Pistons and 76ers discussed Marreese Speights trade

Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press:

The Pistons had trade discussions with the 76ers about power forward Marreese Speights, but Philadelphia specified that it only wanted picks and not a player. That eliminated the Pistons since they are over the salary cap.

The 76ers traded Speights to the Grizzlies, receiving two second-round picks. As part of the deal, the Grizzlies also sent Xavier Henry to the Hornets, who gave the 76ers one of the second-round picks.

The salary-cap rules prevent the Pistons from trading just picks for Speights, who’s in the last year of his rookie contract and set to be a restricted free agent this summer. But as Memphis did, Detroit could’ve traded a player to a third team with cap room, which would’ve sent another pick to Philadelphia.

For example, the Pistons trading Austin Daye (to the Hornets) and a second-round pick (to the 76ers) for Speights would have worked under the cap and follow the basic guideline of the actual trade. Would the Hornets take Daye instead of Henry? The 76ers would have likely prefer Detroit’s second-pick to the Grizzlies’ second-round pick. So with the right pressure, New Orleans might have been choosing between Daye and a 2013 second rounder, not Daye and Henry.

If the Pistons had the opportunity to make that trade – Daye and a 2012 second-round pick for Speights – I’d lean toward accepting. I wouldn’t beat up the Pistons for passing, if they had the opportunity. It’s a close call, considering how valuable that second rounder might be in this draft. But a developed Speights is likely more valuable than a developed Daye, simply because bigs are more valuable than wings.

Would you make the deal?*

*Daye and Detroit’s 2012 second-round pick for Speights is the hypothetical offer. No substituting a less-valuable player or pick. That’s not thought provoking. It’s annoying.

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