Modeled after ESPN’s 5-on-5, Patrick and I will answer three questions about a Pistons-related topic. We’re going to use 3-on-3s to assess the tradability of each Piston leading up to the March 15 trade deadline.
Please add your responses in the comment.
1. How motivated are the Pistons to trade Ben Gordon?
Dan Feldman: The Pistons appeared to believe before the season that Gordon would return to form, and that likely contributed to the decision to buy out Richard Hamilton. But since then, Gordon has improved only marginally and Rodney Stuckey has established himself as the best guard next to Brandon Knight. If the Pistons could give away Gordon – which they probably can’t – they should.
Patrick Hayes: Beyond motivated. Being able to shed Gordon’s contract in a trade would be a much-needed win for Joe Dumars. The potential of Brandon Knight and the production of Rodney Stuckey all but assure that Gordon has no future as a starter in Detroit. Paying a premium price for a bench guard who has been as inconsistent as Gordon is is simply a luxury Detroit can no longer afford. I’m not sure there’s a deal out there for Gordon that doesn’t involve a bad contract in return, but nonetheless, I’m confident Detroit is doing whatever it can to entice someone into taking him.
Royce Young: They should be very motivated. The Pistons aren’t going anywhere with this roster and there’s really no sense in treading water. He’s still on the books for $12.4 million next season and a player option after that, so you’d be clearing out some cap space while also likely getting a young asset or two in return. Plus, the more you can free the future backcourt of Rodney Stuckey and Brandon Knight, the better.
2. How motivated are other teams to trade for Ben Gordon?
Dan Feldman: If the Pistons are willing to take another bad contract or two in return, other teams would probably be more than willing to acquire Gordon, who can score capably off the bench. But if the Pistons want actual positive assets in return, I don’t think even a team in need of an off-the-bench scoring guard could justify adding his salary.
Patrick Hayes: Not very. It’s not that Gordon couldn’t help. He’s a good 3-point shooter who could flourish either next to an elite point guard or in a wide open offense that values elite perimeter shooting like Phoenix, the Clippers, New York or Orlando. I’m just not sure any of those teams, all of which are already tied down by hefty salary obligations, would be willing to take on the rest of Gordon’s contract.
Royce Young: The money he’s owed surely will scare some others away, but it wasn’t long ago that Gordon nearly carried the Bulls to a first round upset of the Celtics. There are a number of teams that could use a little 2-guard help – Clippers being an obvious one – so there would likely be a decent market for a scorer like Gordon.
3. How likely are the Pistons to trade Ben Gordon?
Dan Feldman: Ben Gordon’s contract is mostly over, and his on-court regression has stopped and maybe even reversed. I don’t think there’s a huge market for him – or maybe not even one at all – but his value is only growing. I don’t think he gets moved this year, but I bet Dumars is having more conversations about Gordon than ever before.
Patrick Hayes: Not very. I think the odds of the Pistons making any type of major trade is pretty low as most teams don’t even have a great feel for what their actual needs are because of the abbreviated season. For a team to take on Gordon, they’d either have to be in panic mode or convinced that his three-year decline is a result of being in a situation not conducive to his talents rather than an actual physical decline in his abilities. I don’t know if Gordon would produce more elsewhere. He might. But that’s a pretty expensive gamble for another team to take.
Royce Young: I don’t think it’s all that likely, mainly because I doubt the Pistons will receive an offer they like in return. Gordon makes too much money right now and with him having two years left on his deal, some interested teams will shy away. Next season could be when his trade value is the highest.