Watching the home team get drilled night after night is a lot no one would wish for. Unfortunately, it’s been our reality as Detroit Pistons fans for many years now and by box scores and standings alone it is only getting worse.
Detroit has an even lower winning percentage than they did when they landed the #1 overall pick, and their defense is getting obliterated in historic fashion. Many of us would welcome any bit of intrigue that we can get at this point. Cade Cunningham, Jaden Ivey and Jalen Duren are at least being given the opportunity to become franchise cornerstones, but everyone else is fair game when it comes to wheeling and dealing. The NBA’s trade deadline is just over a week away. Here are five big moves that could happen by February 9th.
Detroit Pistons: Bold trade deadline predictions
#1: Alec Burks nets a 1st from Dallas
Much has been made of Jalen Brunson’s departure from Dallas. He gave his side of the story on JJ Reddick’s podcast, claiming the Mavericks mishandled his contract negotiations. Regardless of how it happened, Luka Doncic lost one of the better running mates he’s had in his career. Brunson scored 16.3 ppg while adding 4.8 assists and 3.9 rebounds for the Mavs last season. While Burks hasn’t quite matched those numbers for the Detroit Pistons this season, he has managed to put up 13.7 ppg in about 10 fewer minutes per game. His 45 percent clip from 3-point range also bests Brunson’s 37 percent success rate. While Burks may not be a perfect replacement, Dallas may not get a better one.
Compensation is the question, as in what would the Mavericks be willing to give up? An unprotected 1st would be a slam dunk, but is unlikely. Dallas is smack dab in the middle of an incredibly competitive Western Conference race. The difference between 3rd place and 13th is only a few games. They’re currently sitting at #6, and likely to make the playoffs in the future as long as Luka is there.
Giving up a first-round pick, even one with lottery protections, might be a tough pill to swallow, but they could be desperate enough to do it.