The Detroit Pistons have had an eventful start to the 2019-20 season. With a key trade date coming up, here’s why the Pistons should wait it out.
The Detroit Pistons have gotten off to an extremely disappointing start, sitting at 9-14. This is due to plenty of reasons – some valid, some excuses.
Injuries to three of their top five players and numerous games without a NBA point guard active could be seen as the main culprits. Losses under those conditions are passable to a certain point. It becomes an issue when you realize the Pistons have had one of the easiest schedules in the NBA, losing to the Hornets three times, Bulls twice, Hawks and Wizards. That’s when this goes from “Well they’ve just been injured, they’ll be alright,” to “This might not be a good basketball team after all.” The defense has been dreadful and turnovers have been a consistent issue.
At the beginning of the season I wrote about how the Pistons have a decision to make soon, but that time hasn’t come yet, and won’t for a bit. The first key date is Dec. 15, when all players who signed a contract this summer are eligible to be moved. That’s when the market opens up.
The next and most important key date is the Feb. 7 trade deadline. That’s when teams either get desperate to grab an all-star-type player who they think can push them over the top (Ex: Blake Griffin, Andre Drummond, Derrick Rose), or they decide it’s time to go the other way and sell of their key players for assets and financial flexibility.
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If you’re on the pro-rebuild train, you need to wait. If you’re on the pro-playoff push bus, you need to wait. If you want this team to “tank” and get a nice draft pick, they’re on their way to doing so without any additional help. They don’t need help losing right now, so the smartest thing to do is wait until that Feb. 7th trade deadline for someone to get desperate for the players you want gone.
If you still want to see a playoff push, the Pistons are currently only 2 1/2 games out of the 8 seed, but 3 1/2 games out of the seventh spot. Fighting for the eighth seed again is regression, and at this point, that isn’t an option. However, if the Pistons are pushing for the sixth or seventh spots in the next month or two, it means that things came together and they’d have to play very well in that stretch to make that happen.
The main point here is to wait for that February trade deadline. If things are trending in the right direction, and the team has been putting it together, you can snag a win-now player that someone is selling off for future flexibility.
The moral of this story is to be patient. One way or another, there’s nothing to do right now. We all just need to buckle in and ride this one out.