While it’s obvious that the Detroit Pistons are going to look to improve their team at the deadline, just how they will go about doing so is uncertain. Popular thinking has them moving one or more of a handful of vets in exchange for draft picks, younger players with some upside, or both. The likelihood that they’ll trade away a foundational player is extremely slim. But let’s suspend disbelief for a moment and imagine a wider range of possibilities, doing so in part by ranking the current roster from the perspective of the league’s 29 other franchises.
Here are the Pistons’ best trade assets from peanuts to potential blockbuster deals.
Detroit Pistons: Ranking the trade assets
TIER 1: Buddy Boeheim, Jared Rhoden
These guys have little if any value whatsoever. The entire league had its chance to grab either one of them last June and the entire league passed. The Pistons recently saw enough in Rhoden to drop Braxton Key for him but that isn’t saying much. For one of them to function as anything besides a throw-in would mean some NBA executive out there got themselves a crystal ball – or think that they did.
TIER 2: Kevin Knox, Hamidou Diallo, Cory Joseph, Rodney McGruder
I had the most trouble slotting players into tiers two and three. I went back and forth a couple of times on a couple of different players, but this is where I settled (and let me say that more so than any other piece I’ve written so far during my brief time with Piston Powered, I’d love to hear your thoughts on it).
Diallo is an exciting player but a frustrating one, and he hasn’t elevated his game how the Pistons had hoped he would when they re-signed him a couple summers ago. While I think the rest of the league has probably seen enough, he is an unrestricted free agent this summer so maybe someone out there wants a closer look. Denver has been mentioned as a possibility.
Joseph is on the wrong side of 30 years old, and the same can almost be said about his 3-point shooting, which has plummeted from 41 to 31 percent this season. McGruder is also 31 but he’s knocking the long ball down at a better clip. Knox is the best 3-point shooter of the bunch, the youngest, and has the most palatable contract, but he’s another guy who any team could have had.
Don’t expect to get much more than a second-round pick for any of these guys, and maybe less.