Modeled after ESPN’s 5-on-5, three of us will answer three questions about a Pistons-related topic. Please add your responses in the comments.
1. The NBA’s trade deadline is just six days away, and the question is simple: Do you think the Pistons will make a trade this week?
Dan Feldman: No. For one, I’m not convinced what trades Joe Dumars is even authorized to make. He apparently can’t choose who coaches the team the rest of the season. Also, Tom Gores’ last interview suggests he likes this roster, at least for now.
Brady Fredericksen: I do, but I also do not. After the whole coaching-debacle, I’m not sure Gores is even going to give Dumars enough leeway to make a hail mary of a deal at the deadline. At the same time, they almost have to do something. This team’s ability to shoot has gone from being funny joke to sad reality. With big, fat expiring deals from Rodney Stuckey and Charlie Villanueva, there has to be some sort of bad-contract-for-bad-contract trade out there.
Tim Thielke: If I had to put a number on it, I’d consider the odds less than 50 percent, but more likely than most seasons.
2. Is there one Pistons player that you feel has the greatest chance of being traded?
Dan Feldman: Stuckey. Because he’s been reasonably productive and has an expiring contract, he could be helpful in a trade whether the Pistons are buying or selling. For the same reasons, he’d appeal to the most teams.
Brady Fredericksen: Stuckey. I don’t think they necessarily want to trade him or Greg Monroe for that matter, but Stuckey is a valuable trade chip for two reasons. In the final year of his contract, he’s been the NBA’s most consistent bench scorer, and he’s got that $7.5 million expiring deal. If a true contender acquires him, they can sit back, benefit from his contract year surge and then watch all that money melt away this summer.
Tim Thielke: Monroe or Josh Smith has to be the most likely because they and Andre Drummond have the most value to another team relative to how much they have to Detroit. And I just can’t see Dumars trading Drummond even if a great offer came along.
3. If the Pistons were to make a trade in hopes of getting over the hump of mediocrity, who is a player they should target?
Dan Feldman: Trevor Ariza. I totally stole this idea from Patrick, but how about Stuckey for Ariza? The Pistons need a wing shooter, and the Wizards need a backup guard capable of playing the point. Both have expiring contracts, so this would totally be about re-configuring rosters to fit better.
Brady Fredericksen: I’ll admit that I play around with ESPN’s NBA Trade Machine way too much. If reports of the Pistons being locked into keeping Monroe are true, the guy I think would make sense for them to target is Eric Gordon. He’s injury prone, yes, and he’s vastly overpaid, but he’s only 25 and he’s the king of shot-creating guard the Pistons need. What if New Orleans took a Smith for Gordon deal? It seems farfetched, but they’d be exchanging bad contracts and getting a player who fits very well on paper with Anthony Davis.
Tim Thielke: Definitely a shooter. But which depends on who they’re planning on giving up. Going after someone on a tanking team makes sense because they don’t mind getting worse. That includes Gordon, OJ Mayo, Arron Afflalo, Jeff Green, Ben McLemore, and Alec Burks among others.