How can the Detroit Pistons acquire Donovan Mitchell?
The Detroit Pistons have some cap space, movable pieces and no pressure to succeed immediately to use as tools to help craft a trade to get Donovan Mitchell from the Utah Jazz.
Running the show for the Jazz now is former Celtics general manager Danny Ainge, a very sharp customer (he almost pulled off many big trades in Boston). The conversations between him and general manager Troy Weaver would be very interesting to eavesdrop on.
The fact the Pistons still owe a first-round pick to the Knicks as soon as they are out of lottery range, puts a bit of a crimp in cobbling together a trade, but it could look like this:
Yes, Detroit has to give up a rising player in Bey, but if you have Mitchell, you figure Cunningham will be playing a lot at his old ‘3’ position anyhow, particularly if Jaden Ivey develops as expected. And you have to give Utah something of value.
Olynyk played for Ainge in Boston, so he could be interested in bringing him to Utah. He could help mentor young players, and also keep them somewhat competitive (still have to sell tickets this season).
One thing Detroit has is plenty of centers, so Bailey is expendable to help match salary. Utah could use a young center anyhow.
This could easily morph into a three-team deal, with others like the 76ers (who would love to get their hands on a player like Olynyk or Utah’s Patrick Beverley), and aggressive teams like Dallas or the Miami Heat are always circling around, looking to add talent.
Adding Donovan Mitchell does fast-forward the timeline the Pistons plan to contend for a playoff spot. If not this season, definitely by 2023-24, Detroit will be expected to be moving up in the standings.
Now, Smith was very clear on the show that Mitchell to Detroit was not based on any inside information. It was basically thinking of a spot where Mitchell would be a good fit, and a team that has some cap flexibility and need for a shooting guard. The Pistons check off all boxes.
Detroit is not among the teams currently being bandied about as prime contenders to get Donovan Mitchell. But Troy Weaver is not one to telegraph his moves either. It would certainly make the upcoming season more interesting if Mitchell became a Piston.