The Pistons didn’t fit the profile of a team likely to make noise at the trade deadline. They aren’t hellbent on making a playoff run – they aren’t in that position just yet – so they weren’t about to dangle draft picks or underutilized young players for veteran talent. They aren’t on the downhill side of a long stretch of contention – they’re two-plus seasons past that point – so they aren’t bloated with veterans who hold obvious appeal to teams eager for a grab at the golden ring.
The teams who made moves — most notably the Lakers, Spurs and Clippers — were trying to set themselves up for a title run. The Wizards traded young pieces (Flint’s JaVale McGee and Nick Young), while the Portland Trail Blazers fired their coach, Nate McMillan, and released Greg Oden and a few other players in the name of "starting from scratch."
The Pistons don’t fit any of those descriptions
And who needs dramatic trades with the way the Pistons have been playing lately?
That dreadful 4-20 start seems like a distant memory after the Pistons’ 124-112 victory Wednesday night at Sacramento, behind a combined 95 points from Stuckey, Monroe and Tayshaun Prince. They are 12-7 since the bad start and are currently only three games out of the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference with 23 games remaining.
Do you know which teams fit the profile of a team that would look to make a trade yesterday? All of them. All of the teams could have benefited from the right trade yesterday.
Different teams should have pursued different types of trades, but there’s isn’t a single team that would have been better off standing pat for the sake of standing pat – the Pistons most definitely included.
Of course, standing pat because a team didn’t find a desirable offer is completely different. Patrick and I won’t criticize the Pistons for turning down offers unknown to us, but to suggest the Pistons weren’t the type of team to make a trade is absurd.
I don’t know whether Joe Dumars shared those three writers’ attitudes, but I would be absolutely shocked if he did.
Update: He didn’t. David Mayo of MLive:
Dumars said the Pistons’ recovery from a 4-20 start, to their 16-27 record entering tonight’s game against the Phoenix Suns, was not a consideration in trade talks.
“Two totally separate issues, because even if the team was not playing as well as it’s playing right now, you still don’t want to sit there and make a bad deal,” he said. “Now, does it make it easier that the team was playing well? Absolutely. But at the end of the day, it still doesn’t change the criteria that you have.
“At that point, the team is over here, deal-making is over here, and you keep them separate. And it’s important to keep them separate in that sense, because you don’t want to get swayed because you’re having a nice run, then make a bad deal. It doesn’t make sense.”