I wanted the Pistons to make a trade. We all did.
After 976 days – a span filled mostly with losses and zero playoff games – who wouldn’t? Joe Dumars?
Dumars isn’t stupid. Even his most staunch opponents, at least among those with any shred of rationality, must realize nobody thinks this team is a finished product. The Pistons, as Dumars surely knows, need to upgrade their players, and he clearly tried to improve the Pistons’ outlook – but the they’re short on tradable assets. Making a trade for the sake of making a trade would have been satisfying today, but unless it actually helped the team in the long run, nobody would care. Nor should anyone.
The Pistons’ most meaningful steps forward will come from the draft, where nearly every team rebuilds. A trade today would not change that.
That doesn’t absolve Dumars, of course. He signed these players to the burdensome contracts that make them difficult to trade and didn’t’ seem prepared to pursue other team’s free agents after the lockout (but few teams quickly understood the realities of the new Collective Bargaining Agreement in the small window between the lockout ending and free agency beginning, causing most teams to take a conservative approach).
If the Pistons had tradable assets, like milk, they went bad as the franchise sat stagnant during its sale. Now, Dumars is stuck with a curdled roster. Outside Detroit’s major building blocks, which Pistons would other teams clamor for? My guess: nobody.
Grading the trade deadline ranges from nearly impossible to impossible – especially for the Pistons this year, when there was barely even a trade rumor. Maybe Dumars passed on a deal that he should have made. I have no idea, and likely, neither do you.
So, I’ll just do the only thing I can do: wait for June 28. The NBA draft – to everyone’s chagrin – has become the one day a year the Pistons make upgrades. But it would be the franchise’s most meaningful day for improvements, regardless, and if they keep getting their picks right, eventually the roster will have more desirable players.
Then, the trade deadline might be a little more eventful for the Pistons.