The Detroit Pistons–as we’ve been saying for weeks–are at a cross roads. Struggling to even make the playoffs has necessitated questions regarding who the Pistons would keep if they decided to blow this roster up.
It’s been a shaky season so far for the Detroit Pistons. Many fans are seriously starting to entertain whether or not the Pistons should consider making big moves to blow up the core nucleus of players. But who gets moved? Do the Pistons truly have any untouchable players?
At this almost anything is on the table for Stan Van Gundy, assuming the Pistons got significantly assets in return.
In order for this exercise to be more informative I’m going to provide what my list would have been prior to the start of the season and then provide what my list is as of today.
Preseason top-five list
1. Andre Drummond–Completely untouchable
2. Reggie Jackson–Completely untouchable
3. Tobias Harris–Would have to be a move that netted a super star
4. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope–Would have to be a move that netted an all-star under contract or significantly improved the team.
5. Stanley Johnson–Would have to be a move that netted an all-star under contract or significantly improved the team.
Here’s my current top-five list for the Pistons.
1. Andre Drummond–Completely untouchable.
2. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope–Untouchable unless trade netted all-star in prime.
3. Tobias Harris–Would have to be a move that netted a super star.
4. Reggie Jackson–Willing to test waters, but not likely to bite.
5. Stanley Johnson–Willing to test waters, but not likely to bite.
The biggest change for me centers around my viewpoint of Reggie Jackson. Don’t confuse this with by thinking I have a lack of confidence in Jackson’s ability because that couldn’t be further from the case. In fact, since Jackson’s shaken off the rust, I would argue that he’s having perhaps the best NBA season he’s ever had.
The drop really stems from watching the team play and where the Pistons are at in the standings and how his contract fits into the direction the Pistons could go should things get worse.
I also think the Pistons have a really nice blend of scoring and defense between Drummond, Caldwell-Pope, and Harris.
The thing about moving Jackson is there is really nothing to replace him currently on the roster so you have to net his replacement in any moves you potentially make for him.
I think the Pistons could get away with making a move for a potentially cheaper, high upside point guard and a high draft pick, or a high upside point guard and proven shooting guard if there were such deals out there for Jackson.
I still wouldn’t trade Jackson, but I am definitely willing to hear offers. I feel the same way about Stanley Johnson, who has really impressed me defensively of late. I still think he’s got tremendous upside on both sides of the ball and he’s the perfect player for where the Pistons are at.
Think about it, whether the Pistons blow this thing up (which is unlikely) or wake up and become the team we thought they would be, your plan really isn’t changing much when it comes to him.
Finally, no one has raised their stock more than Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, though Tobias Harris isn’t far behind. Caldwell-Pope is morphing into an all-star caliber player at just 23 years old which is one of the reasons I’m more open to moving Jackson.
Caldwell-Pope with increased usage could easily be a 20 point scorer this season. He’s also proven to be a terrific passer and his defense has always been good.
What do you think Pistons fans? What does your list look like?