Detroit Pistons: Why the Wiseman trade looks even dumber now

James Wiseman #13 of the Detroit Pistons (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images)
James Wiseman #13 of the Detroit Pistons (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images) /
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Detroit Pistons, James Wiseman
James Wiseman #13 of the Detroit Pistons (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images) /

When the trade that brought center James Wiseman to the Pistons and sent Saddiq Bey to Atlanta came about, there was not exactly dancing in the streets of Detroit. With both players now having spent time with their new teams, indications are the deal was not good for the Detroit Pistons.

If you remember, the four-team trade almost did not happen, as the Warriors said Gary Payton II came from Portland injured. The Warriors eventually decided to take Payton, and the trades went through.

However, looking at the how things have developed, the Pistons might have been better off if it had  been cancelled.

Why oh why did Troy Weaver make this move for the Detroit Pistons?

When the trade was announced, it was a head scratcher, as the Pistons already had plenty of big men. There was no pressing need for James Wiseman, but they had few who could shoot adequately from long range, which was Bey’s strong suit.

Related Story. Saddiq Bey vs. James Wiseman: Who has been better so far?. light

The same concerns that came up then, are even more prominent now:

Logjam in the post

An injury to Isaiah Stewart that took him out for the final 32 games relieved  the pileup of players who play center/power forward a bit, but Detroit still had three post players who should have been receiving a lot of playing time – Wiseman, Marvin Bagley III and Jalen Duren – none of whom play well with any of the others.

All three are poor outside shooters (although Bagley tries to shoot 3s, just not very well).  Playing two strictly low-post scoring threats not only made it easier for defenses, it clogged the middle so there was no space for Jaden Ivey or Killian Hayes to drive to the basket.

If you remember, one of the big reasons general manager Troy Weaver traded center Mason Plumlee and brought in three-point shooter Kelly Olynyk last year, was to open the middle for slashers like Cade Cunningham and Hamidou Diallo.

Related Story. 3 realistic trades for Marvin Bagley III. light

And who can you bench?

The guy you just traded for? No. Your first-round pick from this year who badly needs experience? Nope. Sit the player you just signed to a three-year, $37.5 million contract?  No.  You have three players you have made major investments in, and they all play the same position

What to do?

You can say: ‘Pick who is part of your future and trade the rest’, but who the heck wants Bagley or Wiseman? Bagley now carries a big contract, and no other NBA teams wanted him last season when he was cheaper, that is why Detroit got him for two second-rounders.

There is no market for Wiseman either. He simply has not played enough and has a history of injuries.

Any trade of Wiseman or Bagley would bring back pennies on the dollar.

You want to get rid of ‘Beef Stew’? Nah. He has been described many times as the ‘Heart of the team’ and is the only big man with even a semblance of an outside shooting touch. Moving Stewart would not be popular either with the fans or the locker room – and the return would not be that great.

So the Pistons have four big men who do not mesh well and would bring little in return if the Pistons wanted to trade any of them. That is a mess, but one of Weaver’s own making.