Report: Pistons, Rockets could swap picks

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports has a report that the Detroit Pistons and Houston Rockets might swap 1st-rounders in Thursday’s NBA Draft:

Houston continues to offer the 14th and 23rd picks in the draft to move into the top 10, and could have a willing partner with the Detroit Pistons at No. 8. The Pistons have told teams they won’t trade down until they see who drops to them on draft night, sources said. In what could be an interesting window into the Pistons’ preferences, San Diego State forward Kawhi Leonard worked out for Detroit on Monday, and shortly thereafter cancelled his Wednesday workout with the Milwaukee Bucks, who have the 10th pick. Several executives believe Leonard may have left Auburn Hills with a guarantee. …

Wojnarowksi is a terrific reporter so I can totally believe that the Pistons and the Rockets have discussed the above trade but I can’t believe that the Pistons would have given a guarantee to Leonard already. Not when they still have the most important rookie workout of the draft process — featuring Bismack Biyombo, Tristan Thompson and Markieff Morris — scheduled for today.

So in analyzing the supposed trade, you have to ask yourself who are they giving up a shot at and who are they gaining a shot at with the later pick. Apparently the speculation is that the Rockets want to trade up to draft Leonard so you obviously lose a shot at him. You’re missing your shot (however slim) at drafting Kemba Walker and probably Jonas Valanciunas. After that the common names I’m seeing from 8- 13 include Jimmer Fredette, Alec Burks and Klay Thompson, offensive-minded players who don’t really appeal to Detroit.

And that means that the Pistons could get many of the players they are interested in at No. 8 at No. 14. You’d have to believe at least one player of the Tristan Thompson, Bismack Biyombo, Markieff Morris triumvirate will be there. And they could grab an international big man with big upside such as Nikola Vucevic while not worrying about fan reaction because of the second first round pick at  No. 23. I’m wondering exactly how keen they are on the extra pick considering that they turned down an offer from the Dallas Mavericks to take their first rounder in exchange for renting Tayshaun Prince for the rest of the season. But for the sake of argument let’s see who would be available in that range — rebounding specialist Kenneth Faried, Michigan point guard Darius Morris or Boston College point guard Reggie Jackson. There are options there that would greatly help the Pistons in their rebuilding effort. Stay tuned.

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