Detroit Pistons: The problem with trading Nerlens Noel

Detroit Pistons guard Nerlens Noel Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
Detroit Pistons guard Nerlens Noel Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports /

The NBA trade deadline is still over a month away but the Detroit Pistons are already getting mentioned in trade rumors.

They are getting a lot of calls on Bojan Bogdanovic, but the Pistons seem reluctant to move him, as he is the type of veteran player that can help them turn the corner next season when they are hopefully back to full health and ready to compete.

There is also veteran Alec Burks, but he too is the type of player who can really help a young team’s bench, so Detroit may decide he is more valuable for them than what he can bring back in trade.

We’ve heard Saddiq Bey’s name come up, which is a bit of a surprise, but his slow start and questionable defensive fit have made him “gettable” according to recent reports.

Related Story. The Pistons have set their price for Saddiq Bey. light

That really leaves veteran Nerlens Noel as the most likely trade target on the Detroit Pistons, a backup center who has played sparingly this season and isn’t going to bring back a big return.

And trading him won’t be easy.

Detroit Pistons: Difficulty of trading Nerlens Noel

According to Bleacher Report, the Blazers, Kings, Heat and Mavericks are all teams that have a glaring need at center and have expressed some amount of interest in Nerlens Noel.

The most the Pistons could really hope to get in a trade of Noel is an expiring contract and a second-round pick, as the veteran has barely played this season or last. If Detroit could even get a second rounder they may as well do it, as he’s not playing anyway and is not a part of the future plans.

But the problem is that Noel is making $9.2 million this season with a team option for next. Of the teams named above, only Dallas has a contract that matches with Noel unless the Pistons were willing to take back money that extends past this season. Even if they were (they’re not), none of these teams really have a guy Detroit would even want. Heat fans would love this type of trade:

But it’s hard to see the Pistons taking on all of Robinson’s money, as he looks washed, just for the sake of a late first-round pick. The Heat can keep dreaming, as this would be a horrible trade for the Pistons, especially when you consider Bey would probably blow up in their system.

The Mavericks could potentially give up Reggie Bullock and a 2nd-rounder, but Bullock has $5.4 million of guaranteed money next season and the Pistons may be reluctant to take that on just for a second round pick. Dwight Powell would work, but that just seems like a lateral move for the Mavs.

Noel’s contract is going to be hard to move unless it is part of a bigger deal, so unless that happens, I expect the Detroit Pistons to buy him out at some point.

Next. The Suns may have the right trade package for Bogdanovic. dark