The Detroit Pistons didn’t make the big blockbuster trade at the deadline that some fans expected, but they did take a flyer on Marvin Bagley III.
Bagley has underperformed since being drafted second in 2018 and having a solid rookie season, as he’s pretty much gotten worse every year and has had some attitude issues that got him a one-way ticket out of Sacramento.
We know Bagley has talent, but he’s yet to put it all together, yet, this was still a worthwhile move by the Pistons, as they gave up next to nothing and can take a flyer on a guy who might still be good.
I am not a huge fan of Bagley for various reasons, but I do think it was a good trade, and similar to an acquisition the Pistons made in the past.
Marvin Bagley III is the new Josh Jackson for the Pistons
The Detroit Pistons took a flyer on another high draft pick that hadn’t worked out in forward/guard Josh Jackson.
They signed Jackson to a lowball deal after he had underperformed everywhere else after being taken 4th overall in the draft. In the end, it didn’t work out, but it didn’t hurt the Pistons either, as they gave up nothing to get him.
This is a solid strategy for a team that doesn’t draw many free agents, as they can potentially find a guy who just needs a change of setting to thrive.
You could definitely see the talent with Jackson at times, and I was really hoping it would work out for him in his hometown.
The same could be said of Bagley, who flashes that tantalizing talent at times, but has never jived with the Kings’ coaching staff or front office. This could be a sign that it’s never going to happen for Bagley, or it could just be that he’s a 22-year-old young man who just needs some maturity and a new voice in his ear.
Whatever you think of Dwane Casey, he is a respected veteran coach and who knows, maybe he’s the one who can get through to Bagley as he has with a lot of other young players.
The best-case scenario is that Bagley plays well enough to get an extended look, the Pistons are able to re-sign him at a Josh Jackson-like price, and he blows up on a team-friendly contract that makes Troy Weaver look like a genius.
The worst-case scenario (and more likely one) is that Bagley plays the rest of the season for Detroit and they let him walk in free agency, no harm, no foul.
All they gave up was two guys who aren’t part of the long-term plans and two second-round picks, which always seem to come back around.
Even if the chances of success are low, you make this move 100 times out of 100 if you are Detroit, as it gives you an alternative way to acquire a high-end talent outside of the draft and free agency.
Hopefully Bagley’s time in Detroit will go better than Josh Jackson’s did, but either way, I hope this is a strategy the Pistons keep using, as eventually they will find the low risk/high reward guy that pays off.