Detroit Pistons: What’s trade value of veterans

Derrick Rose #25 and Blake Griffin #23 of the Detroit Pistons (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Derrick Rose #25 and Blake Griffin #23 of the Detroit Pistons (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

Through the ups and many, many downs of a rebuilding year, it can be difficult to enthusiastically parse through each game. The Detroit Pistons have at least been competitive, never getting blown out in a game.

But their offseason work is all but certain to commence before the playoffs. The most notable storyline to track is the development of the Pistons’ bevy of rookies and newcomers.

With Detroit’s holding the No. 7 overall pick of the 2020 NBA Draft,  they selected Killian Hayes, who will be sidelined multiple months with a hip subluxation, so even that kind of scouting became blasé.

The next most interesting milestone to circle then is on March 25th: the NBA trade deadline.

Without the luxury of young, homegrown talent to trade for assets, the Pistons’ cupboard is more barren than teams like the Oklahoma City Thunder and New Orleans Pelicans, who have traded stars in return for major assets.

Detroit’s cupboard does have, however, some valuable veterans akin to granola bars on the shelf. There are other preferable snacks, of course, but a granola bar can do the job every now and then.

Pistons general manager Troy Weaver is not gun-shy — he quite literally told reporters last week his “clip is always empty” — and there is an expectation that the Pistons will have some roster shakeup by the deadline.

The  Detroit Pistons veterans, classified here by having at least 5 years of NBA experience, are first on the trading block.

Blake Griffin

Trade Value: Anything (granola bar works)

The deterioration of Blake Griffin’s body was expected and noticeable each year.

But the reality of his lost athleticism is still painful to watch. He is posting career-lows or second-worst totals (usually compared to last season, when he played basically on one leg) in nearly every metric, namely 13.3 points and 6.0 rebounds per game.

A founding member of ‘Lob City’ has yet to record a single dunk through 11 games.

It is difficult to calculate the leadership of a savvy veteran who was once at the apex of the league. The remaining two years and $75 million of his contract, though, requires greater output than a figurehead.

Due to the rapid decline Griffin has showcased, combined with an enormous financial obligation, it is hard to believe any franchise would scrounge up something for him.

If someone comes calling, Weaver should accept without even looking at the offer.

Derrick Rose

Trade Value: Late 1st-round pick or multiple 2nd-round picks

Derrick Rose has certainly regressed since he came onto the scene in Detroit last season. His shot selection has been below average, and his decision-making has been myopic at times.

But, he’s an established veteran who is still posting 15 points, five assists, and a steal, coming off the bench. He is easily going to be the Pistons’ most sought-after player at the deadline.

A number of contenders could use a backup point guard: Boston, both Los Angeles teams, Philadelphia, Golden State … you get the point.

If a team offers a 1st-round pick, it’s a no-brainer. If others only value him for 2nd-round picks, it’s still worth entertaining multiple offers and going from there.

Related Story. Derrick Rose definitely should not be traded. light

Wayne Ellington

Trade Value: A second-round pick

Wayne Ellington came to Detroit to do what Wayne Ellington does: shoot 3-pointers. And he just so happens to be doing it at the age of 33, at a career-best 46-percent clip.

Ellington was signed as simply bench depth before injuries and his impressive performances elevated him to the starting role.

Ellington’s limitations extend pretty much everywhere within the 3-point line, but even filling just the sharp-shooting role could be valuable to a contender.

Given his team-friendly, expiring deal, Ellington’s play has turned him from a non-asset to worthy of a late draft pick.

Mason Plumlee

Trade Value: 1 or 2 second-round picks or young bench depth

The internet scoffed when Mason Plumlee’s three-year, $25 million deal to the Pistons was announced. The money seemed significant for someone who was just Nikola Jokic’s backup. However, much of the attention was due to the signing being one of the first of free agency.

Plumlee’s contract, contrary to previous public opinion, has returned solid value. He has averaged 8.5 points, 8.7 rebounds, and 3.4 assists per game, despite a lot of Detroit reserve centers nipping at his heels. He has shown acute awareness on the court, and more than adequate play-making for his size.

The center position is fading in importance in the league, but Plumlee has skills in his wheelhouse that could make him a fit anywhere. The money may be steep for a backup, but his contract ultimately is not too detrimental to the cap sheet.

There is a contender out there that would shell out at least one 2nd-round pick or a young piece outside of the rotation, to acquire Plumlee’s services.

Delon Wright

Trade Value: Late 2nd-round pick

Delon Wright is the antithesis of flashy basketball, but he has filled in his starting role sufficiently in light of Hayes’ injury.

His stats don’t jump off the page — 7.1 points, 4.1 assists, 3.7 boards per game — but illustrate how multi-dimensional he can be. the 6-5 Wright has a knack for getting to the hoop and playing sound basketball.

Like Rose, Wright could fit with any team in need of a backup point guard. There are fewer teams who don’t already have one, who are comparable to Wright, though.

The Rest

Jerami Grant is untouchable. Do I really have to say why? It may be a long time coming, but Grant is a part of this team’s future.

dark. Next. Detroit Pistons: Learning how to lose with Blake Griffin and Derrick Rose

Jahlil Okafor and Rodney McGruder have played sparingly. If another team makes an offer, take it and run. But there isn’t a team in the league that would do that realistically.