Detroit Pistons: The Trade We Aren’t Talking About

New Orleans Pelicans Jrue Holiday. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
New Orleans Pelicans Jrue Holiday. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images) /

The Detroit Pistons have been rumored by fans in a couple of trade scenarios. But what is a trade that fans are overlooking?

The NBA Finals are underway, which means the end of the season is near. The NBA Draft is just weeks away, with free agency following that. Which means things are about to get chaotic.

If you’ve been paying attention you’ll know that the trade appetite among Pistons fans is currently quite large. Whether that be Mike Conley, Bradley Beal, or any assortment of high-profile players, the demand is there. The ball is in Detroit’s court to make a move.

Through all the proposed trades the internet has to offer, they all remain consistent with the aforementioned players. But it feels as if someone is missing.

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A player that is seemingly flying completely under the radar but could have an immediate and essential impact in Detroit.

That player is Jrue Holiday.

Coming off of a season where he averaged career high in points per game at 21.2, while also averaging 7.7 assists and 5.0 rebounds per game (also a career high), Jrue could truly be the difference Detroit is looking for.

Defense is his staple. He was New Orleans best individual defender last season averaging 1.6 steals per game. He landed a spot on the NBA’s All-Defensive Second Team this season, and was also on the First Team in the 2017-2018 season.

He’s a player who is a terrific on-ball defender, who keeps active hands and jumps passing lanes.

On the offensive end, he can create space off the dribble and attack the basket. Absorbing contact and finishing at the rim is his game. He finished the season with 47.2/32.5/76.8 shooting splits.

There are several conceivable offers the Pistons could have for New Orleans. But the most realistic may be this:

New Orleans receives: Reggie Jackson, Jon Leuer, Bruce Brown & the Pistons 2019 first round draft pick (15th overall)

Detroit receives: Jrue Holiday

Don’t clutch your pearls just yet.

Along with New Orleans more than likely losing Anthony Davis this summer, they also have eight possible free agents coming off the books (five are unrestricted).

This means they’ll likely have a large overhaul of personnel by the beginning of next season with the presumptive number one overall pick Zion Williamson being the face of their franchise.

The point being; why not use this as an opportunity reset? Why not use the cap relief and draft acquisitions to revamp your franchise?

The trade makes sense for Detroit given the uncertainties that this years draft class brings. While there’s undoubtedly a diamond in the rough somewhere, the odds are that Jrue would have a larger impact out of the gate. It also provides a salary dump with Jon’s contract to alleviate space for Jrue’s 5 year $131 million contract. Bruce is added to combat opposing teams offers, which admittedly may be more enticing to the Pelicans, but adds to their proposed rebuild.

Although admittedly the trade would keep the Pistons in NBA purgatory in terms of salary cap space, Jrue would provide a lethal pick and roll with either Andre Drummond or Blake Griffin, as well as bring his exceptional court vision to the table.

Jrue is not a perimeter player, which would hurt Detroit.

However, what he lacks in a perimeter shot, he makes up for around the basket. Shooting 61.9% from less than five feet away, and 47.2% from five to ten feet away.

This is the type of trade that fits Pistons owner Tom Gores’ vision perfectly. Acquiring stars at any cost to help the team win now.

Yes, it is entirely plausible that the asking price for Jrue is higher, and it likely would be.

But, scared money doesn’t make money.

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The ball is in Detroit’s court to change the course of the upcoming season.