Detroit Pistons: The perfect trade target is likely out of reach

Detroit Pistons general manager Troy Weaver Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
Detroit Pistons general manager Troy Weaver Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports /

The Detroit Pistons currently have the worst record in the NBA, mostly because of their defense, which is ranked 29th in the league.

Even before the season started, the Pistons biggest roster weakness was obvious: They need help on the wing.

Detroit doesn’t really have a starting caliber small forward, as both Saddiq Bey and Bojan Bogdanovic are better suited defending the four. Both are below-average defenders, so the Pistons are facing mismatches night after night on the wing.

Ideally they could find a big, athletic wing who can defend a few positions, and if he can shoot or score a little, even better.

The perfect guy may be hitting the trade market, as there have been rumors that the Raptors may shop OG Anunoby if they continue to slide in the standings.

The Raptors have lost six in a row, have slipped to 10th in the mediocre Eastern Conference and some feel they may trade Anunoby to reload around Pascal Siakam and Scottie Barnes.

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According to a Zach Lowe on a recent episode of the Lowe Post, the price for Anunoby is going to be steep, as he has improved again this season, is only 25-years-old and is on a favorable contract.

Lowe thinks it may take a package akin to what the Cavaliers gave up for Donovan Mitchell for a team to pry Anunoby away from Toronto:

"“The entire league wants OG Anunoby. Everybody wants OG Anunoby. If he ever gets traded, the price and picks are going to surprise people because it might be on par almost with what the Cavs gave up for Donovan Mitchell.”"

Just to remind you, the Cavaliers gave up Lauri Markkanen, Collin Sexton Ochai Agbaji, three first-round picks and two pick swaps to get Mitchell in a trade that really worked out well for both teams.

Landing Mitchell catapulted the Cavaliers into contention in the East, and Utah has built a solid team out west with the players they got in return for their star.

Anunoby is a guy who could have a similar effect on the Detroit Pistons, especially next season when they will have star Cade Cunningham back in the lineup.

But Pistons fans who dream of adding a talented two-way wing to the core are probably going to be disappointed.

The Detroit Pistons don’t have the assets for OG Anunoby

The Raptors need playmakers and floor spacers and the Detroit Pistons have a couple whose contracts would match up with Anunoby in Bojan Bogdanovic, Saddiq Bey or even Jaden Ivey if we wanted to go bonkers.

Even if Detroit were willing to give up two of those guys, the Raptors would undoubtedly want draft compensation as well, which is where the Pistons come up short. Detroit still owes a first-round pick to the Knicks and can’t trade one until they convey that pick or until 2028 rolls around, whichever comes first.

It’s highly unlikely that the Raptors would have any interest in a pick that far down the road, and the heavily protected pick Detroit owes the Knicks is not going to convey this season and may not next season either.

It’s possible that Detroit could get involved in a mega-deal that involved several teams, but it seems unlikely given their lack of real assets. Anunoby may never really become available anyway, so the whole thing is just theoretical right now, but he’d be a perfect fit.

Timing is everything when it comes to trades and right now the Detroit Pistons really aren’t in a position to add talent via trade.

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