where he is right on the edge of turning the corner and becoming the player people had thought. This would be an expiring contract and little else.”

My response

I wouldn’t expect anything from Morrison. But if Detroit is acquiring an expiring contract for Maxiell, I’d rather it be a 25-year-old former No. 3 pick than some old, injured 35-year-old.

Verdict

The Pistons would make the trade. Barring an injury or a rotation player becoming less productive, the Lakers would pass.

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