Hamidou Diallo can now be traded, but would Detroit Pistons want to?

Detroit Pistons guard Hamidou Diallo Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports
Detroit Pistons guard Hamidou Diallo Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports /

Because he signed so late in the off-season, Detroit Pistons wing Hamidou Diallo was not allowed to be traded before January 15. Now that the date is passed, the Pistons at least have the option of talking trade with other NBA teams.

Rumors have swirled around a number of Pistons players, particularly Jerami Grant, as the February 10 trade deadline gets closer. However, one player who avoided being thrown into the mix of proposed deals: Hamidou Diallo.

The reason is quite simple, Diallo was not allowed to be traded until after January 15. But, now that that date is passed, Diallo can be traded. Would the Pistons interested in doing? That is a different question.

We are not saying Diallo will be traded, just that it is now legally possible.

Diallo, a hyper-athletic 6-foot-5 wing, was hoping for a big payday in the off-season. After playing well for Oklahoma CIty and then Detroit when they traded for him, Diallo was looking for a $10-12 million deal. Many publications thought he would get something in that range.

But as free agency went on, and NBA teams quickly saw their salary cap space get used up, the market for Diallo also narrowed.

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Finally, on August 19, Diallo inked a two-year, $10.4 million contract with the Detroit, with the second-year a team option.

Under the Collective Bargaining Agreement, because Diallo signed so late in the free agent period, he was not allowed to be traded until January 15, while most players who signed new contracts could be moved in December.

On the court, Diallo started off slowly, even not seeing action in a few games, which he was not pleased about, However, he worked his way into the lineup and, when Grant broke his thumb, moved into his starting spot and has played well.

Diallo is averaging 10.8 points, 4.6 rebounds this year and provides elite defense. His outside shooting is still not very good (26.8% from three), but he brings a lot to the table. And he’s still just 23-years-old.

Now that he can be traded, let’s look at the positives and negatives of dealing Diallo:

Three reasons the Detroit Pistons should trade Hamidou Diallo

3. His value will never be higher, and the market never this big. With so many teams still in the playoff hunt, it is a sellers market. If general manager Troy Weaver decides Diallo is not part of the club’s long-term future, now is the time to pull the trigger.

2. His skills are similar to a couple of other players currently on the roster, so his loss would not be deeply felt. Josh Jackson is basically a clone of Diallo, and, when he returns, Jerami Grant can also basically mirror what Diallo does (with better shooting).

Digging deeper into the roster, Cassius Stanley and two-way player Chris Smith (who has not played yet due to injury) are also similar in playing style. So, if Diallo left, there are plenty of replacements.

  1. The Pistons need assets, badly. They do not have many draft choices for a team that has made a lot of trades. If Diallo can help them restock their larder of draft picks, they should go for it.

They can also attach Diallo to another player (Kelly Olynyk?, Cory Joseph?) to maybe attract a young, impact player who will help in the future. Diallo probably will not agree to another contract at the current salary level if it can avoided, so a good time to see what you can get.

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Three reasons Detroit Pistons should keep Hamidou Diallo

3. Why wouldn’t they? He is a good player, the Detroit Pistons certainly need good players, why would they trade him. Again, he is only 23, lots of time to work on his outside game. If he can ever be a 35-percent shooter on three-pointers, Diallo becomes quite valuable.

2. A team always can use a Swiss-army knife type like Diallo. He can play the ‘two’ or the ‘three’ and can use his athleticism to cut the basket for dunks and layups. Diallo can be a starter or turn into a leader of the bench mob. Having him on the team gives coach Dwane Casey a lot of options.

  1. Diallo is an obvious building block in the Pistons ‘restoration’. General manager Troy Weaver gave up a second-round pick and Svi Mykhaliuk to get him last season. He was not brought in as a short-term rental. That they got him to return on a reasonable contract is a bonus.

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Now that the January 15 trade prohibition is over, Troy Weaver at least can discuss his entire team for deals, including Diallo. Nothing may come of any talk, but at least it can be made.