Pistons and Raptors neared draft-day trade that could’ve involved Brandon Knight, Jonas Valanciunas and two others

Keith Langlois of Pistons.com:

#Raptors get Valanciunas, plus lottery pick. Remember draft night: Joe D said he was on phone w/Raps when Cavs shocked by taking TThompson 4

#Raptors #Pistons had deal near, one for one, plus swap of 5th, 8th picks. Likely Pistons would have Valanciunas in Europe, Raps B Knight

I was a big Jonas Valanciunas fan, so I can’t read these tweets without wishing the trade had occurred. I struggle to figure how Tristan Thompson going to Cleveland at No. 4 affected the Pistons-Raptors trade, though.

Maybe the Raptors thought Valanciunas, their desired target, wouldn’t be available at No. 5 while they were negotiating with Detroit. If that were the case, and Langlois is correct that the Pistons wanted to trade up to draft Valanciunas, the trade never would have occurred. Either Valanciunas would have been available at No. 5 and the Raptors would have rejected the deal, or Valanciunas wouldn’t have been available at No. 5 and the Pistons would have rejected the deal.

Maybe Toronto thought the Bobcats would’ve taken Thompson at No. 7, and with Thompson off the board, Charlotte might take Knight. Then, Toronto wouldn’t get Knight at No. 8. That scenario is a bit more complicated, but it would at least make the trade viable.

As far as the players involved – one from each team, according to Langlois – using the Pistons’ and Raptors’ salaries at the time, here are the possibilities:

  • Richard Hamilton: None
  • Ben Gordon: Jose Calderon
  • Charlie Villanueva: Andrea Bargnani , Leandro Barbosa,* Amir Johnson , Linas Kleiza, DeMar DeRozan , Jerryd Bayless , Ed Davis, James Johnson , Solomon Alabi
  • Jason Maxiell: Amir Johnson , Linas Kleiza, DeMar DeRozan , Jerryd Bayless , Ed Davis, James Johnson , Solomon Alabi
  • Will Bynum: DeMar DeRozan , Jerryd Bayless , Ed Davis, James Johnson , Solomon Alabi
  • Greg Monroe: DeMar DeRozan , Jerryd Bayless , Ed Davis, James Johnson , Solomon Alabi
  • Ben Wallace: DeMar DeRozan , Jerryd Bayless , Ed Davis, James Johnson , Solomon Alabi
  • Austin Daye: Jerryd Bayless , Ed Davis, James Johnson , Solomon Alabi
  • Terrico White: None

*Barbosa would have had to agree not to opt out of his contract. Given that he ultimately accepted the final year of his contract, this probably would have happened.

I hope it was: Gordon-for-Calderon. Maybe the Raptors would’ve considered that trade if it coincided with drafting Knight, but I don’t know why Toronto would trade down just to make an, at best, questionable player swap work.

I hope it wasn’t: Monroe-for-Davis. Davis was my guess for the Pistons’ draft pick two years ago if the Warriors took Monroe instead of Ekpe Udoh, and Monroe’s offensive game hadn’t yet blossomed.

If I had to guess: Daye-for-Alabi. Really, I have no clue. I don’t see a great match.

Tags: Brandon Knight

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