Carmelo Anthony to the Pistons? No thanks


Matt Moore of CBS posited a trade that would send Carmelo Anthony to the Detroit Pistons, and boy is it bad.

On Tuesday, CBS writer Matt Moore posted an article suggesting eight possible trade scenarios for New York Knicks star Carmelo Anthony. He includes teams frequently discussed as trade candidates, like the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Clippers, as well as more surprising destinations, including the Memphis Grizzlies and, yes, the Detroit Pistons.

Let’s break this down.

The Proposal

In Moore’s trade proposal, the Knicks would send Carmelo Anthony and Joakim Noah to Detroit in exchange for Andre Drummond and Tobias Harris.

The Rationale

In Moore’s own words:

"How appropriate is this? Melo returns to the team that had the chance to draft him only to take Darko Milicic. Stan Van Gundy carries credit for his past successes and the Pistons’ unstable mess gets resolved.Pistons’ thought process: Drummond has been really worrisome the past two seasons. He just doesn’t commit mentally game to game. The Pistons’ defense is nine points worse per 100 possessions with him on the floor. Yes, Drummond is young, healthy and supremely talented, but if you have real questions about whether he’ll get it or not, this is a deal worth considering. Think of how Van Gundy’s stretch-four ball-handler sets could work with Anthony dishing to shooters? Noah’s contract is an albatross and tough for the Pistons to swallow, but he also brings a veteran work ethic and has played a little better of late.Is Harris too much to deal? Maybe. You can take out Harris and Noah and do Drummond for Anthony straight up if you’re willing to go without a starting-caliber center for the rest of the season. This would be a huge gamble, but it also shakes up a team that looks fundamentally rattled right now.Melo’s thought process: A playoff team with upside, a good defensive team and a hard-edged city. It’s a gamble on his part, but if it’s the best option out there, he’s in a good situation to win with lower expectations.New York’s thought process: Drummond and Kristaps Porzingis destroy everything in their path over the next five years. If they get Harris, all the better, they can run those three in the triangle. You get a young, athletic player on a long-term contract? Even with the free-throw issues, you jump at that.Is it worth it? Not for the Pistons, who kind of have to take the long view with Drummond. Not for Anthony, who won’t want to be that far from a coast, especially for a non-contender."

The Disclaimer

Moore has no reason to believe that either organization wants to make this happen. He’s out for clicks, obviously, but he’s also just having fun. And, hey, can you blame him? Trades are fun! Talking about trades is fun. Go ahead, fire up the trade machine and see what the Pistons look like with Kevin Durant on their roster.

He does also end up concluding that this trade isn’t smart for the Pistons. So we have to give him credit there.

It’s fun to propose trades, and it’s also fun to tear those trade proposals apart. So let’s do that. Alphabetically.

The Rebuttal


In this scenario, Detroit would be trading nine years of NBA experience for 22 years of wear and tear. To say that Melo and Noah don’t fit the timeline of the rest of Detroit’s core players would be a gross understatement. This team is not one veteran player away. And to give up on two young, talented players in exchange for two dinosaurs whose best years are behind them would be an abject disaster for Detroit.


Yeah, I hear you: neither Drummond nor Harris has really proven himself defensively just yet. But Drummond, at least, has shown flashes of promise on that end of court when he is focused (which, we can all admit, doesn’t happen enough). Harris has the tools to be a decent defender, and has only been under Stan Van Gundy’s tutelage for less than a year. I’ll take these two over an aging star who’s never had any interest in playing defense and a former Defensive Player of the Year who’s a step (or two or five) behind where he used to be.


Look, Moore’s just not a fan of Drummond. That’s fine.

He brings up some good points. Drummond’s mental focus and defensive tendencies have been worrisome. His is young, healthy and supremely talented.

Moore writes, “If you have real questions about whether he’ll get it or not, this is a deal worth considering.”

Now, if only there were some way we could determine whether or not the Pistons were concerned about whether Drummond will “get it.” A $125 million contract, perhaps?

The concerns are real, but the dude is only 23. He’s made improvements on both ends of the floor every season, and Van Gundy believes in him. He’s got at least another year or two before the Pistons even think of pulling the plug.

Joakim Noah’s contract

Four years, $72 million. It looked bad when Noah signed it in offseason, and its going to be a competitor for worst in the league in another year or two.

This seems like a good time to remind everyone that the Detroit Pistons are still paying Josh Smith.

No-trade clause

Carmelo Anthony’s got one, and he’s sure as hell not going to waive it to come to Detroit.

This shot

I just threw up in my mouth.

The final word

This might actually be one of the worst trade proposals I’ve ever seen. Pistons fans already grumble about Marcus Morris being a ballhog–they are not prepared for Carmelo Anthony. Besides, anyone remember the last time we made a blockbuster trade for a former Denver Nuggets superstar?